Arð is the new mournful doom project from Winterfylleth’s Mark Deeks. Take Up My Bones will be released on 18th February 2022.
Arð are of 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 early medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria that inspired Arð was far larger than the historic English county Northumberland implies. Before the Germanic warriors arrived, at first as a part of the Roman armies and later as conquerors, the Romans had subjugated the local population of Brittonic Votadini, speakers of a Celtic language. The Roman Empire had left a religious legacy that firmly took root in neighbouring Ireland and soon began to affect the new Germanic rulers of these northern lands as well as ultimately inspiring the tale of “Take Up My Bones”: Christianity. The early medieval coastal monasteries of Whithorn in the west and Lindisfarne to the east bear witness to this transition. It is in Lindisfarne on Holy Island in the time after the devastating Viking attack from across the sea in the year 793 where the story of the remains of St. Cuthbert begins: a 200-year journey that saw the saint’s remains finally reburied in the cathedral of Durham.
The legends and mystery of the translation of the saint’s relics such as the refusal of his coffin to be moved or the lack of corruption upon his corpse after decades shape the core of this conceptual musical tale. With crushing glacial-paced doom, monastic sounding chants and choirs, and sorrowful yet epic melodies, Arð have found the perfect musical expression to tell a tale of their homelands.
Mark Deeks, who earned his PhD in Philosophy on the topic of “National Identity in Northern and Eastern European Heavy Metal”, is also a member of leading UK black metal stalwarts Winterfylleth and keeps himself busy as a musical director, arranger, piano coach, and conductor as well as a best selling author.
On Take Up My Bones, Mark is supported by Wolcensmen mastermind Dan Capp (who was our very first special guest on At The Barrier) on guitars and backing vocals. He is also joined by Atavist drummer Callum Cox, and there is a spellbinding performance from cellist Jo Quail (another of our special guests).
As for the Arð single, Burden Foretold really is epic. Musically, the music sweeps you back in time. Shrill guitars atop monstrous walls of riffs, deeply brooding vocals and real sense of atmosphere all come together to create something that whets the appetite perfectly for the forthcoming album.
Burden Foretold tells the tale of St. Cuthbert’s premonition of his own death. Concerned that what would happen to his body would become the subject of division and argument, he told his followers “I would rather you take up my bones from this place”. Their burden was foretold. Upon his death on the island of Inner Farne, two beacons were lit to pass word to his followers back on Lindisfarne, the Holy Island, that Cuthbert had passed.Mark Deeks – Arð
You can pre-order Take Up My Bones here from Prophecy or direct from Arð here. The physical formats look absolutely superb; you can tell that so much care has been taken in putting the album together.
Listen to Burden Foretold from Arð below.