Following February’s ace “Agnus Dei”, Hayter has developed that album’s mix of time-locked political church-baiting and sacred music reinterpretations into one of the most ambitious rock-adjacent albums we’ve heard this year. Her booming words command the tone of the album, which echoes like church music written in spite of, not because of the power of American organized religion.
Hayter is a critical force, and uses the voice of Jimmy Swaggart, an evangelist preacher who was defrocked after a series of sex scandals, on the powerful ‘THE SACRED LINAMENT OF JUDGMENT’. But she refuses to leave the conversation one-sided, sampling an interview with Rosemary Garcia, the sex worker who Swaggart was caught with, on ‘MAN IS LIKE A SPRING FLOWER’.
These songs punctuate an album that’s dense and pointed. Hayter sings over piano, pipe organ (‘I WHO BEND THE TALL GRASSES’), hurdy gurdy (‘THE SACRED LINAMENT OF JUDGMENT’) and booming analog synth (‘THE ORDER OF SPIRITUAL VIRGINS’), and creates a sound that feels hooked into her history. It’s folk music, sacred music and, in some ways, classical, but Hayter’s assembly of these elements is dangerous and unmistakably experimental.
“SINNER GET READY” is as powerful and as impenetrable as the gnarliest black metal, but isn’t afraid to show beauty in amongst the clouded, frozen expanses. Highly recommended.