Published Feb 24, 2020Being in an experimental hardcore band must create an unrelenting desire to imagine all kinds of vicious creatures and unleash them into the world, which would explain the formation of Sightless Pit. Comprised of Lee Buford (drummer for intense industrial metal duo the Body), Kristin Hayter (singer/multi-instrumentalist of Lingua Ignota) and Dylan Walker (vocalist for guttural grindcore band Full of Hell), Sightless Pit finds the trio of hardcore veterans with an insatiable appetite for bad vibes. On their debut LP, Grave of a Dog, Sightless Pit ditch instrumental breakdowns to focus on atmospheric intensity, incorporating distorted drum machines, haunting samples and harsh noise.
The project opens with an eerie choir sample on opening track "Kingscorpse," and descends into chaos with the fast-paced drum pattern and tumultuous growls of "Immersion Dispersal," perhaps the most violently unrelenting song on the album. Later, on "The Ocean of Mercy," Hayter's voice echoes through droning noises and samples that sound like archaic tribal incantations. Next comes "Violent Rain," where the strength and grace of Hayter's singing is contrasted with drawn-out, insidious screeching, as though some twisted exorcism is being performed in another dimension.
Not all songs on Grave of a Dog are equally effective; "Miles of Chain" feels monotonous and underwhelming. But for a high risk and high reward project, Grave of a Dog has far more brutally satisfying moments than it does disappointing ones.
Kristin Hayter, Lee Buford and Dylan Walker all come from bands that are not afraid to explore the vast realm of experimental hardcore music. This becomes immediately clear in their first album together, where the trio showcase their curiosity and inventiveness to create dark, deranged atmospheres that are simultaneously appalling and beautiful. Even with its lack of live drums or guitar riffs, Grave of a Dog is bound to keep listeners up at night. (Thrill Jockey)