Fuck the patriarchy. It’s a saying you’ve probably heard quite a bit the past few years, and it’s one that speaks to the amount of power that’s disproportionately distributed among the upper echelon of society, and it hammers people to the ground who are not in the upper crust. It’s a push back against the idea of heavy-handed rule that never stops.
Kristin Hayter’s art has reflected some of the abuse and pain she has experienced in her life and has become a torch of sorts for those who has experienced sexual assault and abuse and refuse to shut up about it. That was the focus of her debut full-length “All Bitches Die,” but on her second record under the Lingua Ignota name, “Caligula,” she takes on that idea of power. Not that it’s necessarily limited to the patriarchy, but let’s face it, who are most of the people in charge of this world, especially this country? On these 11 tracks that span about 66 minutes, Hayter pours her rage, disgust, sorrow, and fire into every ounce of this album, and it’s impossible to turn away. This is a declaration of war, one Hayter will wage with words and fire, and while it’s not as abrasive from a noise standpoint as her debut, it’s a scathing shot to the top. Her aim is to see the power structure crumble and turn to powder.
“FAITHFUL SERVANT FRIEND OF CHRIST” begins with noise floating as Hayter’s singing emerges, numbing and haunting, dragging you by the hand toward “DO YOU DOUBT ME TRAITOR” that has keys dropping and her asking, “How can you doubt me now?” The corrosion comes fast, as she wails, “Every vein of every leaf of every tree is slaked with poison,” as the bloodbath flows, and the psyche of the song is damaged further, with Hayter insisting, “I don’t eat, I don’t sleep,” as a way of breaking down. Pianos crush and noises shakes every corner of the room, as Hayter delivers a morbid warning, “Bitch, I smell you bleeding, and I know where you sleep,” which should leave any soul unsettled. “BUTCHER OF THE WORLD” continues her aim to melt power, as out of eeriness Hayter cries, “Rise up, and I’ll cut you down.” The music has a dark imperialism to it, as a strange calm settles, pianos splash, and Hayter’s singing sounds serene but is anything but, especially with her wish of, “May your days be few.” “MAY FAILURE BE YOUR NOOSE” is solemn as it begins, with Hayter asking her subject, “Who will love you if I don’t? Who will fuck you if I won’t?” Piano and noise combine and buzz, as the south meanders further south, and her singing reminds of Tori Amos in spots, as she ends the song observing, “Everything burns down around me.” “FRAGRANT IS MY MANY FLOWER’D CROWN” has keys pounding, as Hayter examines the compassion shown by men toward each other and wonders why that doesn’t carry over elsewhere. “Brothers in each other’s arms,” she sings as the song goes further into the darkness, coming to a quiet, painful finish.
“IF THE POISON WON’T TAKE YOU MY DOGS WILL” is ominous and scary from the start, as it is influenced by Jim Jones’ death tape, and the journey is harrowing as expected. Piano quivers, as Hayter sings, “If you lay your life down, no man can take it, will you join me?” A deluge of screams wells up as the sing rumbles and shakes, leaving your psyche scarred. “DAY OF TEARS AND MOURNING” has liturgical organs creating a deep fog, while the bottom drops out and pounds, screams come terrifyingly to life, and the melodies instill the track with old-style horrors, the black-and-white style that make it feel like you’ve slipped into a different era. “SORROW! SORROW! SORROW!” delivers on what its name promises, as Hayter stretches and drags her voice, creating weird inflections as simple keys drip, and Hayter realizes, “Nobody knows my sorrow,” as the music slips down the drain. “SPITE ALONE HOLDS ME ALOFT” begins in a serene, cold part of the room before shrieks erupt and destroy peace, with Hayter calling, “All who proclaim their love betray me!” Animalistic cries follow, as things continue to crumble to the ground, walls melt, and Hayter demands, “Kill them all!” as a choral swarm takes the song out. For all its violent intent, “FUCKING DEATHDEALER” actually feels like an emotional comedown on purpose, as music chimes and Hayter points, “I am the butcher of the world.” She promises it would be foolish not to fear her, and the music bleeds right into closer “I AM THE BEAST” that fills the space with heartache as Hayter demands, “Come claim me.” The track gets heavier and nastier from there, a final burst of scraping fury, where Hayter howls, “All I know is violence,” as bursts surround her words, vicious screams follow, and everything collapses into a doom wormhole that surges and brings things to an abrupt end.
Hayter’s passion, rage, and taste for bloody revenge make “Caligula” a record so powerful and scathing, it should be able to bring any world leader to the knees. The record is a bit more varied than “All Bitches Die” and it’s a richer, even scarier experience for the variety and nuance. There is no voice out there anything like Hayter’s, and she may be the death angel we all anticipated who would arrive and burn our oppressive structures to the goddamn ground.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/linguaignotamusic/
To buy the album, go here: https://www.hellomerch.com/collections/lingua-ignota?fbclid=IwAR2xdNgH3XPbeQ676LgMFUz3QGM17kkqrgoZRDQ2lS9E_4AbhELOZ2bgag8
For more on the label, go here: https://profoundlorerecords.com/