The balance of absurd violence and incredible, biological beauty captured in the artwork for Burial Hex’s final album, The Hierophant, is also a theme that runs through Clay Ruby’s music. The opening moments of “Final Love,” the song that we have the pleasure of premiering below, is one such voracious, passionate example, with dramatic, sentimental piano not so much played as stabbed out. At high velocity. In primal fits.
The track, which features animalistic percussion and lush, aggressive samples, marks a transition from the stark, idyllic opening of the album into Ruby’s dark, infinitely massive center of a title track, the album’s tipping point from harmonic order into chaos. People face such tipping points in casual life too, from the mundane (“brunch,” University lassitude, news with headlines like H U S B A N D S T E A L S C A R ; H I G H S P E E D P U R S U I T W I T H S O N I N B A C K S E A T) to much grander things, like the futility that comes with being alive and self-aware. Or the feeling of being under the heel of Man’s boot. Being mortal. Whatever he’s screaming about — phonetically, it sounds really deep — Ruby flays his tattered, shredded vocal chords in a bloody mess all over the track, and it’s absolutely brutal.
The Hierophant drops November 18 on Handmade Birds on limited vinyl and CD. Pre-order the vinyl edition and you’ll get a code to download a remix of the entire album, titled The Shadow Sessions. Now, stick this in your ear, and have an intense existential crisis: