Last year I added Kristin Hayter of Lingua Ignota to this list. I was genuinely shocked when I first heard "All bitches Die", because of her intense, chilling screams - barely human, and especially not "female" at all. Music is rarely really frightening, but this really shook me to the bone.
So I was really eager to pick up the follow up record, Caligula. From the song titles alone you can already tell this are not really love songs: Butcher Of The World, If The Poison Won't Take You My Dogs Will, Fucking Deathdealer, and so on.
On this record Kristen has been assisted by some high profile musicians (Full of Hell, Uniform et al.). So musically it's a much more diverse affair, with the piano playing an important role. I have
to say this suits her (classically trained) vocals well, although I feel screaming is really her "unique selling point". She does some interesting throat singing as well this time (Fragrant Is My Many Flower'd Crown and Sorrow! Sorrow! Sorrow!), and at times even sounds a lot like Tori Amos ( May Failure Be Your Noose).
The violent and larger-than-life lyrics are an important part of what makes her so interesting, and, as before, they are based on her violent past (she was a victim of sexual abuse in her past). If I had to compare this record to her previous, I would say this is a more therapeutic record. "All bitches die" is rawer, it is the sound of a psychotic girl running around the street screaming, and harassing random passers-by. "Caligula", on the other hand, is Kristen lying on the couch of a shrink, recalling traumatic events from her past. Somehow it sounds more controlled and "safer" than before.
"Caligula" is a very good record, that will surely appeal to the hipster crowd. It's certainly more accessible than her previous record. Personally I would have liked a bit more screaming and a bit
less piano. Then again, this is probably a logical evolution, which should give her a lot more exposure to adventurous music lovers.