Sightless Pit, “Lockstep Bloodwar”
By Brad Sanders · January 30, 2023 Merch for this release:
Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD), Sweater/Hoodie

Sightless Pit is what happens when Lee Buford and Dylan Walker get to do whatever they want. It’s not as if their main gigs—playing in The Body and Full of Hell, respectively—are especially limiting. In fact, those are two of the most experimentally inclined heavy bands on the planet. But even they would have a hard time covering the ground Buford and Walker traverse on Lockstep Bloodwar, the second LP under the Sightless Pit moniker. (Their debut, 2020’s Grave of a Dog, also featured Lingua Ignota’s Kristin Hayter; she has since amicably split with the group.)

The genesis of Lockstep Bloodwar was Buford and Walker’s shared love of dub music, and that’s a canny jumping-off point for an album that often feels like dub as seen through a smudged lens. Dub’s insistent rhythmic thump is a sturdy enough canvas, at least, for the glorious mangling it withstands on the record. Beyond the Godflesh-inspired industrialisms, alien to neither the Body nor Full of Hell, Sightless Pit and their collaborators deliver harrowing harsh noise; disintegrating dreampop melodies; charred and twisted samples; demonic trap beats; broken-glass shrieks; and horrorcore-style rap verses. Buford and Walker never lose sight of dub’s inherent physicality, and as distressing as Lockstep Bloodwar sometimes gets, it always feels danceable.

The most immediately notable element of Lockstep Bloodwar is its extensive roster of guests. The album boasts appearances by Midwife, Claire Rousay, Foie Gras, YoshimiO from Boredoms, the late, great Gangsta Boo, and a half dozen more. Despite the contributors’ wildly disparate styles, they’re all incorporated seamlessly into the world of the record. The effect is that of stumbling on a cursed radio station a 3 o’clock in the morning and getting sucked in by its gravitational pull, succumbing to total darkness. As Foie Gras puts it on “Futilities,” the album’s hypnotic closing track: “the world’s a sightless pit.”

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