ALBUM: Lingua Ignota – ‘SINNER GET READY’

“And all that I’ve learned / is everything burns” laments Lingua Ignota aka Kristin Hayter on ‘Pennsylvania Furnace’, the fourth track on her latest album SINNER GET READY – an apt sentiment for a record that blazes with a unique orchestral agony.

Released via Sargent House, Hayter’s fourth full length offering is an emotional exorcism inspired by the severe brand of Christianity in rural Pennsylvania where she currently lives. Its strictness permeates her vision to the core; her lyrics, majestic hymn-like instrumentation and gothic aesthetic smoulder with a righteous thirst that can only be sated by the blood of Jesus – a recurring lyrical and visual motif on the album.

Whilst it’s clear that Hayter has made a distinct departure from the furious, visceral sounds of CALIGULA, her sensational vocals are still the lifeblood of SINNER GET READY. She uses her voice to devastating effect, harrowing up the soul with her effortless ability to switch from a soft, divine cry to a cord-ripping, desperate plea. She is like a one woman version of the chorus of ancient furies that saturate Greek mythology; Medea-like in her repulsion, relentless in the revenge she reeks upon the souls who cross her path.

From the unsettling, majestic keys of epic opener ‘The Order Of Spiritual Virgins’ on which she warns “Hide your children / hide your husband / I am relentless / I am incessant / I am the ocean” to the theatrical, cathedral-worthy organ on ‘I Who Bend The Tall Grasses’, Hayter’s furious summons often give the impression of a preacher who has lost their way. Her guttural, spitefully shouted lyrics “I don’t give a fuck / just kill him / you have to / I’m not asking” on the latter are matched by the violent imagery on ‘Repent Now Confess Now’ – “He will knock the breath from you / he will ram your eyes with glass” – all culminating to create a palpable sense of dread.

A vessel for exposing rage, hypocrisy and suffering; Hayter leaves no stone unturned. She blends self and social flagellation together effortlessly on three tracks that centre around the questionable sincerity of disgraced American Evangelist TV Preacher Jimmy Swaggart. The audio of his televised confession is layered over the instrumentation at the end of ‘The Sacred Linament Of Judgment’, featuring his “blood of Jesus'” remark which Hayter then uses as a lyrical backbone for the sombre ‘Perpetual Flame Of Centralia’. It’s bookended with ‘Man Is Like A Spring Flower’, which opens with the audio of an interview with the prostitute who brought Swaggart’s indiscretions to the surface, embellished by Hayter’s potent, destructive lyric “The heart of man is a furnace.”

With her archaic song titles, immersion into Christian iconography and distinctive vocal delivery, Hayter invites her listeners to dwell in the chaotic, divine abyss on SINNER GET READY. “Do you want to be / in hell with me?” she asks – if hell sounds like this, we’ll gladly walk into the flames. Even without a full understanding of the album’s religious context, SINNER GET READY provides a profound emotional release.

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Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: Lingua Ignota – ‘PERPETUAL FLAME OF CENTRALIA’

A sombre, affecting lament that centres on a lyrical motif underscoring her upcoming album SINNER GET READY, Lingua Ignota aka Kristin Hayter has shared her latest single ‘PERPETUAL FLAME OF CENTRALIA’. Accompanied by an elegant set of visuals that show the multi-instrumentalist wearing exquisite couture pieces created by artist & Sargent House label mate Ashley Rose, the track & video focus on the iconography of the blood of Jesus and how it can “wash and cleanse every stain,” as disgraced American Evangelist TV Preacher Jimmy Swaggart once tearfully confessed.

Shot by Emily Birds, Ashley Rose’s beautiful bespoke costumes in the footage serve to heighten the majestic, yet morbid nature of Hayter’s voice and vision. “Working collaboratively with Ashley has been a dream,” Hayter explains. “I have been able to explore the ideas of my record with wearable art. I chose to wear her mask on the cover of SINNER GET READY because it held the sharp dichotomy of my music; it was chaste and erotic, exquisite and grotesque. For the ‘PERPETUAL FLAME OF CENTRALIA’ video, the expressive capacity of her garments are meditated upon in juxtaposition to the stark, desolate quality of my song. It is the material vs. the immaterial, and the result is languid and dreamy and wonderfully claustrophobic.”

With her new record, Lingua Ignota has made a distinct departure from the furious, visceral sounds of previous offering CALIGULA, but her sensational vocals are still the lifeblood of the album. On ‘PERPETUAL FLAME OF CENTRALIA’, they tentatively unravel over sparse, melancholy keys so that even without a full understanding of the track’s biblical context, Hayter’s song still provides a profound emotional release.

Watch the video for ‘PERPETUAL FLAME OF CENTRALIA’ below.

Pre-order SINNER GET READY here (released on 6th August via Sargent House)

Follow Lingua Ignota on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Photo Credit: Lisa Birds

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LIVE: Lingua Ignota – Oslo, London 30.11.19

Catharsis incarnate: Lingua Ignota‘s sold out show at Hackney’s Oslo on Monday night was a vicious, vulnerable affair. The industrial multi-instrumentalist’s hair-raising vocal range and dramatic performance style held her crowd in captivated silence as she used her pitch perfect voice to sing songs about vengeance and violence.

With a set-list formed primarily of new material from her recent album Caligula, Lingua Ignota aka Kristin Hayter used minimal, effective lighting to help deliver her brutal truths. Sometimes screened by a translucent plastic sheet at the back of the stage, sometimes strung up by her own hand with the wires from her lights – Hayter mastered the art of appearing calm as she intermittently screamed her lungs out. Whilst all of the songs performed were worthy of merit, her rendition of ‘Do You Doubt Me Traitor’ cut the deepest. It’s a powerful, vilifying song designed to unsettle and ignite fury and Hayter used her operatic voice as a weapon to do just that.

Like an Anglerfish that dwells in dark waters attracting its prey with a dazzling light, Hayter used her portable spotlight to lure and illuminate her audience when she broke the fourth wall. The crowd obediently flocked towards her wielding their smart phones (naturally desperate to document the moment), but as with all live music, it’s best appreciated without the shield of a screen. Hayter’s fearless taking up of other people’s space perfectly accompanies her cutting lyrics about taking down those who deny her self-autonomy.

A survivor of abuse and industry misogyny (read her interview with The Guardian here), Hayter has defiantly risen from the ashes in Phoenix-like fashion, and her live performance was proof of this. Her interrogative spotlight is not easy to escape and her powerful voice is impossible to ignore.

Kate Crudgington
@kcbobcut