The earth provides nourishment and protection; the fertile soil conjures life as it also reclaims those who have passed. This cycle, repeating and echoing through time immemorial and spoken about in ancient texts that have been shared with generations before us, will continue to be long after we are gone. Arde, a German collective hailing from Berlin, use this metaphor for the basis of their deeply atmospheric black metal and expand their narrative through chronicles of ancient goddesses, the cults that sprang up around them and the power of the female figure. Mother nature, dressed in majestic flora and fauna, forms the central spoke of Arde’s sophomore album, and she is rooted in both myth and reality on Ancestral Cult.

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“The Birch” is the second single taken from Ancestral Cult and showcases a band who push melody and atmosphere to the forefront of their crust/d-beat influenced black metal. Taking cues from Wolves In The Throne Room in creating the mossy, overgrown forest inspired feel of the album, Arde are forging ahead on their own path of sophisticated, polished black metal that sets out to provoke thought and conversation as to the current world we live in and how we have come to be within it. The song twists around emotive vocals that manifest rage as screams reverberate through rich guitar tones and harmonic passages that belie the anger that simmers beneath the surface. Gone are the days of worshipping the land and the provider of life — Arde want to reclaim those moments for the future and “The Birch” goes some way toward capturing that essence once again.

The band comment:

“Berkana has the energy of a birch grove, and is a hidden sanctuary in times of need. The birch is the first tree to awaken in the springtime, and so Berkana is about the cycle of birth, death and rebirth, represents fertility, childbirth. Berkana is the flow of water inside the female body becomes the cycle turns, it makes blood and milk, is intelligence and consciousness of the earth, Gaia, the Living Planet, the Cosmic Womb, and pure expression helps to rebuild within him the image of the Mother.”

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Ancestral Cult will release through Wolves Of Hades, Alerta Antifascista and Darkwoods on October 28th.