Album Review: Agnus Dei – Lingua Ignota


Having recently announced just the title of an upcoming album, it felt fitting to highlight this relatively newly released EP from experimental extraordinaire, Lingua Ignota.

Kristin Hayter, the woman behind Lingua Ignota, set forth this four track album into the world a few months back, and if you have not yet had the pleasure to listen to it, it is highly urged to do so now. “AGNUS DEI” begins with the track “IN TONGUES (Prelude),” a short piece that opens with a bellowing pipe organ and a gleeful child’s voice blended with cheerful theme park screams.

“When you feel the presence of God, time goes by fast.”

The meek voice is soon overtaken by a flood of feedback and the next track’s maw opens wide. Track two, “SEXLESS // NO SEX,” begins with a low register that blasts away every darkened corner of its idling dust. The jittering pops of static call to mind thousands of skittering bugs moving quick across cold cement floors; it truly is such a hateful noise. 

“Just death, just death.”

Hayter brings a much more horrific spin to this Iron Lung song with its replacement of those sharp dirge-like pangs of the guitar with her haunting blown-out keys. Trading shouted words for operatic yowls makes this track sound as though you’re hearing a wrongly jailed maiden singing from the chilly floor of her cell somewhere; her painful howls traveling up from the gutters. “WHERE’ER YOU WALK (Hesse/Handel)” features Alexis Marshall of Daughters reading the poem “I Know, You Walk” by Hermann Hesse. His monotone speaking lost in the wavering, coming across as just another screeching wave of noise amid the din. 

“Lower my gaze, and hurry, full of dread.”

According to Bandcamp, this piece is based on the sounds of George Frideric Handel. The influence can be heard as the scathing compressions back off leaving Hayter’s voice and keys to puncture the air. A dread-infused, baroque-inspired rhythmic drive, if you will. The final and longest track on the album is “AGNUS DEI,” a Johann Sebastian Bach piece. The scraping grit with an ethereal twisting of rusted dejectedness makes for a truly unique listen. Hayter’s voice is impeccable floating above the clipping soundscape she provides this track with. This is what attending a choir performance as hellfire rains down from the blistering sky must be like.

This album is a drifting spirit in a wretched dress; beauty in its most horrifying form. Lower your gaze, and hurry along.

Rating: 5/5

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