“Aren’t you concerned you could infect other people if you get sick inside?”
“People who don’t go to this church-”
“No, I’m covered in Jesus’s blood. I’m covered in Jesus’s blood.”Woman interviewed by CNN entering a church in April 2020, sampled at the beginning of THE SOLITARY BRETHREN OF EPHRATA
On her phenomenally intense and altogether astonishing latest album, Lingua Ignota/Kristen Haytor sticks her claws deeply and violently down the throat of Christian theology, pulling out bloodies entrails that even fellow damned theological researcher Nick Cave feel a little queasy. She highlights the duality and crazed hypocrisy of blind devotion, while also seeming to float the thought of requesting the all-powerful dominance (you could almost call it ‘biblical’) of that good old fashioned Old Testament God to help soother her own wounds by inflicting painful reckoning on the people that have hurt her. Well, I say ‘people’… Men. It’s not a nice story. It’s a grim and horrific story that seems to have been continued recently in her relationship with Daughters‘ frontman Alexis Marshall. I’m not going to cover any of this in detail in this piece, but I feel it is important to be aware of.
The anger and malicious retributory intent reaches such an apex on I WHO BEND THE TALL GRASS, when Hayter sems to collapse to her knees, shivering with rage as she references Corinthians 2:14 and begs God’s help to ‘Take hold of my gentle axe and split him open/Gather up my quiet hammer and nail him down/Use any of your heavenly means/Your golden scythe/Your holy sword/Your fiery arrows studded with stars’ before abandoning any pretence of deference and simply screaming ‘I don’t give a fuck/Just kill him/You have to/I’m not asking’. It’s an absolute fucking trip.
I feel like it’s my duty to warn Ms Hayter though, that such aggressive recital, such pained requests to a transactional relationship with God, is an easy way to mistakenly summon a demon. Yes, yes, we all want to summon a demon, you kids think it’ll be cool or lit or hip to summon your own little metal as fuck demon to do your bidding and guarantee TikTok clout, but be very wary. I actually summoned a demon recently to dispatch of Michael Nesmith of The Monkees, as his love of Vaporwave was just making the entire scene so horrendously uncool. The demon I summoned, Oathkeeper the Unstartled, did the job to an admirably professional standard, I have no complaints at all about the level of service I received and was sure to leave him a five star review on RateMyFiend.org. However, what they I don’t tell you about demon summoning is that it’s a one way street, there’s no way back for the demon after you’ve summoned them into this realm. So, while you’re unlikely to have any complaints about the dark service procured, you’re suddenly stuck with a scaly, monstrous, thousand year old hell beast under your responsibility.
So Oathkeeper the Unstartled – of ‘Oafy’, as I call him – has been sleeping on my sofa for the past few weeks. It’s awkward on so many levels. Firstly, Oafy generally likes to sleep in, as he’s up all night playing Fall Guys on my PlayStation, often waking me up at 3am with his deathly roars, calling into question the sexual propriety of the mother of some twelve year old from Minnesota after they pushed him off the side in the Whirlygig level. I get up early to go to work, and since Oafy is sleeping in the front room I can’t leave through the front door and have to go through the back door, taking out all of the rubbish that I keep trying to remind him to take out! Also, this is a single wage household, and I’m now expected to also support the voracious habits of a ravenous hell spawn. The goats! Sweet lord the goats!! Relatively easy to obtain, admittedly, but expansive as fuck to procure a fresh carcass twice a day. And seriously, you should see the blood stains on my good rug now. The virgins though?? How easy do you think it is to procure suitable virgins in today’s market?? My internet search history is absolutely fucked now, so thanks a lot, Oafy. I originally went straight to the all girls Catholic schools, but that was always a legally dubious way to spend my weekday evenings. Luckily, I’ve since realised that I was aiming way too high, and since it’s not legally defined what gender these virgins need to be, I’ve simply been catfishing Reddit message boards. Yes, Oafy, I know that virgin girls taste better, but do you not think I’ve also had to make some compromises recently?? What, you think I should throw Oafy out on the street? He’s a 6’000 year old undocumented migrant! What else is he going to do?? I’d just be exposing poor Oafy to exploitation, poverty, and a dangerous lack of virgins. How callous do you think I am?? Besides, I’m English, do you have any idea how rude it’s considered to summon someone into your field of reality and then not treat them like the guest they are??Imagine the looks I’d get at the next church fair! No, I’ll learn to accept living with Oafy, as long as I always make sure I’m first in the shower. The… things… he does… in there…
Christ, how did I manage to make any jokes while talking about an album as traumatic, as terrifying and as emotionally scarring as ‘SINNER GET READY’? I’m obviously a genius. But even I’m not on the same level as the generational genius of Lingua Ignota. And, as an aside, it’s another example of Seth Manchester’s immense talents.