Lingua Ignota
Caligula


4.0
excellent

Review

by Eames USER (6 Reviews)
July 20th, 2019 | 924 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Holy music for the unholy mass

Imagine a distant future. Centuries after the current civilizations, cultures and religions are replaced and forgotten. Against an orange dusk’s sky, towers some sort of cathedral of a style you have never seen. Dark facade, angular shapes and huge size make you feel small and intimidated. Inside there’s people underneath a dim neon glow – a ceremony is in process but instead of blessings you hear curses. Unlike the most religions we know today, this one celebrates violence instead of peace; destroying weaknesses and the weak instead of forgiveness; facing the pain instead of running away from it. A beautiful and powerful female voice viscerally screams hymns out, echoes reverberating off the cold, naked concrete walls. Synthetic organs saturated with distortion are so loud you can’t even hear them. The singer starts punching and whipping herself to the blood and the mass culminates with her collapsing on the floor.

Okay, that was edgy but it’s the image that comes to mind with Caligula. Even though very different from each other, much like Lustmord’s The Word As Power or Coil’s The Ape Of Naples, these albums is a religious music for no particular religion. Mostly just a voice and some harmonic rhythm – it’s bare and focused on words, how they sound or what they mean. It’s ceremonial: slow, dramatic, repetitive, repeating, recurring.

Like the previous All Bitches Die, Caligula follows the same formula: classical singing followed by guttural screams drenched in noise. But this time death industrial parts are reduced, with more focus being put on vocals and live instruments instead. We have already seen (heard) that Hayter has a great voice and now it’s pushed even further. There’s more emotion (like hyperventilated hysteria) and technique (like throat singing), more experimentation in reverb and harmonic layering. The quiet/loud effect is still used in almost every track, now with extra jumpscares. Some of them are recording imperfections, adding to the intimacy and “live” feeling of the record. Caligula is more ambitious and epic in its scale and atmosphere.

However it’s too epic for its own good, dragging on a bit too long and diminishing the grandiose effect along the way. There’s three times as many tracks and like a movie monster that with each scene becomes less frightening, same thing happens with the whole singing/screaming dynamic: the effect is less shocking and more tedious as the time goes on. It is possible to have too much of any good thing, after all. In comparison, All Bitches Die four (or five) tracks were self-sustained and longer passages gave more breathing room. In Caligula things change faster, not just between the tracks but within them too. Just like post-rock albums work better when they’re 4 tracks of 15 minutes instead of 15 tracks of 4 minutes, so does Lingua Ignota. Both make epic music and epic requires length, buildup, climaxes, pauses. On the other hand, Caligula achieves this on the album scale by having better defined acts. Openers, interludes and closers contribute to making the whole thing feel like an opera instead of an EP.

If you didn’t like Lingua Ignota before, Caligula most likely won’t change your mind since essentially it’s more of the same. But if you were a fan before, you should be even bigger one now. The album earns rating points by evolving, refining and polishing the predecessor. Yet the future third release better change the formula, or it will get repetitive if the formula is not changed.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
DoofDoof
July 20th 2019


4833 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

'We have already seen (heard) that Hayter has a great voice and now it’s pushed even further.'



She sounds like an average opera singer, bad at growling/screaming convincingly, and the 'throat singing' experimental humming stuff just sounds like ass



So no, an average singer, and often a flat out bad vocalist when she heads away from the more operatic stuff...to my ears

tectactoe
July 20th 2019


945 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I think there’s enough conviction in her screaming, and her operatic voice isn’t masterful, but it’s well enough to achieve the tones she’s going for here, imo anyway. This is more of a visceral experience than an album I’d want to listen to over and over again, but I’m on my third spin so far and I’m loving it more each time so who knows.

Nice review though, and I agree it does drag a little bit as a whole, would’ve been amazing closer to an hour. But this could easily wind up being my #2 for the year with time. (I don’t realistically see it jumping Fire! Orchestra’s Arrival for me tbh.)

Digging: The Appleseed Cast - The Fleeting Light of Impermanence

Eames
July 20th 2019


47 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you compare "normal" singers to opera's professionals, then a lot of them are worse. But that's a whole different game and can opera singers scream? If you compare Hayter to her competition, then she's at the top.

Gyromania
July 20th 2019


28227 Comments


worst album art of the year award

Eames
July 20th 2019


47 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wow rude

DoofDoof
July 20th 2019


4833 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

'If you compare Hayter to her competition, then she's at the top.'



There is no competition.



There's a reason for that.

tectactoe
July 20th 2019


945 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

that is the type of logic capable of stifling progressive creativity mate

DoofDoof
July 20th 2019


4833 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yeah bud, my strawberry jam and smoked mackerel pizza is coming soon, hope you like it

thedoom
July 20th 2019


267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What‘s so bad about the album art? Fits the music imo.

DoofDoof
July 20th 2019


4833 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

the lipstick is lopsided, and taken at the image size provided above, on the left side looks like she has an infection on her lip



it's just a reaction, young woman, lips...uh what's that? herpes. Might not kiss. Instinctive, from years of non experience.



I would not french kiss this album

Dimorphic
July 20th 2019


959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Let's be honest, hating on her voice for not being a perfect operatic voice is straight-up stupid considering she's not an opera singer and never professed to be one. That's like complaining that the vocalist of Hatebreed has a shit death-metal voice... It's not fucking death metal, lol. The vocals are the focal point of the album in that they're the method for release of the burning tensions of hatred / anger / fear or whatever represents her mindstate. The vocals aren't meant to be the smoothest thing you've ever heard, as that doesn't represent the release of anger. It makes sense they'd waver. Kinda hard to believe that's even a point of contention.

Digging: Dornenreich - Flammentriebe

DoofDoof
July 20th 2019


4833 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I wanted more music, less 'mindset'



I know the trauma she experienced fuels her art but if I have to really focus entirely on that then this just isn't for me, it's not that interesting in this context and its not very musically artful imo



It has some good moments sure, but as a complete project it's draining in a bad way and actually quite plain a lot of the time, a bit of a one toned trudge



the throat singing seems tryhard and consciously 'I need a performance art-y improvised element to seem so untethered and real'



Overall I find this album pretty transparent but mainly I just only like one song - and that's a problem with any album

Dimorphic
July 20th 2019


959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I was only talking about the vocals in regards to mindset, responding to your take on them. This is more musically-oriented than her last.

tectactoe
July 20th 2019


945 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

“yeah bud, my strawberry jam and smoked mackerel pizza is coming soon, hope you like it”



post pics

DoofDoof
July 20th 2019


4833 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I remember bailing out a few songs in on her last - I made it through this one twice and might even download one song...so progress.



This won't grow beyond that though, I know these things, two listens and out.

tectactoe
July 20th 2019


945 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

also am i the only one who thought for a split second, at first glance, it was a new lady gaga album?

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
July 20th 2019


7878 Comments


Not sure if I’m gonna check this or not I still don’t quite understand what it is

Digging: We Are Only Human Once - The Prettiest Boys in Town

DoofDoof
July 20th 2019


4833 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Lady Gaga with an STI



That's all too believable

tectactoe
July 20th 2019


945 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

implying she doesn’t have one

TVC15
July 20th 2019


10177 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I thought it looked like lipstick than a cold sore on first look...



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