Lingua Ignota @ 18:45 in Green Room // ROADBURN FESTIVAL 2019
Having had the pleasure of witnessing Lingua Ignota perform a week earlier at Royal Metal Fest, that show was simply so intriguing that I had to go see her special solo performance once more here at Roadburn Festival, a festival where her eclectic avant-garde music is, expectedly, more at home than at Royal Metal Fest, drawing a gigantic crowd at the Green Room stage even before Molasses next door at the Main Stage have finished their set. Lingua Ignota seems to value the intimacy of her performances very highly as she has once again not placed herself on the actual stage but rather right in the middle of the crowd. The room is in complete darkness with a creepy, seemingly authentic recording of a city on fire projected behind the stage to further cement the thick atmosphere of her show. I am instantly touched as she begins her absolutely masterful vocals behind some mellow sounding synths, performing some kind of tribalistic ritual by placing lights inside different parts of the audience, actually appearing right in front of me at one point with a tortured expression on her face. It is simply captivating and every part of this art installation draws you in, even though the music might not be that memorable in a traditional sense of the word. A harrowing cover of Dolly Parton’s turns the lover’s qualm of the original country song into pure desperation with a single piano as instrumentation, once again showing what a one of a kind talent she really is with her voice, chillingly beautiful in one moment, possessed demonic screaming in the next.
The show evolves into unimaginable horrific synth bass as she proceeds to swing around this contraption of ropes and light bulbs, menacingly causing the shades of the audience to crawl around the walls. I can’t stress enough that to me this is art more so than music, as I probably wouldn’t pop this type of disorienting noise on at home, but man is it effective in a live setting, though the placement of Lingua Ignota in the middle means that it can be really hard to see what’s going on at times, and I can only imagine what it would be like to be all the way in the back. There is one moment where I think the extreme is probably pushed a bit too far, as there is a point where it actually sounds like a speaker has been blown out (though I later find out that the broken sound was on purpose), causing the beautiful melancholic vocals to be buried in crackling noise, which takes me out of the trance a bit. The show is ended off in a heart-stabbing manner after that little hiccup though, as I can’t hold back a tear when the haunting words of “Holy is the Name (Of My Ruthless Axe)” is sung beautifully but also emotionally broken: ”All my rapists lay beside me, all my rapists cold and grey.” I notice that I am far from the only one in the crowd visibly touched by this cathartic ending to a mesmerizing show, and I really feel lucky that Lingua Ignota is brave enough to share her pain and suffering through her music with the rest of the world, cause something really special is emanating from her. Go watch her if you have the chance and a bit of an open mind.  KW
(full feature via Rock Freaks)