Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Review: BURIAL HEX – 'In Psychic Defense'

'In Psychic Defense' 


This release collects pieces from several Burial Hex vinyl and cassette releases, out of print and much sought after. Yea, verily, here we have a long descent into catacombs of horror and ritual. From one end to the other, it's a fascinating ride.

The Opening track titled 'In Psychic Defense' the sound of unavoidable fate, a track in several parts that is complete like a perfect LP side. Ideas are allowed to develop at their own pace in a way that keeps the feeling of tension going throughout. Vocals range from a smooth post-punk croon to something that could be a cross between a black metal approach and Tibetan throat singing chant. 'In Psychic Defense' along with the extended ambiance of 'Hunger' would make a complete and satisfying experience, yet having so much more territory to explore in the rest of this collection is anything but excessive.

Old school electro beats and insinuating demonic voices meld with subtle atmospheric drones on 'Fantasia'. An image is evoked, like finding a patch in the midst of a city where the wilderness is reclaiming the structures and unknown beasts roam the grounds again where civilization has held sway. The very pretty arpeggios and portamento melodic part of 'Un Fuge' draw down the cosmos above and an unearthly voice adds something at once menacing and seductive. 'To Birth The Rotted Sun', cosmogenesis as body horror, majestic, martial, with aspects of unhinged hysteria. '[Or: War]' is a soundscape that is equally theatrical sound design, slow melodic motion and sheets of electronic noise. This track embodies the kind of abstract sound art that creates a sense of narrative even as it reveals no specifics.

'The Tower' – the title, (as does the title of the preceding track), calls to mind the tarot card, a portent of ruination and destruction. The calm, smooth groove suggests a more esoteric take on its meaning, an understanding of the formlessness of the eternal and the creative force in chaos and necessity of change for coming into being. This makes the perfect parabolic endoing point and for those who want to descend ever further into its mysteries, a movement that cycles right back to where this journey began.

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