Review: Burial Hex ‘Gauze’

Something is always lurking. Lurking where? In among the beauty, of course. Hidden within it, as it is part of it also. From its outset in 2004, Burial Hex has been delivering unique soundscapes of what’s been labelled ‘horror electronics’ by Clay Ruby, the main creative force behind the project. Burial Hex is defined as a composition cycle, with the previous cycle coming to an end in 2011. It seems this release might be capping a second cycle for Burial Hex, which would appear to encompass music produced between 2011 and 2021, such as the material on this album.

Burial Hex 'Gauze'

There’s a depth to the music of Burial Hex that challenges the listener. It often gives a sense of unique balance among many elements, some harsher than others. The way it carries us on a journey is effortless. It seems to speak from another place, a place of some authority: Sensation as information. More than horror, for me it evokes dread, as in existential, but in a completely sensorial way. The feeling of witnessing a historic moment of unprecedented magnitude unlocking hidden realities that had always been present, unnoticed. The way in which many elements are subtly handled for effect carries throughout the album, always playing with our rational mind but never fully engaging it.

The feeling of a transcendent presence opens from the start. Moody strings set the stage for their arrival. A superb electronic production seeps in like fog. We feel the loneliness out at sea in the first track, Lost Sailor. The waves rock us. The vastness hides us.

On tracks like Lions Breath and Auspices, you may close your eyes at your own peril. There’s so much going on sonically, that the wealth of the experience gives the mind plenty of homework. Treasure Spirits is a powerful track, a great listen for a rainy day.

The way in which many elements are subtly handled for effect carries throughout the album…

Sed Libera Nos A Malo is a ritual all its own. Sounds of cathedrals built of stone and suffering, but also hope. The depth of Burial Hex’s music is in its capacity to give sense to contradictions, even if only to the senses. Prayers are heard, listened to and answered. Pain endures.

On Double Scorpio, we’re again traveling on the water, although this one is deceivingly calm, distractingly present in its silence. Onward we travel. A song comes through, not only from without, also within the planetary influx on the soul. On the next track, back on ground, something is afoot. Drama, as per usual. No wonder sailors keep sailing away. Gauze is painful, as it seems to prick at emotional wounds, which we’d otherwise like to imagine away.

Two Rivers brings drums in like the banging of river rapids dragging large rocks, or the drums of war, equally difficult to stop once they’re rolling. Burial Hex remains calm and balanced above the fray, at once invoking and restraining their magic. Flowing naturally at all times, this album is a fascinating path across the galaxy within.

Gauze releases on March 11th in digipak CD format, with mixing and mastering by Nathaniel Ritter and Clay Ruby, featuring unique cover artwork by Zemaemidjehuty Setepentoth. The art, lyrics, and sound were all layered together specifically for the purpose of being a ‘prophylactic talisman and ward for the families directly involved with the Burial Hex project, though it can be effective for anyone who needs an extra layer of defense’. It is dangerous to go alone. Take this.

Label: Cold Spring Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Goro Riffs