Available: June 17, 2014
Right, so Skullbanger is a metal site. I get that. Sometimes we get review material that is decidedly not metal. Sometime you don’t realize that until you give the album a listen. Others are a bit more obvious and you know exactly what to do about them; Autotuned boy band? Straight to the deleted files. Musk Ox billed themselves as a Canadian neofolk trio. OK, that’s decidedly not metal but stay with me. First, having dabbled in classical guitar, I’ve got a soft spot for it. Second, founding member Nathanaël Larochette is a metalhead. So let’s give this a chance, shall we?
Earthrise kicks us off with a fantastic blend of guitar, violin, and cello. Admittedly I didn’t hear very much metal influence in the track, but man is the sound beautiful. The album press release states that it should be “Expressing the essence of Canada’s vast, magnificent landscapes through sound” and Windswept delivers on that, admirably conveying the slightly ominous feel of being alone on a cold plain. If you make it through Arcanum and Above the Clouds without detecting the metal influence, well, we obviously don’t see eye to eye. Great rhythms from the cello, and riffs on the guitar and violin would all fit in a great metal song. Serenade the Constellations finishes out with some amazing use of harmonics.
Sure, Musk Ox isn’t going to be for every reader of Skullbanger, but if you absolutely love music and enjoy the way instruments can interweave a harmony you really need to check it out.
Nathanaël Larochette – Classical Guitar
Raphael Weinroth-Browne – Cello
Evan Runge – Violin