Liechtenstein-based doom metal artist Black Reuss released his debut album, Metamorphosis, on June 4 via Black Reuss Music.
Speaking to Metamorphosis, Black Reuss says, “All is one, all seems to be in balance. All is one, the journey can begin now.”
Written while Black Reuss lived in Switzerland, the name – Black Reuss – has its source in the river Reuss, the Swiss river rising in the Gotthard massif in the middle of the country.
Black Reuss’s sound blends heavy metal with tints of melancholy, thick with the weight of dark, existential emotions mirroring the gravity of Reuss’s life experiences and perceptions. It’s the journey of man at war with himself and with the world around him, embracing the transformation imposed by living in the world and at the same time, outside the world.
Metamorphosis encompasses 13-tracks, beginning with “Incomplete,” opening on glittering tones, followed by a potent organ flowing into hefty, pummeling guitars. Dramatic choir-like voices fill the backdrop with numinous hues. Reuss’s rich, sepulchral voice imbues the lyrics with somber timbres. The harmonics shift from symphonic doom flavors to rippling, galloping surges of brawny guitars as a searing guitar-solo travels overhead.
Entry points include “Grief,” riding black rumbling drums as raging guitars pump out viscous textures. Soaring vocals give the lyrics cryptic urgency. Vaguely reminiscent of Slipknot, “Grief” is more concentrated and clotted.
A powerful drum shuffle introduces “Anger,” followed by snarling guitars topped by Reuss’s compelling voice, infusing the lyrics with gushing, solemn energy. A raw, ragged guitar spits ferocious colors on the solo, probably the best solo on the album because of its edgy, serrated shades.
A personal favorite, “Pride” pushes out hues of blackened gloom, featuring muscular, treacly guitars. Another outstanding track, “Acceptance” exudes gooey tendrils of mighty guitars, while ominous vocals infuse the lyrics with dread.
The intro to “Joy” simmers with smoldering surfaces segueing into beefy, growling guitars and a driving rhythm. The gravitational pull of the melody on this track is immersive and hypnotic.
Without a doubt, with Metamorphosis, Black Reuss has concocted one of the best doom metal albums of the year.