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Arð – Take Up My Bones

Take Up My Bones
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 22 March 2022, 10:23 AM

ARÐ are from Northumbria. The band’s name is taken from an Old English word meaning "native land” in the dialect of the Anglian Kingdom of Northumbria. The concept behind the debut album “Take Up My Bones” from this insular Doom Metal solo project created by composer and musician Mark Deeks revolves around the legendary relics of the famous Northumbrian saint Cuthbert (634–687) and their long journey. ARÐ built their artistic quest for heritage and identity upon a solid doom foundation. The album contains six tracks.

“Burden Foretold” leads off the album. It begins with a heavy, slow riff and harmonized clean vocals. The landscape is bleak and solemn…something that the cello notes underscore. The vocal notes are held for enunciation. Think hard on the title…a burden foretold is an expected hardship, and as the song continues, there will be no relief. “Take Up My Bones” opens with more vocal chants. Frail piano notes follow, and they are so delicate, they break upon the air as soon as they are released. Some lead guitars enter, and they are sober and weighted.

“Raise Then the Incorrupt Body” is a longer song that begins with soft, clean vocals and a slow, desolate sounding pace. Piano notes combine with leads to further the desperation. There is of course beauty within the sorrow, but it is subdued. As the song moves forward, it carries your fears and insecurities with it, slowly gaining deadweight. “Bough of Trees” is an instrumental that opens with piano notes in a barren, cold field where the winds whip through you and leave you frozen. It picks up with sonority gradually and then fades at the height of the sound.

“Banner of the Saint” begins with clean, despondent vocals but also with a ray of hope. A weighted riff drops and the vocals turn to ominous harmonies. This is a powerful, and commanding song that is more succinct in its message. “Only Three Shall Know” closes the album. A lengthy song gives a good deal of time to develop the sound. The heavy passages are dreadfully saturated while the lighter passages offer just enough time to breathe a bit. I am unsure what is it that only three shall know, but the charge of this knowledge is harrowing.

Do not look for absolution here, because there is none to be found. You will need to face your indecision and self-doubt head on, and the price will be your life as you know it. Eventually going mad, you wander aimlessly and along for the rest of your miserable life. But is this a final sentence? The answer lies in the wind.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Burden Foretold
2. Take Up My Bones
3. Raise Then the Incorrupt Body
4. Boughs of Trees
5. Banner of the Saint
6. Only Three Shall Know
Mark Deeks – Everything
Record Label: Prophecy Productions


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