Six tracks, 43 minutes – that’s already telling you that Take Up My Bones by the English band Ard is not really three-minutes-per-song-mainstream music. I ran into their album on a promotion platform and loved the sound. Here is my review of this special piece of metal, which will be released on 18th February 2022.
Ard – About The Artist
Ard names themselves to be from Northumbria, a former small kingdom within England. They are doing doom metal. Mark Deeks is the leader of the band, who is aiming to turn the relics of the Northumbrian saint Cuthberth (634-687) into melodies. Deeks is also known as a member of the band Winterfylleth. For this project, he is joined by Dan Capp (guitars, backing vocals), cellist Jo Qual and drummer Callum Cox. Take Up My Bones is their debut album.
Ard – Take Up My Bones – Track by Track
The six track album lasts 43 minutes. In addition, there is a deluxe version with an additional song and two Hymn Versions of songs on the album, which is a total of nine tracks and 66 minutes.
1. Burden Foretold
The seven minutes of Burden Foretold are already a massive statement. Mark Deeks is acting like a narrator of the story, the background choir and the amazing work on the guitars add just perfectly to the bombastic atmosphere. Great, breathtaking atmosphere. Wow.
2. Take Up My Bones
Hymnic, present, breathtaking – hard to use other words for the title track of the album. Such an amazing width of sounds and power. Great changes between rather quiet parts and powerful guitar riffs. Wow.
3. Raise Then The Incorrupt Body
The third track is very quiet, which almost leads to a melancholic atmosphere. The keyboard is very often the most present instrument in this nine minute epic. A very clear listening experience. I just cannot stop enjoying these tracks.
4. Boughs Of Trees
In its more quiet and melodic parts Boughs Of Trees works with strings and rather fine sounds. The more, the rock parts feel loud, massive. Beautiful melodic flow. By the way, apart from the deluxe bonus Geonde Ard, the song is the shortest one of the album.
5. Banner Of The Saint
The rather slow-rolling Banner Of the Saint is likely the track which is working with the widest range of contrasts. This is one of the key factors, which turns these six minutes to one of my favorites of the album.
6. Only Three Shall Know
If you bought / listen to the standard version of the album, you finish your experience with the longest song of the album. The chorals feel so powerful, goosebumps are almost guaranteed. An amazing finale – or a great way to transits to the additional tracks
7. Geonde Ard
Ard (in the Celtic spelling) means “native land”. This bonus track gives a nice, instrumental add-on to the album. I don’t really feel you need that one.
8. Raise Then The Incorrupt Body (Hymn Version)
The hymnic version of the third song of the album is leading to an acoustic-alike listening experience. No plugged guitars – the organ sounds and the backing chorals almost make the song feel like a requiem.
9. Only Three Shall Know (Hymn Version)
The Hymn version of this song is working similarly. While I enjoy listening to the eighth track, I feel that the original version of Only Three Shall Know is much more impressing. Nonetheless, great sound.
Ard – Take Up My Bones – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Ard – Take Up My Bones – My View
There are two questions regarding Take Up My Bones. The first one is “Listen to it or ignore it?”. If you like historic-inspired music or doom metal in general, there is only one answer to this one: Go for it! The album is excellent. However, the second question, whether the deluxe version is worth the additional two additional dollar at bandcamp, I would rather say: take these two dollars as a op to Mark Deeks and his excellent work – but don’t expect too much added value by that. Or go for the CD book edition – I am sure it will be great.
British Metal Reviews
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