Monastic Doom inventors ARÐ return with their highly anticipated sophomore full-length Untouched By Fire. As a first glimpse of their new masterpiece, the Northumbrian band reveal the lyric video ‘Cursed To Nothing But Patience’ as the first single taken from the forthcoming new album, for which the release date April 26, 2024 has been carved in runes.

On Untouched By Fire, ARÐ narrate the tale of another Northern saint, the Anglo-Saxon warrior-king Oswald, also called Whiteblade, who united the lands of Bernicia and Deira, and reigned over the thus newly created Kingdom of Northumbria between the years 633 and 642.

Witness ‘Cursed To Nothing But Patience’

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ARÐ comment: “The opening track ‘Cursed To Nothing But Patience’, like all of the tracks on the new album, went through many stages of development as it took shape before I was finally satisfied”, mastermind Mark Deeks explains. “All of the elements that make up the sound of ARÐ are gathered here, but there are also some new, almost ‘progressive’ details added to the mix. It’s a mammoth nine minute journey that to me sets the tone for some of the darker atmospheres in this album. Patience is always rewarded.”

Historical background
Æthelfrith, who became king of Bernicia around 592AD, is the first ruler of a part of the lands that we now know as Northumbria with any kind of detailed historical records written about him. He married Acha from the royal line of the rival kingdom Deira, which is another major part of what would soon become Northumbria. After 12 years of ruling Bernicia, Æthelfrith also laid claim on the throne of Deira on behalf of his wife. This forced Acha’s brother Edwin into exile. There are stories of Æthelfrith sending messengers to Rædwald, the East Anglia king, who is largely held to be the lord buried in the great mount of Sutton Hoo, with a bounty on Edwin’s head.

When Æthelfrith was killed at the Battle of the River Idle around 616, Edwin saw an opportunity to exact revenge. This forced Acha to flee north with some of her children including the young Oswald. They found refuge in the powerful Irish kingdom of Dal Riada on the west coast of Scotland. Oswald formed close ties with his hosts and fought for them in both Ireland and Scotland where his bravery supposedly earned him the nom de guerre Lamnguin, ‘Whiteblade’. During this period, Oswald also spent time in the influential monastery of Iona, a small island off the western coast of Scotland. This centre of the Columban paruchia (a network of monasteries particular to Irish Christianity) received patronage from both the powerful Irish Uí Néill dynasty and Dal Riada. The Germanic warrior converted to Christianity, which gained him mighty allies in the north. Patiently Oswald was biding his time to return home to win a kingdom.

Untouched By Fire Tracklist:

  1. Cursed To Nothing But Patience
  2. Name Bestowed
  3. Hefenfelth
  4. He Saw Nine Winters
  5. Beset By Weapons
  6. Casket Of Dust

ARÐ Online: