Interbellum

Cathubodua

CATHUBODUA developed their own and unique Metal sound, based on a large variety of genres ranging from the classics to Folk and Death Metal
March 3, 2024

CATHUBODUA were formed in 2013 and they are from Leuven, Belgium. The epic symphonic Metal outfit released so far one EP and one full-length album. Their sophomore album “Interbellum” was produced and mixed by Yarne Heylen (CARNATION; NERVOSA; WARBRINGER) and mastered by Erwin Hermsen (LEGION OF THE DAMNED; PESTILENCE) all at Project Zero Studio. The album has a length of about 30 minutes, and it was released via German label Massacre Records, which has many Black, Death, Power, and Gothic Metal bands among their current roster.

 The album starts strongly and fast. “Effigy Of Aftermath” is a mixture of Power Metal, a few traces of Death Metal, and symphonic Metal. The main guitar riffing is based on neoclassical melodies, the drumming includes a lot of double-bass and blast-beat attacks, and the vocals are clean ranging from the medium to higher end of the vocal range, but without any classical influences. The track is all about the classical melodies and the pace during the verse parts. It is a great opening track setting the scene for the things to come. “Effigy Of Aftermath” is the official video release, and the YouTube link is provided below. “Foretelling” starts with the acoustic guitars transitioning into a Folk inspired track. It is a mid-tempo track for most of the playing time with some shifts in rhythm. The chorus melodies are anthemic and sing-alongs. The track has several highlights: the drumming, the lead guitars, and the vocals of Sara Vanderheyden. She gives a masterclass in using her vocal range and she stamps her vocal authority onto the song. “Will Unbroken” goes back to the melodic framework inspired by classical melodies. It is a mid-tempo track with a lot of different layers. There are some very powerful parts with direct guitar riffing as well as some more playful and more textural complex parts. The orchestral arrangements are very prominent and seem to work not always in harmony with the guitars, bass, and drums. There are also many changes in tempo and rhythm throughout the track. Everything is kept together very well by the vocals.

Amidst God” starts powerful and heavy with thunderous riffing accompanied by the piano. It is a mid-tempo track and a head-banger during the verse parts, while the choruses are at a measured tempo with epic melodies. The break comprises once again elements from different genres: there are the Folk vibes on one hand and there are the relentless blast-beat attacks on the other hand. Somehow, the track goes back to the initial melodies and it all finishes with the piano. “The Mirror” is the album ballad and it starts with the acoustic guitar, the violin, and the vocals. As time goes by, there is a tension-building part driven by more and more orchestral instruments. However, the vocals always remain on top of the song, guiding the orchestra through the track. “The Mirror” is surely one of my favorite album tracks and the vocal performance is again excellent, especially since Sara Vanderheyden shows her ability to transport emotions. The album closes with “Goddess Fallacy” and it has a ballad-esque start with the violin, the piano, and the vocals. That does not last for long as crushing guitar riffs take over soon accompanied by the double-bass drumming. It is a heavy mid-tempo track with the riffing, the drumming, and the vocals being very prominent, while the orchestrations are more in the background. The break is led by the piano and the brass in harmony with the guitars. “Goddess Fallacy” has again many different layers, there are many twists in tempo and rhythm, and there are again some crossovers to Death Metal with the blast-beats and growling vocals. It is with more than eight minutes the longest album track and a very good way to finish the album.

 CATHUBODUA deliver an interesting and a very good album. It is interesting because it does not follow the well-tried symphonic Metal pathways, surely CATHUBODUA developed their own and unique Metal sound, which is based on a large variety of elements ranging from the classics to Folk and Death Metal elements. All is kept together by an excellent vocalist, who gives the album something special with her versatility, her vocal range, and her ability to transport emotions. The album is well produced. “Interbellum” shows what is possible with excellent songwriting and the album should be part of the collection of every symphonic Metal fan.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

Songwritting

9

Musicianship

9

Memorability

9

Production

8
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"Interbellum" Track-listing:
  1. Effigy Of Aftermath
  2. Foretelling
  3. Will Unbroken
  4. Amidst God
  5. The Mirror
  6. Goddess Fallacy
Cathubodua Lineup:

Sara Vanderheyden Vocals

Robin Ritzen Guitars

Tom Van Den Bosschelle Guitars

Harald Bouten Drums

Peter Thielemans Bass

Arvid Vermote Violin

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