Cathubodua – Continuum Review

Cathubodua - Continuum 01Fucking fuck you fucking all, you fuck fucking fucks. I absolutely fucking hate everyone right now1 and I blame each and every one of you miserable shits. I suppose I could blame Steel, him having personally assigned me to the nightmare which I must shortly relive, but I blame you. You, “dear” “read”-er, are why we do the over worded and under think-ed things that we do, and to the best of my knowledge I have never hurt any of you enough to owe anyone the undertaking that was Continuum, an album I’ll be dedicating my life and liver to erasing the memory of.

Have you ever been hatefucked by a ghost? No? Well, the restless spirit of SwordBorn has been having a go at my ears since I was first saddled with Continuum, and though I probably can’t repeat some of my more colorful break-room musings on the matter, I will say that I wish this music had died gone on sabbatical with him. Make no mistake, Cathubodua are the very definition of SwordBorncore: the guitars are more colorful and playful than a litter ov rave babies, and the vocals are so goddam cheesy that I haven’t been able to shit since my first spin.2 To be perfectly clear: if you’re not here for the powers, leave now before cursing your ears with Continuum. The rest of you little trolls, read on, and savor this victory while you can. Also: fuck you.

The more observant ov you have probably gathered that Continuum is a power metal offering, but the truly astute3 have likely ascertained the crux of my ire: It’s not a bad album by any means4 The whole thing is an adventure, full of life and energy — which, ov course, makes me sick. Kenny Callebaut and Kylon Vannufelen work WoW-worthy wonders with their wily ways of guitardom, operating on a virtuosic level that is wont to weedly-weedly-weedly-wooooo straight into the hearts of Dragonforce acolytes and Epicurious Avantasia sympathizers alike. Doubling down on the dosage of Muppet-B-Gone, there is also a concerning whiff of Alestorm in the air, with subtle hints of Korpiklaani or perhaps something (ugh) fun like Finntroll. High octane symphonic metal with folk overtones is what Cathubodua bring to the table, and for some reason many fans of the genre may consider Continuum something of a delicacy.

Cathubodua - Continuum 02

Connoisseur ov cheddar I mayn’t be, but even I’m aware that, for all that Continuum doesn’t do right, the performance of vocalist Sara Vanderheyden will likely be the deciding factor for those considering returning for seconds. It’s not that it’s over-the-top theatrical —though it is — and it’s not that it detracts from the instrumental performances, though it does but it is reliably on pitch and in tune for only about 85% of any given track, and that’s a tough cheese stick to swallow in any genre. Vanderheyden makes a good go of exploring her own potential, tackling symphonic warbling just as ardently as she does the realm of harsh growls5 To her credit, I genuinely enjoy her growls and respect the Hell out of her versatile ambition, yet the consistent offness of her cleans does the album zero favors. For their part, the band members keep listeners on their toes by traversing a respectable spectrum of moods and tones with boisterous aplomb, but much of the ground they cover is quickly lost to Vanderheyden’s thin and faltering efforts, woe Discordia.

In case it eluded you, Continuum is a fairly solid album in many ways, I just absolutely fucking hate it. Honestly, if the idea of someone getting Kamelot in your Nightwish and then sprinkling it with Korpiklaani sounds up your alley, you should seek fucking help, yo this one out. Instrumentally speaking, you’re not likely to find a better manifestation of such a sick and twisted fantasy than on Continuum, and if that’s what you’re after then you might even find yourself feeling far more forgiving of the consistently cringe-worthy croonery than I. Unforgiving heap ov hate that I am, however, I can’t run away from this thing fast enough, and I will never forgive you Jørn-forsaken bastards for needing us to go through such dairy drenched Hells for you. You deserve nothing, and I hope you get less, yo’s.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Massacre Records
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: October 25th, 2019

Show 5 footnotes

  1. In case you couldn’t tell.
  2. This may account for some of my anger. As of the time of writing, it’s been 13 days — please send help.
  3. That’s right, yo; no v’s for you, you sub-kult goons!
  4. You know, other than the fact that listening to it felt like aurally ingesting cyanide-laced battery acid.
  5. Read: proper metal vocals.
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