The new album from Musk Ox offers beautiful, haunting Acoustic Doom.
Musk Ox is Nathanael Larochette (guitar), Raphael Weinroth-Browne (cello), and Evan Runge (violin). This is exactly what it appears to be: a classical music trio. I know this is not the wheelhouse for many heavy music fans, but it will hit the right note for some because this music is an excellent example of Acoustic Doom – all of the sorrow, hopelessness, strife, and emotion without the electricity.
Side one is the title song in two tracks. The opening minutes are ethereal and cautionary; low and intense. The introduction of the guitar as a rhythm element allows the bow instruments to present melody, alternately, and harmony. Slow-paced and mournful, there is meaning here for everyone that will manifest individually as you listen.
Side two has three tracks, “Memoriam,” “Ritual,” and “Weightless.” These songs are a little more active and lighter, technically, with a different kind of intensity and depth. Moments of urgency, especially in “Weightless,” drive home the emotion and ideas. While these three pieces do stand clearly apart from the other music, they all fit well together. There is doom here if you will have it.
It is also worth knowing that, if you like Musk Ox, the new solo album from Raphael Weinroth-Browne will also appeal to you. It is a live performance of the long cello piece Worlds Within Live. There is a link for this one below as well. In some ways this music is more intense and personal than the trio. It is a vast, rich tapestry that traverses a range of concepts, spending a considerable amount of time in the land of prog.
Inheritance is available on Friday, July 9th and Worlds Within Live is out now. I recommend both for Acoustic Doom fans and for other heavy music enthusiasts who want to hear something very different that has déjà vu familiarity to it.
Musk Ox Photo by Jonathan Lorange.
Raphael Weinroth-Browne, Worlds Within Live, https://raphaelweinroth-browne.bandcamp.com/album/worlds-within-live