Musk Ox – Inheritance
Is anyone else surprised to see a classically-influenced instrumental album win this month’s AOTM? Granted, the month of July was no fall of ‘91 but this is Sputnik: ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’ has less votes on this site than Asking Alexandria’s 2017 self-titled release (yes, they do still make music.)
I don’t know what neofolk is. Ulver’s early work sounds like shit to me. What the fuck is a wooden grouse? Why am I listening to this neofolk album with literally a grayed out picture of a deserted railroad track on its cover, in the middle of July when it’s 110 degrees out? Why? Because it sounds metal as fuck.
Nathanael Larochette, in addition to having the most pretentious sounding name in all of neofolk history, serves as the group’s classical guitarist and co-composer, next to Raphael Weinroth-Browne. Larochette is also a member of the instrumental progressive metal band, The Night Watch, and boasts credits on Agalloch’s final album, while both Larochette and Weinroth-Browne have appeared on Woods of Ypres records. Musk Ox has appeared on compilations next to big-time nature metallers Empyrium, October Falls, and has shared the stage multiple times with the aforementioned, Agalloch.
So, in much lesser words, Nathanael Larochette is a metal guy who likes to make the metal musacz. And while much of this album sounds like the backdrop to a serene cabin in the middle of bumfuck Oregon, its dense and occasionally frenetic-sounding climaxes serve to waywardly appeal to those with heavier sensibilities.
Maybe Musk Ox can become a gateway band for many of us. For those of you whose mothers did not make you fall asleep to Bach and Beethoven every night as a toddler, maybe this will be your entryway into listening to more classical and instrumental folk music. But more (most) likely, we are using this album to fill those tiny, grouse-shaped holes that Agalloch and 90s Ulver left in our hearts. – DANcore