Lingua Ignota — Caligula (07/19/19) Pamela MÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃéndez ÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃâ Time (22 Feb 2019)✹    Kristin Hayter. Caligula, the new album from Lingua Ignota, takes the vision of Kristin Hayter’s vessel to a new level of grandeur, her purging and vengeful audial vision going beyond anything preceding it and reaching a new unparalleled sonic plane within her oeuvre.
✹     Succeeding her self~released 2017 All Bitches Die opus, this new one sees Hayter design her most ambitious work to date, displaying the full force of her talent as a vocalist, composer, and storyteller. Vast in scope and multivalent in its influences, with delivery nothing short of demonic, this is an outsider’s opera; magnificent, hideous, and raw. Eschewing and disavowing genre altogether, Hayter builds her own world. Here she fully embodies the moniker Lingua Ignota, from the German mystic Hildegard of Bingen, meaning “unknown language” — this music has no home, any precedent or comparison could only be uneasily given, and there is nothing else like it in the contemporary realm.
✹     Working closely with Seth Manchester at Machines With Magnets studio, Hayter strips away much of the industrial and electronic elements of her previous work, approaching instead the corporeal intensity and intimate menace of her notorious live performances, achieved with unconventional recording techniques and sound sources, as well as a full arsenal of live instrumentation and collaborators including harsh noise master Sam McKinlay (The Rita), visceral drummer Lee Buford (The Body) and frenetic percussionist Ted Byrnes (Cackle Car, Wood & Metal), with guest vocals from Dylan Walker (Full of Hell), Mike Berdan (Uniform), and Noraa Kaplan (Visibilities). Caligula is a massive work, a multi~layered epic that gives voice and space to that which has been silenced and cut out.
Born: Del Mar, California in 1986
Location: Lincoln, Rhode Island
Genres: Neoclassical dark wave, death industrial, noise
Album release: 07/19/19
Record Label: Profound Lore
Duration:     66:05
01 Faithful Servant Friend of Christ    4:42
02 Do You Doubt Me Traitor   9:34
03 Butcher of the World    6:33
04 May Failure Be Your Noose   4:33
05 Fragrant Is My Many Flower’d Crown    5:07
06 If the Poison Won’t Take You My Dogs Will    6:31
07 Day of Tears and Mourning    4:43
08 Sorrow! Sorrow! Sorrow!    6:32
09 Spite Alone Holds Me Aloft   7:24
10 Fucking Deathdealer    2:33
11 I Am the Beast    7:53
✹     Extreme music reckoning with misogyny.
✹     Emphasising the rage and despair of survivors of abuse, Kristin Hayter uses a unique palette including metal, folk and noise.
Ben Beaumont~Thomas, Fri 19 Jul 2019 09.00 BST; Score: ****
✹    Lingua Ignota, AKA Rhode Island musician Kristin Hayter, released one of 2018’s most startling and unfairly overlooked records in All Bitches Die. Written in the wake of domestic abuse, it built through images of horrific violence towards Holy Is the Name, an eerily beautiful ballad imagining her lying alongside her dead abuser, praising a scythe and axe. As a closing image it was emphatic, but her second album announces that any Hollywood narrative of overcoming trauma is a lie: abuse, she asserts, can linger for a lifetime. “Life is cruel and time heals nothing”, runs one bitter lyric.
✹    Once again, Hayter draws from a wealth of inspirations to create a sledgehammer amalgam. On Do You Doubt Me Traitor, she unleashes totally desperate shrieks — “How do I break you before you break me?” — until she hyperventilates, showing up much of the roaring you hear from black metallers as safe, pampered and stable. But passages like this, or spells of huge noisy downforce that recall Sunn O))), are offset with more spartan, stately strings~and~piano sections, evoking the relief and clarity one experiences after a bout of vomiting. Hayter has spoken of her fascination with Roman Catholicism, and there is a liturgical quality to this latter style — she sometimes delivers her enunciated, discrete lyrics like a terrible benediction, or like the fathers in The Exorcist telling Regan the power of Christ compels her.
✹    Those lyrics are often so pertinent to the confusion that comes with abuse. “Who will love you if I don’t? Who will fuck you if I won’t?” she wonders, announcing her abuser as pathetic and yet pitying them to the point of nearly returning; by titling the song May Failure Be Your Noose, she ends up deciding to wish them nothing but ill.
✹    Hayter is classically trained, and there is emotional as well as technical brilliance to the way she expands her vocal palette here — Sorrow! Sorrow! Sorrow! sees her split her voice apart like a throat singer, while other sections recall the subtle ululations of traditional Gaelic song. Sadly it sounds like her revenger’s tragedy is not yet over, but the survival — indeed flourishing — of her unique artistry is its own triumph.
by Jenn Pelly, JULY 25 2019; Score: 8.1
✹    On her torrential second album, Kristin Hayter creates a murderous amalgam of opera, metal, and noise that uses her classical training like a Trojan Horse, burning misogyny to ash from its Judeo~Christian roots.
✹    Eight minutes into her torrential second album as Lingua Ignota, Kristin Hayter lets out a thundering, apocalyptic scream: “I don’t eat, I don’t sleep [...] I let it consume me,” she cries. Her voice is so ugly and shredded and maniacal and alive that it creates a witness of anyone who hears it. It is the sound of trauma, that which is by definition intolerable, and Hayter traverses its most upsetting depths on behalf of survivors, including herself. With Caligula, she has created a murderous amalgam of opera, metal, and noise that uses her classical training like a Trojan Horse, burning misogyny to ash from its Judeo~Christian roots.
✹    From renaissance paintings to murder ballads and beyond, feminist revenge has charged art to cathartic ends — envisioning a world in which women do not only demand justice but see it through, in their work, by any means necessary. Caligula embodies that insurrectionary fury. Working with members of The Body, Uniform, Full of Hell, and others, Hayter crafts a 66~minute world ablaze with contempt for man, which, though divided into 11 all~caps tracks — with such imposing titles as “I AM THE BEAST,” “IF THE POISON WON’T TAKE YOU MY DOGS WILL,” and “SPITE ALONE HOLDS ME ALOFT” — plays out like one continuous, epic composition. More than songs, they feel like a succession of enraged suites, each one a threat, an intervention, an act of solidarity.
✹    Lingua Ignota sparks fantasies of demonic avant~opera icon Diamanda Galás joining with industrial~metal titans Godflesh to create a horror soundtrack, or Maria Callas in hell. Her goal seems to be to deconstruct and destabilize, to discomfit. She situates death growls and strangulated vocalizations amidst orchestral strings, choral singing, and chimes — like a hex on the whole social order. “Everything burns down around me,” she sings with incantatory grandeur on “MAY FAILURE BE YOUR NOOSE,” atop the incendiary counterpoint of Uniform’s Michael Berdan.
✹    Near the beginning of Caligula, Hayter beckons Satan to come to her side, to “fortify me” — things get darker from there. Her invocation recalls Galás’ own definition of the devil in 1991. “When a witch is about to be burned on a ladder in flames, who can she call upon?” Galás asked in the book Angry Women. “I call that person ‘Satan.’” Hayter summons this original insurgent on behalf of a society that rarely believes embattled women. “How do I break you before you break me?” she seethes on “DO YOU DOUBT ME TRAITOR.” The savage “SPITE ALONE HOLDS ME ALOFT” culminates in her disarming, boiled~over prayer to “Kill them all/Kill them all/Kill them all.” For her enemies, she wishes, “May your foes be many/May your days be few.” Unsparing would be a way to put it. Caligula wants abusers dead.
✹    Occasionally, Hayter breaks into fragments of traditional melody and balladeering, but it is never long before she incinerates them. And though she draws on the embittered atmospheres and theater of metal, Caligula’s unwieldy, behemoth~like sprawl practically laughs at the concept of riffs. Hayter said it was her goal to “recontextualize that phallocentric format for people who need it,” and she crafts a sound that, if not feminine, feels decidedly unmale, and crucially vulnerable. The solemn highlight “FRAGRANT IS MY MANY FLOWER’D CROWN,” for one, finds Hayter singing of how “the bitter blood of many foes sustains me” with a low, chilling resolve. She pushes her voice into unsettling gurgles before declaring, with shocking clarity, “I have learned that all men are brothers/And brothers only love each other,” like an ornate rewriting of the Jenny Holzer maxim “Men Don’t Protect You Anymore.”
✹    On Caligula’s closing track, in a final turn, Hayter quotes the poet Frank O’Hara: “All I want is boundless love.” The line is from his 1957 collection Meditations in an Emergency, but Haytner undercuts it with her own devastating experience: “All I know is violence.” This brutal ending reminds us that if Caligula is too taxing to bear, that’s because it is a work of realism. When Hayter calls herself “the butcher of the world [...] throatslitter of the world” on a cold~blooded hymn titled “FUCKING DEATHDEALER,” I think of the artist Artmisia Gentileschi, a protégé of Caravaggio, who was tortured in court in 1612 after she opened a case against her rapist. Gentileschi spent the rest of her career painting depictions of violence against men. Women have been seeking this revenge forever. 
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