Review

Lingua Ignota

Sinner Get Ready

Sargent House • 2021

Round three of Kristin Hayter’s reckoning with her tormentor, who subjugated her in a years-long relationship and is quasi representative for all power-hungry assholes who regard women as lackeys, slaves, objects (and who seems to be a confessed greatness in the noise scene on the US East Coast). Fair enough, or not. That hate, like many negative emotions, can fuel creativity in general is well known, at least since the early days of East American noise projects or Scandinavian black metal excesses in ’94. Hayter, however, seems to be able to draw musical and lyrical inspiration incessantly from her own biography alone, with her albums so far sometimes more, sometimes less dedicated to personal catharsis – on »Get Ready Sinner« perhaps more intimately than ever before. Instead of noise, neoclassical darkwave, avant-folk and chamber music now color the musical backgrounds of tracks like »Many Hands« or »The Sacred Linament Of Judgment«, against which she presents her still impressive vocal performances. They’re inspired by all manner of Western and native vocal traditions: Bulgarian chorales, Christian liturgical songs, Appalachian rituals, elegiac abbations at the grave. Hayter’s influences are as tangled and wild as her biography. But they are not only personal experiences, but also contemporary reflections on what we can and may understand by religion today – its spiritual and institutionalized side – which, as Lingua Ignota, she confronts with a confrontational, at times disturbing ruthlessness. Her charitable ambitions on the one hand and her systematic mistreatment of children on the other. The conclusion seems as brutal as it is inescapable: the Church has failed and betrayed its own moral maxims. Nevertheless, the search for God continues, away from conventions, in sound and in writing. For Lingua Ignota both still play a role – and on »Sinner Get Ready« (yet) it works.