Review | Cathubodua – Interbellum

Massacre Records

With Sara Vanderheyden steering its flight overhead, Cathubodua climbs high to nosedive into the clubs with speed and precision. `Interbellum’ sees the band enhance their epical symphonic sound with rougher edges, making the charismatic vocalist benefit and raising the stakes vocally as well as musically. Especially musically Cathubodua seeks higher ground with heavy as hell injections.


Merging their theatrical symphonics, which are genre defining, with heavier gutted drum and guitars, and with the addition of orchestral arrangements from Sara and violinist Arvid Vermote, the band has rejuvenated. Not only in terms of sound, but also with their revived line-up, Cathubodua takes a leap forward. Neverus guitarist Robin Ritzen adds his chops, as does drummer Harald Bouten. Their interaction and marksmanship push the band’s musical boundaries, making it thrive with power and heavy wallop. Classic ingredients not discarded, the band musically empowers the conceptual story about the rise and fall of a war goddess amidst her hopes and dreams weighed on the balance of her eternal guild of love lost and her path of destruction.

,,Effigy of Aftermath” has the throttle opened on first spin. Dense orchestration and symphonic accolades are pumping forward the heavy riff carnage and galloping drums. In death metal tenure the heavy drum foundation aligned to Peter Thielemans’s speedy bass string bendery. But above all it is the fronter that thrives on this newfound spit of metal. Her vocals are heavy metal with constantly adding an operatic epic approach. Sara’s power is downright excellent and her phrasing adds to the intensifying musical interaction building to its grandiose end. The violin starts to strike heavy as string arrangements take the helm underneath the heavy metal riff carnage.


More epic the band amalgamates Celtic string sliding and polka danceable atmosphere with symphonic genre-typic arrangements on ,,Foretelling”, slowly morphing towards the guitars heavying up with Venderheyden growling with gut ‘n glory, meanwhile maintaining its melodic laurels. There are hints of German Teutonic metal and Avantasia comes lurking, but Cathubodua maintains face uniquely. In the same vein ,,Will Unbroken” is cannonballed to the front. Heavy on its symphonics the song transcends with Sara pitching a soprano voice, touching registers with Floor Jansen. The stagnant progressive breaks and front-end mixed in violin make it unique, while guitars la down buzz saw endurance with piercing pitches. Like Kansas on acid the offload of strings, violin and guitars are taking the spotlight before the chorus whirls. The hymnic melody is absolutely intense and the instrumental breaks and short solo (classical) blisses are impressive. 

The high density if endured on the short hut equally heavy ,,Amidst Gods” with more jagged guitar riffs looped under the staccato violin strokes. Again, Sara takes the helm with her fierce vocal deliveries. Phrasing heavily, she belts out scatting heavy gradually pitching soprano in the melodic chorus. As double bass drums start propelling, she brings different poise and drum dynamics are raising the turbulence further. There’re glorious assets packed in the end, just before the swirling piano makes the song die out into the subtle ,,The Mirror”, pasting a surreal beautiful and ethereal soundscape with acoustic guitars plucking and violin waltzing over tingling medieval structures. 


The short track is a calling card to the Grande finale ,,Goddess Fallacy” on which the violin again waltzes alongside Sara singing beautifully and heart touched before discharging the most symphonic track on this EP. 8:20 clock this musical phenomenon. Highly symphonic the song is an attractive interplay chock full of musical wonder, suddenly breaking into a death metal psychic song with tempo increasing. The tempo and arrangement swings are spitting its dynamics with Eleine coming to mind while its ferocious tempo adrenaline is on the clinical edge (but less techy) of Amaranthe

`Interbellum’ displays Belgian Cathubodua’s impressive development. Songwriting skills increasing, the band reveals a wider array of sounds and implementing a heavier sound breaking out of the genre-specific registers, exploring terrain to make their vocalist shine brighter. With Sara’s impressive range and her heavy vocal cords fitted to this symphonic variety, and violins taking dominating position atop the heavy’d up arrangements and guitars; making Cathubodua THE band to watch out for

Release date: 23 February 2024



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