N.V. sits upon a great paradox. On one hand, every nook of this record is clogged with erratic, violent instinct. There’s no space for moderated thought. Drums palpitate between blastbeaten panic attacks and rage-drunk lethargy. Guitars combust into growls of flame. Screams, blood and ash occupy any remaining crevices, wafting away from crumpled riffs and pooling in the wells of cymbal decay. At a mere half-hour in length, N.V. assaults the listener before they know what is happening. N.V. is the blackout it will soon regret; the surge of vitriol that will come to define it.
Yet this rabid eruption is actually the result of meticulous design. The way Maurice de Jong (aka Gnaw Their Tongues) incorporates himself is particularly painstaking. Often he adopts the role of atmospheric exaggerator, smearing the empty spaces with dead air and morbid symphony, or adding terrible emphasis to those thumps of downbeat so that they burst open. Sometimes he can be heard gushing off the guitar dissonances like frictional smoke (much like the guitar reverb of Godflesh’s Streetcleaner, which was apparently the central atmospheric inspiration for N.V.). Equally, Dragged Into Sunlight deftly wield their instruments like motorised machines, emulating the sounds of a chainsaw losing power and an earthworm writhing in survivalist flight. Through a process of patience and evaluation, the collaborators strike upon a vivid evocation of fear and irrational panic, flooding the mind before it has the opportunity to process it.