Black Reuss Explores Timeless Themes on Metamorphoses

By Deuce

There are album concepts and there are concept albums. Peruse through Black Reuss’ debut LP, Metamorphoses, and take a guess which one this is.

If the title alone doesn’t give you a hint, a gander at the song titles surely will. All of them are not quite monosyllabic—though many are—, but they all consist of a single word. Tunes like “Grief”, “Pride”, and “Zeal” populate this project. Moreover, they start off (in sequential order) at a level of abasement that gradually rises to the finale: “Exodus (Outro to Journey)”, which is the only cut with more than one word in it, though this fact is excused because of the parentheses.

Do the math, add it up, and the transformation alluded to in the name of this album is evoked one step, or rather one song, at a time. Beginning with the lower levels of trepidation and choler to a wholesale redemption evoked by tunes like “Acceptance” and “Love”, the journey referenced in the final track is mapped out for everyone to see and for him (or her) with ears to hear.

Thus, the artist is to be unequivocally lauded for the scope of this collection and its depth of subject matter which appears in some of the most timeless forms of art (specifically literature) known to mankind. As is the case with an oeuvre like Dante’s The Divine Comedy, the lower levels oftentimes provide better material for evoking pathos–or even just emotional responses–than their more accessible higher levels do.

Reuss’ heavy duty dosages of electric guitar—which are more appropriately termed metal on this album—are perfect for the angst and anguish unveiled in the first half of this album. “Incomplete” boasts immense chords, greatly adorned with “aahs” that sound like something out of the The Lost Boys flick (and its renowned soundtrack) while lamenting the fact that “everything sucks”. Not many artists can make depressing themes like drowning sound good, which is perhaps one of Reuss’ many accomplishments on this collection.

He works nothing short of a badass electric guitar riff aided by a big bass counterpart on “Grief” as he truly explores the depths of the depths. Give him credit for this fact, as well as his temperance for balancing such feelings of despair with a parity for the light, self-esteem, confidence, and a few other cardinal virtues—which is much more than most musicians kick on the mic these days.

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