Lingua Ignota announcing Sinner Get Ready got many responses like: “Get Ready? We’re still recovering from Caligula!” If that seems hyperbolic, check out “Do You Doubt Me Traitor.” Kristin Hayter’s 2019 album Caligula is an emotional blunderbuss spanning neo-classical, death industrialist and apocalyptic folk. The self-proclaimed “butcher of the world” reached once-in-a-generation levels of raw intensity, forming her anguish into a weapon against her aflictors. After such a colossal exercise of trauma, Lingua Ignota’s followup strips back its harsh electronics, harnessing acoustic ruin for a harrowing spiritual journey.
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Sinner Get Ready paints a grim, desolate picture of the Pennsylvanian outback. Hayter makes use of over 40 instruments—with help from multi-instrumentalist Ryan Seaton and co-producer Seth Manchester of Machines With Magnets recording studio—along with some localized field recordings, including the incessant chirps of Cicadas. Lingua Ignota in 2021 may not favor distortion and screams, but Hayter’s art is no less arresting. Opener “The Order of Spiritual Virgins” sets the stage with an ornate tapestry of strings, woodwinds and piano, as Hayter’s reinstates her voice as a layered, ferocious, virtuosic force of nature. Themes of zealotry and isolation take effect as ethereal choirs and piano chords contrast against clattering percussion, catastrophic low-end and operatic belts.