Lingua Ignota - Caligula
Jul 19, 2019
87
Caligula is an excellent combination of soul-crushingly haunting, comforting and ethereal gorgeousness. But most importantly, IT AIN'T BUTTERFLIES AND RAINBOWS!

If you took a look at the top album releases this week, saw the acclaim this was getting and thought "oh, this is going to be a wonderful experience", then be prepared to not sleep tonight! As someone who first heard this album outside, in the woods during dawn, I can tell you that this was terrifying as hell.

I've talked frequently about my outdoor experiences in other reviews, mainly because I like being around nature. I wouldn't 100% call myself an outdoor person, I just don't like to be isolated and stuck indoors. With Caligula, I'd like to think that I made the right decision to take my listening experience outside instead of in my dark, shadowy bedroom, but during my early morning walk/hike, nature itself was creeping me out!

Near where I live, there are a lot of long foresty, very hilly areas with narrow, faintly recognizable trails that basically lead to nowhere. This is my typical morning routine: I'd just walk along, admire the view and listen to music. While the first track, "FAITHFUL SERVANT FRIEND OF CHRIST" was playing, I stumbled upon this dark alleyway that I never noticed was there. The first song had a very triumphant and blissful feel to it, but it definitely set the tone for the album. This track definitely gave off the feeling that something was wrong, and it was totally reflective of my real-life experience. I felt like going down that dark, ominous trail was wrong, but I went down anyways since I didn't see any actual problem!

The rest of the album played as I walked along the trail. It's interesting that Caligula is a much more haunting and captivating experience than its predecessor. I didn't expect Lingua Ignota to take her sound down even darker and tyrannical passageways, but I was impressed! Anyways, something felt wrong as I looked around. The trail was steep and narrow. Between me were patches of forest that were strangely dark and faint. It was hard to see far down the trail. At one point, I took my headphones off at "DAY OF TEARS AND MOURNING" to relax and listen to some of the sounds around me. I didn't hear any birds chirping, which was odd. The leaves and branches of trees also rustled loudly and disruptively even though I didn't feel a single breeze of wind. At this point, I was creeped out at the situation I got myself into. The trees and bushes were so thick, I couldn't see the skies above. It was just pure darkness!

I made the decision to walk back and GTFO'd! With my headphones back on, I finished the rest of the album. At around the last few minutes of the final track, "I AM THE BEAST", I got out of that dark foresty alley and I was relieved. I got to witness the sunrise, and I heard birds chirping even through my headphones while Lingua Ignota was still screaming my ears off! Then, as the sun shined and warmed the little flat field where I was standing, I heard the final notes of "I AM THE BEAST". The strange sense of elegance, beauty and comfort after all the insanity and terror of Caligula was so coincidentally fitting to what I felt at that moment.

Overall, I think it's safe to say that Caligula was one of the most interesting and unique experiences I've had this year musically! Even as someone who listened to All Bitches Die, her last album, to get a feel of what I was getting myself into, Caligula came off as a nightmarish, pleasant surprise! Despite the horror and eeriness of Ignota's music, it's equally powerful emotionally, calming, triumphant and bliss, and that's what truly makes it so engaging from start to finish.

With multiple listens, I'd say that this album doesn't lose its effectiveness and there's definitely a lot more to take in that would warrant many more listens. One problem I have with this album is that with all the screams, noise and horror that Caligula brings to the table, it does lose itself from time to time in its own insanity. When it's effective, it's incredibly powerful and chilling. When it's not, it loses some of its flavor and seems almost like random screaming. Despite that, I still enjoyed a large bulk of the material on here, and there's nothing stopping me from coming back to this many more times in the future!

Caligula is not for the faint of heart. It definitely can be hard to digest at times, and it can turn some people off. If you want some context and analysis of Caligula, I'd say check out nullsethope's review! We're going to get another Xiu Xiu situation where many people will love and hate this. It's gonna stabilize at around a 75.

Also, thank you very much for 500 followers! And also thank you for 100 followers on my singles account too! You guys are insane, lol.
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