11 Songs, 1 Hour 6 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

To put it mildly, San Diego-based artist Kristin Hayter’s second album under the Lingua Ignota name is not for the faint of heart. (Her first, it’s maybe worth noting, is called All Bitches Die.) A dark communion of neoclassical strings, industrial atmospherics and Hayter’s classically trained vibrato, Caligula is an arresting meditation on abuse, recovery and revenge. The opening “Faithful Servant Friend of Christ” sets the album’s tone early, showcasing both Hayter’s stirring vocal range and the complex religious themes that underpin most songs. On the funereal “Do You Doubt Me Traitor”, she sharpens her lyrics into weapons, even enlisting the Devil himself as an ally in her personal war against her abuser and herself (“I don’t eat/I don’t sleep/I let it consume me/How do I break you/Before you break me?”). This is not an uplifting journey through trauma to peace, however—the strangled wails and purgative screams of “Butcher of the World” and “Day of Tears and Mourning” speak to a catharsis without resolution or relief, only riddance. It’s an exhilarating, intense, apocalyptic jeremiad told with disarming honesty and starkness.

EDITORS’ NOTES

To put it mildly, San Diego-based artist Kristin Hayter’s second album under the Lingua Ignota name is not for the faint of heart. (Her first, it’s maybe worth noting, is called All Bitches Die.) A dark communion of neoclassical strings, industrial atmospherics and Hayter’s classically trained vibrato, Caligula is an arresting meditation on abuse, recovery and revenge. The opening “Faithful Servant Friend of Christ” sets the album’s tone early, showcasing both Hayter’s stirring vocal range and the complex religious themes that underpin most songs. On the funereal “Do You Doubt Me Traitor”, she sharpens her lyrics into weapons, even enlisting the Devil himself as an ally in her personal war against her abuser and herself (“I don’t eat/I don’t sleep/I let it consume me/How do I break you/Before you break me?”). This is not an uplifting journey through trauma to peace, however—the strangled wails and purgative screams of “Butcher of the World” and “Day of Tears and Mourning” speak to a catharsis without resolution or relief, only riddance. It’s an exhilarating, intense, apocalyptic jeremiad told with disarming honesty and starkness.

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