Elder Statesman: From Black Reuss to “Vide Cor Meum”

According to Business 2 Community, people listen to tons of music: “The average time spent listening weekly is 16 hours and 14 minutes, a significant increase from 2020’s 15 hours and 12 minutes.”

Much more difficult to quantify is how many people read music reviews? I couldn’t find any pertinent data on this topic, which, since I write music reviews would be illuminating. I mean if no one’s reading them, why bother writing them, right?

Yet ever optimistic, I continue writing simply because I enjoy music and want to share my passion for certain singles, EPs, albums, and artists with others. On one hand, it’s probably naïve, while on the other hand probably latently narcissistic, wanting to believe my likes and dislikes matter.

In any event, let us gird up our loins and talk about some new music.

Black Reuss – ‘Metamorphosis’

Black Reuss, about whom little is known, recently dropped his debut album, Metamorphosis, a 13-track collection of doom and dark rock.

Based in Liechtenstein, his press release indicates, “Black Reuss is at home in heavy metal with a touch of melancholy and a certain heaviness, the heaviness that has accompanied Black Reuss his whole life.”

Dark and dreadful, Black Reuss’s sound encompasses sepulchral colors, grimacing guitars, and tints of symphonic black metal topped by his voice, infused with profound timbres rife with aching resolve and stoicism as he confronts the caprices of life.

Entry points include “Grief,” “Fear,” and “Mind,” which opens on Rob Zombie-like guitars and then moves into surging layers of impenetrable symphonic doom.


Ali Coyle – ‘Songs For My Therapist’

Santa Ana based queer singer-songwriter Ali Coyle dropped her debut EP, Songs For My Therapist, last week.

Introspective yet accessible indie-pop, the EP mirrors Ali’s thoughtful approach to music, at once innovative and thrumming with essence. Of the six tracks, personal favorites are “On My Way Again” and “Clear Water.”

Cubs Refrain – “Ladylike (Don’t Hold Her Back)”

Canadian synthpop duo Cubs Refrain released the music video, “Ladylike (Don’t Hold Her Back),” just over a week ago, a song about breaking free of expectations and making your own choices.

Made up of Erin and Jordan, Cubs Refrain pumps out buoyant, contagious pop music.


ET Boys – “Sober”

Miami’s ET Boys music video “Sober” continues to enthrall me. I wrote about them in my last Elder Statesman article and interviewed vocalist/lyricist Tacboy here on The Young Folks.

The rhythm and flow of the song, along with the lyrical hook—“I’m not sober”—make it an arresting earworm.

Marzy Maddox – “Brand New Day”

Prog metal outfit Marzy Maddox unveiled the lyric video for “Brand New Day” on June 25. The song is from their upcoming EP, Copper Oaks, slated to drop July 23.

Made up of Phoenix Johnson (vocals, bass), Matt Earp (guitar), and Andy Ham (drums), Marzy Maddox hits hard, yet mixes in luscious, shimmering breakdowns, infusing the tune with soft harmonic shifts.


Hexenklad – “Heathenheart”

The boys of Hexenklad, the Canadian folk/black metal band, introduced the music video for the title track from their forthcoming album via CDN Records.

Double lead guitars and stellar thrashing drums imbue Hexenklad’s sound with visceral primeval energy.

The Handsome Dogs – “Devilized”

German rock outfit The Handsome Dogs released the video for “Devilized” a week or so ago. Raw and edgy, the band conjures up memories of AC/DC’s Bon Scott blended with Mötley Crüe.

Black Rock Candy – “Crucified”

SoCal rock outfit Black Rock Candy deliver a sizzling blues rocker, entitled “Crucified.”

Hannibal Soundtrack – “Vide Cor Meum”

Composed by Patrick Cassiday and based on Dante Alighieri’s Vita Nuova. Sung by Danielle de Niese and Bruno Lazzaretti, Vide Cor Meum (See My Heart) should give you thrilling chills unless you’re a soulless zombie. The leitmotifs are exquisite.

Lucrecia – “Circle With Me”

Progressive metal outfit Lucrecia covers Spiritbox’s “Circle With Me.” The vocals give the lyrics lush, evocative timbres, followed by her demon-infused delivery.


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