Lingua Ignota - Caligula review

Bandcamp music player

49 users:
Band: Lingua Ignota
Album: Caligula
Release date: July 2019

01. Faithful Servant Friend Of Christ
02. Do You Doubt Me Traitor
03. Butcher Of The World 
04. May Failure Be Your Noose [feat. Mike Berdan]
05. Fragrant Is My Many Flowered Crown
06. If The Poison Won't Take You My Dogs Will
07. Day Of Tears And Mourning [feat. Dylan Walker]
08. Sorrow! Sorrow! Sorrow!
09. Spite Alone Holds Me Aloft [feat. Noraa Kaplan]
10. Fucking Deathdealer
11. I Am The Beast

Metal has been dealing with violence, revenge and religious imagery for a long while, but it is actually an industrial neoclassical darkwave that really touches these subjects in a way that you cannot escape.

Lingua Ignota's music is quite tough to listen to. Not because it doesn't sound good or something like that, but there's a lot of emotional weight to it that is a bit hard to stomach. As much as some of us think that the concept is overused, it's the type of music that would need a trigger warning. It's not hard to tell that Kristin Hayter has been through some shit, and if there is one word to describe all of her music, it would be trauma. And if there are more words, it would be trauma transcribed into feminist revenge fantasies. And being a straight male I may not have the right life experience to properly relate to it, and I don't want the discussion around the album to go in a toxic way, but it's no secret that women have had it quite bad over the years, mostly at the hands of men. Music about the relationship between women and men as victims and abusers has been made before, I'm sure, but I don't think it was as vicious as "Caligula".

So with the album centered around trauma from abuse and the violent roman emperor Caligula, obviously much more of the former than the latter, Lingua Ignota manages to create a harrowing depiction of said trauma. I could fill the review with quotes from the album that have had most impact (and I will), because a huge part of the album is the lyrical take tied in with how it is performed. Namely Lingua Ignota used her training as a classical opera singer to lure listeners in into this industrial hellscape. Even at its most sparse of piano and vocals, which is what you'll find most throughout the album, the dramatism of the performance tied with how harrowing the lyrics are is pretty blood-curling in itself, and that's at its most sparse. Once the soundscape changes and screams can be heard, you are already sunken in blood.

And it is the contrast between the dramatic but nonetheless beautiful performance and lyrics like "I don't eat, I don't sleep / I let it consume me", "All the love God would allow / But all God's love means nothing now", "Abandon your body so no man can break it" or "Who will love you if I don't? / Who will fuck you if I won't?" that makes even something as beautiful as her performance feel tainted by her experience and the inescapable feeling of dread. All of the religious imagery contrasts even further, with the somber organ in "DAY OF TEARS AND MOURNING" to the almost liturgical opening track. The album is still quite an industrial one, though less focused on that aspect as her previous one, "All Bitches Die", with a lot more emphasis on the classical side. There are a lot of cellos and violins and percussion, as well as contributions from members of The Body, Uniform and Full Of Hell, so the sound is a lot fuller most of the time, and when the industrial moments come they feel absolutely visceral and anxiety inducing. In turn, Caligula feels a lot more grandiose, with its over one hour of runtime never feeling like it overstays its welcome, and with songs flowing seamlessly into one another.

If an album deserves to have all uppercase song titles it is this one. If an album deserves to be overly dramatic it is this one. Not just due to its themes, but mostly due to how well it is executed and how much it forces you empathize, whether you'll feel sympathetic or antagonized, you will feel the misery and the trauma. Revenge will be had. Blood will be spilled. Abusers will be killed.


Written on 23.08.2019 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 5   [ 1 ignored ]   Visited by: 204 users
23.08.2019 - 15:52
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.

2020 goodies
23.08.2019 - 20:04
Written by RaduP on 23.08.2019 at 15:52

You win the internet.
Sex > War
23.08.2019 - 21:35
Great review! A really good album but truly difficult to listen to, more even than "All Bitches Die" was.
25.08.2019 - 00:09
Lord Slothrop
I'm a fan of this album, but I really have to be in the right mood to listen to it.
10.09.2019 - 03:10
Czerny Reiter
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Hits total: 2591 | This month: 29