On their thrillingly grueling debut album Grave of a Dog, the “new” (sort of) group Sightless Pit pack stunningly brutal mayhem with strangely emotionally compelling, focused energy coursing through the mixture. The group features names likely familiar to those in the album’s vicinity, including Full of Hell’s Dylan Walker, Lingua Ignota’s Kristin Hayter, and The Body’s Lee Buford. They’ve combined their unique specialties into a strikingly cohesive-feeling beast that easily veers from mental imagery of the most dementedly crazed dance party imaginable — imagine the movie Midsommar, perhaps — into blasts of industrial chaos that feel like a focused funnel of the grime of an active construction-wracked inner city.
Although the styles on this album vary widely, the overall album delivers a unified feeling of rushing through even this contorted, monstrous mayhem with subtly exhilarating and energetic abandon. The energy doesn’t have to get left to the more accessible music or musically reflected situations.
Truly, the range of styles that Sightless Pit have packed in here proves impressive. The vocals alone well exemplify the wild swings. Hayter contributes her solemnly mournful, operatically intense singing, and Walker also adds his grating screeches that feel like a call from some kind of chaotic netherworld. The shift across those dynamics and the others packed into this album ensures a kind of whirlwind-in-the-face effect while listening. There’s never a point where you can really settle in with certain knowledge of what’s coming next.
Grave of a Dog kicks off with those ominous and strangely danceable beats suspended in a haze. They’re not fast enough to really feel like they’re from an upbeat, “clean” event. Nope — they just give this sonic beast a pulse. The album’s second track, “Immersion Dispersal,” features those beats ringing out with accompanying pulses of harsh noise on just about every hit as Walker screeches out his lyrics in the background. On the next track, called “The Ocean Of Mercy,” Hayter takes over the singing, but only after tribally ethereal percussion rhythms spill out alongside otherworldly, uneasy, and even somewhat nauseating performances from thick-toned keys.
The mixtures go on from there quite memorably — no track is the same. The group eventually introduces harsh noise effects that sound a bit like nails on a chalkboard, fiendishly plucked electrified strings, and more. Grave of a Dog feels like a monument to completely diving in to personable musical mayhem.
Check out some of the music below! Grave of a Dog drops in full on February 21 via Thrill Jockey Records.