Sightless Pit is a glorious trio of Kristin Hayter (Lingua Ignota), Lee Buford (The Body), and Dylan Walker (Full of Hell). Together they have conjured up a hellish soundscape ripe with tortured screams, scraping beats, and the bleakest of imagery. “Grave of a Dog” is nearly forty minutes of being dragged down to the blackened hellmouth by unseen forces. The songs found on the album are simultaneously beautiful and appalling. It’s something so grotesquely eye-catching, you fail to look away.
The opening track, “Kingscorpse,” begins with layers of siren-like wails which bring forth pulsating beats and retching, chopped-up screams. Hayter’s voice rings out like an air raid siren, announcing the arrival of something awful. Walker’s screams enter the scene of disorder with malice. The electronic beats and gritty static swirl and churn around the two voices like an unforgiving sea. This song sounds like every bad thing you’ve ever done is catching up with you all of a sudden. It’s a tornado of guilt rotating around you, and now you have been gripped by your wrists to be brought down to something inescapable.
On “Immersion Dispersal,” quick, heavy-hitting thuds lay down a foundation for Walker’s agonised screams. It’s confusion and madness. It’s your scattered thoughts wondering what went wrong. Further down into the darkness you are brought. “The Ocean of Mercy” begins with a breathy chant, scuttering static sounds, and a haunting organ that wraps around you like an unwelcome hug. Then Hayter begins to sing with such an unbelievably forlorn voice that one might think she is actually being dragged toward the hellmouth herself. The screen of static grows more harsh toward the end as Hayter’s voice wavers in and out like a bad radio signal, ending the song with choppy howls.
“Violent Rain” erupts with stomping thumps that are undercut by Hayter’s piercing lament. It’s the thumping of a headache with your inner monologue begging for mercy through the strain. There’s a few haunting piano keys plucked out into the haze while Walker’s harrowing screams bleed out, colouring the black backdrop with rash red. Hayter’s soaring voice is then manipulated with auto-tune, drifting up and down or pulled in both directions as if it’s a beam of light against the wall, changing as things move in front of its light source. The chaos falls away into piano notes that float into the emptiness like motes of dust.
The beauty of the piano is slashed away by “Drunk On Marrow.” This song greets you with incessant beats, retching screams, and those same ivory keys being smashed down in anger. There’s a pulsing thud beneath the layer of noise that makes it feel like something horrifying is shambling closer toward where you reside, or worse, you’re being brought toward something horrifying. “Miles of Chain” is you getting closer to that endless pit of black. Your heartbeat explodes in your ear. The pathway is narrowing and the walls are singing out to you. Vibrating out choking, gurgling warnings as you stumble past.
“Whom The Devil Long Sought To Strangle” is glitching piano notes and glittering static. The end is getting closer and there’s the briefest moment of confusion that then erupts into complete disorder, to then be swallowed whole. “Love Is Dead, All Love Is Dead” is you tumbling over that edge. The rockface is cradling you in a saddened lullaby. The piano echoes around you as you fall downward forevermore. Hayter tells an unseen force to ring out their bells. A long slow descent as a heartbeat lulls you into sleep. Love is dead. It’s over.
Hayter sings as if she is a god standing high above the scene of chaos she has created below. On “The Ocean of Mercy,” it’s easy to imagine her glaring down at those that have wronged her, sending avalanches and plagues their way. Walker’s screams bring forth feelings of intense animosity and malevolence. His voice cuts through the static of “Kingscorpse” like a poisoned knife, with intent to bring pain. The beats Buford crafts are fear inducing and create lumps within the throat. The shuffle that is heard on “Violent Rain” is absolutely horrifying and all I can imagine is something unholy creeping toward me in the darkness.
“Grave of a Dog” is an alarmingly shocking, yet beautifully haunting album. Easily a contender for my album of the year.