I have the feeling that Burial Hex has been around for a long time. I do not know why I get this impression, and it is true that the project of Clay Ruby has been around for about ten years now, but listening to his music it really gives me this impression of a true veteran, someone who has been around for more than thirty years. Maybe it has something to do with the vastness of the back catalogue, which makes releases like Throne that much more special.
Cold Spring, one of the most important extreme music outlets, has collected a few rare and out-of-print recordings of Burial Hex and released three compilations, starting with Book of Delusions in 2012, In Psychic Defense which came out a couple years later, and last year's Throne. And all these works document the various periods of Burial Hex and tell us a lot about the evolution of the artist from the early days, to works such as The Hierophant and beyond.
It is an extreme ride that we are going through, and it helps to see how far this guy was pushing sounds a few years back. Now you will say: “Is he not doing that still today?” Sure he is, but Throne features some of the more brutal and visceral instances of Burial Hex, in a concentrated dose and during a much rawer time. “Throne” comes from the split with Sylvester Anfang and it features some of the harsher material from the project, coming down with heavy bass drops and extreme noise, it features the heavily distorted vocals that drenched the music with their presence during that period.
“The Coming War” out of the split with Iron Fist of The Sun, at first takes a cue from “Throne,” dwelling even deeper within the hostile and disfigured side of extreme experimental music, pushing the limit with its dissonance, while the vocals appear to be, at the same time, very human and unbelievably monstrous. The ending of the track actually sees a movement towards minimalism, as big drones sweep the dystopian elements away and bring in a mesmerizing sense of grandeur, which carries on in the darkened “Actaeon” (from the same split,) displaying an intense vision of ritualism.
The final two tracks take their influence from a religious background, referring to saints, in “The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul” from From The Rites of Lazarus, and the end of the world, in “Armagiddion” from Bagirwa Hymns. This is where the elusive element of Burial Hex truly forms, keeping a majestic tone and exploring ethereal aspects, as both compositions keep evolving through a spiralling, everlasting process, with the establishment of dreamscapes and their deconstruction in a sea of noise and chaos.
It is a trip through the mindset of Burial Hex, and a magnificent souvenir of previous manifestations of the project, revealing how great this music has always been, and making us want to listen to more new material from Ruby.
8.3 / 10
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