Ard awakes with its first album.
The english musician Mark Deeks (all instruments/vocals, Bone Tomb, Winterfylleth) decided to give a voice to Northumbria’s roots, an old medieval kingdom located in the north of England and the south of Scotland, on Take Up My Bones, released at the end of 2022.
We discover with Burden Foretold a slow, haunting and majestic sound which is rooted into an epic Doom Death with mystical and weighing influences. Riffs are very dark, and backing vocals increase the appeasing but solemn atmosphere, like on Take Up My Bones, a composition accompanied by very melancholic keyboards. Saturation will finally enter the dance to enhance this clubbering slowness, like on the end of the track where it is pushed to its peak, then Raise then the Incorrupt Body comes next and unveils ethereal elements. Very soft clean vocals accompany us into the beauty of this foggy sound, which even unveils some more luminous tones than the heady surrounding blackness, mainly into those soaring leads. The song finally mushrooms with heavy riffs, then it drives us to Boughs of Trees, a composition that slowly strengthens its rhythmic with haunting elements before making it majestic. Vocals come back on Banner of the Saint, an as quiet as heady composition which keeps its quietness when saturation and Black Metal influences join the melting, then Only Three Shall Know, the last track, immediately becomes more oppressive with those dark choirs. The song is long, but also weighing, offering an important place to saturation interrupted by breaks anchored into blackness, allowing us to join the album’s end.
With this first album, Ard offers us a sink into history, but also into melancholy. Whether Take Up My Bones is seizing, it is also very long and haunting, allowing the musician to take advantage of piano and violins under a veil of seizing saturation.