Decibel Magazine is currently streaming “Path” from Musk Ox/The Night Watch guitarist and Agalloch collaborator NATHANAEL LAROCHETTE. The track comes by way of LAROCHETTE’s second full-length Old Growth, a moving collection of solo acoustic compositions recorded live (often by candlelight) in a woodland cabin on the shores of White Lake, Ontario.
Coming off the demanding productions of both The Night Watch and Musk Ox’s critically acclaimed third records, the idea for Old Growth was simple enough: record each of the album’s pieces live in a single take, capturing the atmosphere of the moment in all its delicate glory. After three gruelling days of recording, what emerged is the starkest and most immediate record of NATHANAEL LAROCHETTE’s rich catalog.
Deeply inspired by the acoustic realms of legendary records like Agalloch’s The Mantle, Opeth’s Morningrise, and Ulver’s Kveldssanger, Old Growth is a woodland meditation capable of entrancing minimalist folk enthusiasts and metal aficionados alike. To take the project even further, NATHANAEL LAROCHETTE teamed up with Norwegian composer Martin Romberg of Raven Music Editions (Emperor, Myrkur, Ulver) to publish a complete guitar tablature book in hopes of inspiring acoustically minded metalheads to explore the art of fingerpicking. In a world where noise has become synonymous with life, the fragile instrumentals of Old Growth offer a private soundtrack to the quiet truths within, reminding us of our place in this vast forest of existence.
Notes LAROCHETTE of “Path,” “One of my favorite compositions from Old Growth, ‘Path’ is a song about trusting the ground beneath your feet, even if you aren’t sure where it’s leading you. While it begins with the bass and melody notes united, their respective journeys constantly seem at odds, as each weaves around the other without ever quite meeting. When they finally reconnect, a newfound understanding emerges that maybe their respective paths were destined to diverge. Over the years of performing minimalist solo guitar music, it is often assumed that because the songs are slow and relaxing that they are simple to perform but, unfortunately, this is rarely the case. This piece in particular nearly defeated me, but I thankfully managed to complete a worthy take minutes before leaving the lakeside cabin where the album was recorded. A constant source of inspiration for my music and guitar playing can be credited to the Finnish dark folk band Tenhi, and as they’ve recently released their first album in nearly twelve years, I want to take this moment to encourage everyone to go explore their stunning work.”
Stream NATHANAEL LAROCHETTE’s “Path,” now playing at Decibel Magazine, HERE.
Created with generous support from the City of Ottawa, Old Growth was engineered by Gareth Auden-Hole in a cabin on White Lake, Ontario, mixed by Gareth Auden-Hole at Là Là Studio, and mastered by Philip Shaw Bova, with layout by Isaac Valentin.
Old Growth will be released independently on July 21st. Find LP, tab book, and digital orders at the official NATHANAEL LAROCHETTE Bandcamp page at THIS LOCATION where first single, “Ashes,” can be streamed.
A lifelong musician who began with the violin at four years old, Canadian guitarist/composer/producer NATHANAEL LAROCHETTE’s musical journey didn’t truly take flight until he set aside the violin and picked up the electric guitar as a metal obsessed teenager. During this time, a fascination with metal’s acoustic side found him immersed in private classical guitar studies, further nurturing his love of the instrument while sparking his desire to compose. NATHANAEL LAROCHETTE’s guitar explorations eventually gave birth to the celebrated chamber folk ensemble Musk Ox (now a long-time collaboration with renowned cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne of Leprous, The Visit, and Kamacello) and the instrumental post folk metal project The Night Watch. When Agalloch invited LAROCHETTE to compose and perform original interludes for their fifth record The Serpent & The Sphere (2014), his passion for metal inspired acoustics had come full circle. Following this collaboration, NATHANAEL LAROCHETTE’s debut full-length appeared as the sprawling double-album Earth And Sky (2016), part Opeth inspired solo acoustic explorations, part This Will Destroy You and Mogwai-worshipping ambient post-rock soundscapes. Though much of his creative attention focused on Musk Ox and The Night Watch over the convening years, Nathanael Larochette has returned with Old Growth, an emotive set of unaccompanied acoustic miniatures representing his starkest and most intimate release to date; a love letter to the teenage metal nerd consumed by the beauty of the calm before the storm.