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Musk Ox

Musk Ox is a project focused on combining lush acoustics with expansive arrangements, and delicate textures. It is a forlorn journey through natural realms where darkness and light, substance and void, sorrow and joy exist as a single entity.

--.

In 2005, metalhead Nathanaël Larochette left university, purchased a classical guitar, and discovered two albums which would change the course of his life: Ulver’s “Kveldssanger”, and Empyrium’s “Where at Night the Wood Grouse Plays”. Alongside Finnish mystical folk legends Tenhi and October Falls, the mus ...read more

Musk Ox is a project focused on combining lush acoustics with expansive arrangements, and delicate textures. It is a forlorn journey through natural realms where darkness and light, substance and void, sorrow and joy exist as a single entity.

--.

In 2005, metalhead Nathanaël Larochette left university, purchased a classical guitar, and discovered two albums which would change the course of his life: Ulver’s “Kveldssanger”, and Empyrium’s “Where at Night the Wood Grouse Plays”. Alongside Finnish mystical folk legends Tenhi and October Falls, the music known as Neofolk would lay the foundation for what would eventually become Musk Ox.

In 2006, Larochette self-recorded and released his first EP “Entre la Terre et le Ciel”. This EP would become the first part of a season-inspired trilogy of demos rounded out by “Entre Les Nuages et La Neige” (2007) and “Entre Le Soleil et Les Arbres” (2008). Each demo was self-produced by Larochette and laid the framework for the first Musk Ox full-length release, though the band name was not yet decided upon.

In 2007, Larochette entered The Gallery Studio in Ottawa, ON with a mix of new and old demo material and recorded the debut self-titled full-length under the newly named Musk Ox, a band name chosen while in the studio. Fascinated by Musk Oxen ever since he was a child, the name perfectly represented an entity that was primal, ancient and Canadian. The album was self-released as a now out of print CDR with a black and white Musk Ox sketch on the cover.

In 2008, Larochette mailed out as many CDR copies as he could to websites for review. The reaction was overwhelmingly positive. The album eventually found its way into the hands of metal journalist extraordinaire and amazing human being Adrian Bromley, editor of Unrestrained! Magazine among a long list of credentials. Immediately struck by the release, Bromley expressed interest in re-releasing the debut album with a bonus track and proper distribution. That same year, the band welcomed it’s first members Rosalind McCanny and Angela Shleihauf (cello and oboe respectively) which lead to the first proper live presentation of Musk Ox material.

In 2009, Musk Ox re-released it's critically acclaimed 2007 debut full-length with the bonus track “Lullaby for Ghosts" as well as an expanded layout by Mikko Lehto of October Falls. The album was released under Adrian "The Energizer" Bromley's "Absurdist Records" label which he started specifically for this release. Sadly, Adrian never saw his vision materialize as he passed away suddenly in December of 2008. Thanks to Adrian's hard work and dedication, Musk Ox received international attention with glowing 8/10 reviews from Decibel Magazine (US), Terrorizer Magazine (UK), Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles (CAN) and Blabbermouth.net. His untouchable work ethic and legacy of endearing kindness continue to inspire all who knew him. Musk Ox performed the song “Entre la Terre et le Ciel” at Adrian’s memorial concert at The Opera House in Toronto, ON, as the song was Adrian’s favorite and had helped him through the passing of his father only a year before.

In 2009, following the departure of both members, the band welcomed Raphael Weinroth-Browne (cello) and Michelle Pinard (violin). That year, Musk Ox contributed an interlude to Canadian Black/Doom/Folk Metal legend's Woods of Ypres’ release “Woods 4: The Green Album”. The album was self-released by Woods of Ypres in 2009, and eventually re-released following the band’s signing to the legendary Earache Records. Sadly, Woods of Ypres founder David Gold died tragically in December of 2011. His passion, dedication and vision can be heard throughout all his albums, culminating in his final release and Earache Records label debut “Woods 5: Grey Skies and Electric Light”. The album features a wealth of detailed and moving string arrangements composed and performed by Musk Ox cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne. The album won Canadian Juno Award in the “Best Metal” category in 2012.

Momentum for Musk Ox carried into 2010 with the release of two exclusive songs. "The Face of Patience" was released on the "Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer" Compilation (Pest Productions) and "Solstice" was released on the "Whom the Moon a Nightsong Sings" Compilation (Prophecy Productions). These compilations saw Musk Ox reach new artistic heights by appearing alongside Neofolk/Metal legends such as Agalloch, October Falls, Empyrium, Tenhi, and Ulver among many others. Musk Ox also found time in 2010 to compose the second full-length release.

In 2011, Musk Ox welcomed new violinist Evan Runge, performing a collection of special live performances of largely new material. With a solid line-up secured and new material completed, Musk Ox once again entered The Gallery Studio in early 2012 to begin recording their highly anticipated new album. That same year, Musk Ox also received the immense honour of being selected to share the stage with internationally renowned Dark Metal group Agalloch for three shows of their ten North American tour dates. The band reached audiences in Boston, MA, London, ON and Montreal, QC. The fall of 2011 also saw Musk Ox make its first appearance in New York City as part of Romanian artist Costin Chioreanu’s first ever US exhibition of his collection “Where Purgatory Ends”. This show saw Musk Ox share the stage with legendary guitarists Kevin Hufnagel (Dysrhythmia/Gorguts/Vaura), Mick Barr (Krallice/Ocrilim) as well as noise pioneer Daniel Menche.

2012 saw Musk Ox perform their first ever European concert at the famed Wave-Gotik Festival in Leipzig, Germany where they shared the stage with Norway’s Wardruna (featuring ex-Gorgoroth members Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik, and Gaahl). Summer 2012 saw Musk Ox once again share the stage with the mighty Agalloch for four shows on their Faustian Echoes North American Tour. The band reached audiences in Ann Arbor, MA, Toronto, ON, Montreal, QC, and Brooklyn, NY.

In 2013, Musk Ox guitarist Nathanael Larochette was presented with the immense honour of composing and recording three acoustic interludes for Agalloch’s fifth full-length release “The Serpent and the Sphere”, released in 2014 on Profound Lore.

Early summer 2014 will finally see Musk Ox release their long awaited second full-length album “Woodfall”, a one hour, five part Progressive Chamber Folk epic composed for classical guitar, cello, and violin. “Woodfall” boldly pushes the group leaps and bounds both compositionally as well as dynamically, while maintaining a keen awareness of the tradition which they have previously established.

Expressing the essence of Canada’s vast, magnificent landscapes through sound, Musk Ox is a forlorn journey through natural realms where darkness and light, substance and void, sorrow and joy, exist as a single entity.

Biography taken from www.muskoxmusic.com. « hide

Similar Bands: Vali, October Falls, Tenhi, The Visit, The Night Watch

LPs
Woodfall
2014

4
155 Votes
Musk Ox
2009

3.7
26 Votes
EPs
Entre Le Soleil et Les Arbres
2008

3.5
1 Votes
Entre Les Nuages et La Neige
2007

3.5
1 Votes
Entre La Terre et Le Ciel
2006

3
1 Votes

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