Blades sharpen, ears bleed, and chills rush the body where shadows lay, LINGUA IGNOTA is ritualistic and thrives in this candle-lit realm where choirs of the dark arts repeat mantras. On CALIGULA, the hour-long séance takes the audience through both the warm surroundings of “FAITHFUL SERVANT FRIEND OF CHRIST” to the immediately daunting where “DO YOU DOUBT ME TRAITOR” is snarling and untamed.
“FAITHFUL SERVANT FRIEND OF CHRIST” is the musical adaption of the Ari Aster film Hereditary. The cult-esque tones and methods are present, with imagery of gore and desecration that continually gives the skin a reason to crawl. As “DO YOU DOUBT ME TRAITOR” is marched into the spotlight or subtle lowlights that fit the frame better; LINGUA IGNOTA is strikingly dramatic in a frankly upsetting performance.
She begins to call out in this hysterical abyss, “Satan, Satan, Satan, get beside me. Satan, Satan, Satan, fortify me. I don’t eat, I don’t sleep, I don’t eat, I don’t sleep… I let it consume me.” As her shouts become more frantic and clash against the headstrong strings, the timpani styled percussion is orchestrated but becomes unbearable with feedback. The harsh ability is resembling the frightening nature of unexpected jump scares but in audio formation.
Almost as if the record acts to be similar to a ‘found footage’ styled piece, LINGUA IGNOTA is terrifying and has this otherworldly presence to her. She shouts and cries to be heard, and her mix between authentic production and the synthetic is masterful. With samples of A Clockwork Orange as overlays or just piano and vocals like on “SORROW! SORROW! SORROW!,” there is a beauty to the chaos and a direction that is unmatched with sound.
Sonically, CALIGULA is a nightmare and mixes the operatic with the flagrant desire to harm, it bounds two opposite sides of the spectrum to one soul. Moments of CALIGULA could easily fit within La Scala Of Milan with the ornate beauty of its simplicity and approachability to the fine arts.
Then, LINGUA IGNOTA is a juggernaut who uses their power like a duchess of red mist. The Slaughter begins and takes the audience as no prisoners, the production is there to pulverize and offers no sense of reprieve anywhere.
But, through the 11 tracks on the hour-long experience, CALIGULA is more than just a record. It becomes this memory that can both haunt and inspire even far after the vocals come to a close.