[photo by Jonathan Lorange]
Canadian chamber folk trio MUSK OX — featuring members of Leprous, The Night Watch, and The Visit, among others — is pleased to unveil their stunning video for latest single, Memoriam. Now playing at BrooklynVegan, the track comes by way of the band’s long-awaited new full-length, ‘Inheritance,’ which is set for release on July 9th.
Elaborates the band, “We decided to release Memoriam as the first single because this piece manages to blend the innocence of the debut with the atmosphere of ‘Woodfall’ while representing the more focused nature of ‘Inheritance.’ ‘Inheritance’ was scheduled to be mixed with Simon Larochette (Sarin, Chastity) at The Sugar Shack in March 2020 just as the world was coming to a halt. We ended up mixing the album entirely online with Simon, each of us in our own worlds, tirelessly shaping the songs under the ever-present and looming shadow of uncertainty. You can never predict how demanding certain compositions will be to complete and Memoriam, despite its unassuming nature, proved to be the most challenging song to mix. It’s a piece about honoring those we’ve lost while celebrating the cherished memories we keep close to our hearts. The album was engineered by our dear friend Dean Watson who has worked on every MUSK OX album, while the beautiful video was filmed and edited by our close collaborator Andrew Robillard. We would also like to express our gratitude to the Ontario Arts Council for supporting the production of Inheritance.”
‘Inheritance’ comes seven years since MUSK OX’s critically lauded ‘Woodfall’ offering. Despite the long wait between albums however, the musicians within MUSK OX have remained prolific. Since 2014, MUSK OX classical guitarist Nathanael Larochette released a solo double album, a collaboration with poet Conyer Clayton, and two acclaimed full-lengths with the instrumental chamber metal quartet The Night Watch, of which MUSK OX violinist Evan Runge is also a member, while cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne’s staggering output saw the debut release of the haunting cello/voice project The Visit, three improvised world music albums with the duo Kamancello, a stunning solo album and two full-length records with Norwegian prog masters Leprous as well as continuous appearances as a session musician. The trio’s combined stage and studio experience is on full display throughout ‘Inheritance’, a captivating set of compositions representing new levels of growth and maturity for MUSK OX. As with ‘Woodfall,’ the original skeleton of the album was composed on guitar by Larochette before being handed to Weinroth-Browne for string compositions, restructuring and additional guitar contributions.
The trio then spent hours workshopping, arranging, and rearranging parts in the rehearsal room, leading to a more refined and collaborative album. Once the material was ready to record, MUSK OX once again called upon long-time friend, collaborator, and studio wizard Dean Watson who engineered and mixed the self-titled debut as well as ‘Woodfall.’ The material was then carefully tracked at his woodland studio The Workshop. Containing some of the group’s most ambitious as well as intimate material, ‘Inheritance’ is a cathartic collection where wordless hymns of worry and wonder form the stirring soundtrack to an uncertain age of reckoning, reflection, and resilience.
‘Inheritance’ will be released independently July 9th on CD, LP, and digital formats. Find preordering options at THIS LOCATION.
Formed in 2006 by guitarist Nathanael Larochette, MUSK OX’s enchanting self-titled debut was released in 2009 and received unanimous acclaim from Decibel, Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, and Terrorizer among many others, an astonishing feat for a meditative collection of completely acoustic elegies to the Canadian wilderness. That same year, cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne joined MUSK OX and the two began performing live while collaborating on new material. After two years of meticulous composing, MUSK OX welcomed violinist Evan Runge to round out the lineup, an obvious choice as Larochette and Runge were already bandmates in the instrumental chamber metal quartet, The Night Watch.
The overwhelming and unexpected reception of the project’s debut set the stage for MUSK OX to make a lasting statement with their ambitious second album ‘Woodfall,’ a sixty-five-minute, five-part suite for classical guitar, cello, and violin. Displaying the stunning contributions of Raphael Weinroth-Browne (cello, composition) and Evan Runge (violin), ‘Woodfall’ pushed the project conceptually and musically, landing the album on numerous year-end lists, including The Needle Drop’s Top 10 Canadian Albums of 2014.
Though largely celebrated for their recorded output, MUSK OX has also developed a reputation for captivating live performances, opening select shows on three tours with dark metal masters Agalloch as well as sharing the stage with Norway’s otherworldly folk ensemble Wardruna at the legendary Wave-Gotik Treffen Festival in Leipzig, Germany. With the release of their third full-length ‘Inheritance,’ MUSK OX has reached new levels of expression, blending nature folk intimacy, classical precision, post-black metal atmosphere, and progressive metal intensity into a sweeping set of captivating instrumental odes to the past, present and future.
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With thanks to Earsplit PR