Clay Ruby’s Burial Hex is an extremely productive outfit, with really tens of tens of recordings and releases. And you know, Clay is active under other monikers and in different constellations as well, with much more releases going on. But okay, that is nothing but an objective remark, with no consequences whatever for this review.
This chronicle deals with another compilation, once again via Cold Spring Records, one of the oldest and most influential labels within the worldwide Industrial / Noise / Ambient / Drone scene. Throne is a compilation of five older tracks, taken from four different vinyl releases from the past.
The collective work opens with the title track, which was originally released in 2008 via Aurora Borealis as part of a split with Belgian act Sylvester Anfang II (a side-project of Sylvester Anfang). It stands for a mixture of the known Horror Electronics they’re known for, sadistically mixed with elements of Harsh Noise (not exactly the HNW-kind, yet rather the Experimental one) and Power-Electronics-induced Ultra-Drone (I just invented this terminology, but it fits). It’s like a funereal ritual, an obscure journey through horrific dimensions, repetitive yet permanently breath-taking, even asphyxiating, with tortured voices and screeching noises. Next come the two pieces from their split with the great act Iron Fist Of The Sun. the original 12” split-Ep was released in 2011 via Cold Spring, and it shows a less ritual yet more post-apocalyptic side of the project, quite horrific and violent. The first half of The Coming Of War combines rusty Power Electronics with merciless vocal invocations, cutting your eardrums sadistically without any sedation, without warning, without remorse. It’s like a soundtrack to celebrate the roots of the final war. The second half initially is more like a collage of sounds, like a beasty sample-collage that introduces the possible forms of life-endings, before turning into a somewhat melancholic post-war-alike ambient drone. In a way, that last part is kind of ‘beautiful’ in its inherent darkness, for carrying an emotional weight. Acteaon then again, the second track from that 2011-split, is like an invocative ritual for Baphomet. The soundscapes consist of evil voices, weird samples and field recordings, elements from Noise and Drone-Ambient, and a huge dose of madness in general. Especially the sonic experiments in the second half of this composition remind of a mechanical post-life vision, where only tortured souls dwell around, suffering from their insignificant non-existence. The fourth composition is the lengthy track The Feast Of Saints Peter And Paul (18:43), taken from the From The Rites Of Lazarus 12” EP from 2010 (originally available via Urashima). It is, to my concern, a monumental soundtrack, with its deep, heavy droning rumbles, those noisy sounds, and that ultimately grim, obscure atmosphere. Despite being less intense and bombastic in approach and performance than many other creations from that era, this particular piece oppresses with its enormously ominous atmosphere. The semi-sober, even dreamlike minimalism stands in harsh contrast with the almost demonic sentiment. Towards the end everything gets harsher, as if Heaven gets attacked fiercely by a horde of post-nuclear Fallen Angels (close your eyes and imagine…). Seriously, you’re almost craving for the fires of Armageddon; flames licking on your feet, fire balls like comets destroying your sense of reason. This collection ends with the very lengthy (about twenty-two minutes of length) track Armagiddion, initially released on the 12” EP Bagirwa Hymn in 2009 via Italian Von. It’s a somewhat psychedelic experience, with weird Dark Ambient-injected melodies, bizarre drones and mesmerizing soundwaves. Here too there’s a well-transitive change after about half of the soundtrack, turning the whole from a rather esoteric soundscape into harsher experience, slowly building up towards an almost ironically intolerable beauty of painful noises.
This is the third volume of the compilation series that focuses on rare and sold-out vinyl material by Burial Hex, and therefore a recommendation if 1) you like the project and 2) you are looking for such rare older stuff once created and composed by Clay Ruby. Or 3) because you read my review and discovered a secret interest for this artist or his Music. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was a limitation in the number of copies, so in any of those three cases: hurry up - you’ve been warned! I cannot but recommend such aural spectacle, for it’s just too attractive in all senses: the rarity of the stuff and the superb quality of the material.