Some albums are so remarkable, they take root under your skin the second you hear them. CALIGULA – the second album from US experimentalist Lingua Ignota, also known as Kristin Hayter – is one such album. Brutal, ugly and deeply cathartic, it's an astonishing piece of work that tackles life as a survivor of domestic abuse.
Confronting the myriad conflicts that come from living with (and subsequently surviving) abuse – from craving the love of those who hurt you all the way through to 'dropping their body in the fucking river' – it unflinchingly turns that conflict into visceral, honest art.
If it sounds like a difficult listen, that's because it is. And if it makes you feel uncomfortable, that's because it's meant to. Lyrically vulnerable but furiously confrontational all at once, CALIGULA forces listeners to confront Hayter's demons alongside her, and delight in their vengeance as she mercilessly berates and conquers them.
Musically, it's no easier. Resolutely difficult to categorise, CALIGULA layers caustic, operatic vocals with orchestral instrumentation, black metal inspiration, flashes of trip hop, obscured blast-beats, punishing rhythms and dark, hypnotic folk. It's not hyperbolic to state it's quite unlike anything you've likely heard before.
Here, Hayter talks us through the brilliant CALIGULA one track at a time.