Metal Hammer (UK)


A night of harrowing intensity in the heart of Hackney OSLO, LONDON


London doom outfit GRAVE LINES are a curious propositio­n. Their music recalls Paradise Lost circa Shades Of God with an infusion of Neurosisst­yle dynamics and the occasional synthesise­r interjecti­on. Frontman Jake Harding has a terrific voice – a rich croon as indebted to Scott Walker as Scott Kelly – and his between-song exchanges with the audience gesture at a likeable sort. There’s a little too much theatrical preening when he’s deep in performanc­e, which serves more to distract than build atmosphere, but it can’t be denied that the vocalist is a significan­t factor in the band’s uniqueness. That said, guitarist Oliver Irongiant, bassist Stgr’n Matt and drummer Julia Owen have a heavy chemistry that’s responsibl­e for conjuring some supremely hypnotic downer moments.

Kristin Hayter’s Lingua ignota project reached a pinnacle recently with the release of Caligula, an impressive­ly wrought song cycle drenched in pain and abjection, drawing on modern compositio­n, noise and chamber music to hammer home Hayter’s evocations of abuse and survival. It’s one of 2019’s heaviest albums, sonically and thematical­ly, with scarcely a riff to be heard. Alone onstage Hayter proves herself entirely committed to the material and in climbing speaker stacks, staging a mock hanging and invading the crowd, she takes full ownership of the space. Segueing from piano laments via thunderous percussion to vast swathes of low-end electronic noise, the set is essentiall­y a performanc­e of Caligula,

and in these hot, crowded confines, it’s mercilessl­y intense and claustroph­obic.

Alternatin­g between the roles of abuser and abused, Hayter nails the loss of individual­ism that characteri­ses co-dependency. ‘All I want is boundless love/all I know is violence’ she wails in

I Am The Beast and the lyric serves as a chilling summation of Caligula’s

central themes. Given the range of Hayter’s abilities it’s anybody’s guess where she’ll take this project next, but it’s unlikely to be dull.


 ??  ?? Kristin Hayter’s lingua Ignota project mines a dark psychologi­cal pit
Kristin Hayter’s lingua Ignota project mines a dark psychologi­cal pit

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