Clay Ruby is putting to rest his band Burial Hex. It’s a sad thing for those of us who have enjoyed the experiments this group has created over the past 10 years, but everything was headed this direction anyway, wasn’t it? So “The Hierophant” is Burial Hex’s final statement, and is it ever heavy.
Those new to Burial Hex, where to start? Mixing ambiance, post-rock, electronics, death metal, pop, you name it into the cauldron, Ruby’s project always has been one of the most interesting and least compromising, literally making each new release (and there are tons) a giant question mark. This album opens ominously enough with “Winter Dawn,” a track that lives up to its name, with strings building, guitars calling out, and chilled vocals vowing, “I will face my 34th year.”
From there, it’s a mish mash, from the noise and croaked vocals of “Final Love,” where Ruby vows to “fight alone, die alone,” to the moody, woodsy, poetic “Never Dying,” to the incredible closer “The Most Foolish Son Is Always the Oldest One,” which is dressed in Appalachian folk, slinking synth pop, jazzy noir, and more deeper-than-deep singing that could put a hole in your heart. I’ll forever miss Burial Hex, but at least we have records such as “The Hierophant” to hold dear to us. (Brian Krasman)