Catamenia / Cavalacade

CavalcadeCatamenia is a black metal band from Finland, founded in 1995 by original members Riku Hopeakoski and Mika Tönning in Oulu. They have been signed to Massacre Records ever since their first full-length, Halls of Frozen North in 1998. As of 2010, they have released nine albums, 1 EP, and one DVD. They are known to frequently use wolves in their album art. Catamenia means “Menstruation”. The band didn’t know about this until a fan pointed it out to them after the release of their debut album.

The Analysis:

Blood Trails—-I have to admit, sometimes I’m slow….I’m new to this band…even though they have been around since 1995…slowly I am managing to discover the back catalog. The remarkable thing about this band, for me, is that the music is damn accessible and melodic…actually bordering on Progressive, all the while the vocal delivers a brutality to keep them in the forefront of my brain. This is superproduced, well delivered and almost mainsteam….with a magical dose of evil thrown in for fun. Fantastic!

Cavalcade—-The intro to this track comes off as much louder and darker than the opener here. The melody is quick to kick in and softens up the delivery a bit, but the band never seems to lose any of its power. When the vocal begins, you almost automatically think of James Hetfield. The vocals manage to switch effortlessly between a melodic singing to a deep growl that causes me to shake my head in wonder. this is the best of all worlds thrown together in a 5 minute excursion that will have you vacationing here again and again.

The Path That Lies Behind Me—-Again, the song begins with a burst of bass driven aggression, when the leads kick in the song calms a bit but the vocal scream that opens the track gives it a much more brutal feel. the drums on this track are like machines…incredibly fast and aggressive with huge breaks that just leave you in awe. The song actually has a chorus that allows for melody AND harmony….I love this band…even though they are more accessible than I normally gravitate towards.

Silence—-Much more somber and falling in the almost ‘ballad realm’, this is nice and bass heavy. The leads enter the song and the track just seems to soar above everything else around right now. At times the voice reminds me of a hoarse Dani Filth…delivered with a slight evil timbre that only causes me to smile…when the guttural growl enters, the song takes on even more atmosphere…this is stellar!

Quantity Of Sadness—-Returning to a more acceptable full throttle Metal delivery, this track is speedy as hell and delivered with what seems to be a much more under-produced sound. This comes across as gritty, dirty and damn evil. The vocal is pushed to the back a bit and the sound levels seemed turned down on everything…but somehow the underground feel leads credence to the band and remains one of my favorite tracks on this release.

Post Mortem—-Returning to the trademark polished Black Metal sound of most of the record, the leads on this song just manage to soar way above your head. The vocal delivery is deep, fast and spit at you like lead bullets…meanwhile the breaks continue and are mixed with a REALLY nice clean vocal that provides an irresistible harmony to the whole damn thing. This is rather phenomenal, this band provides something for everyone but never becomes so overbearing that it will turn off some. Remarkable…why is this band not huge?

The Vulture’s Feast—-Again, the band breaks the momentum of sound and delivers another Metallica styled ballad that almost seems out-of-place once you have finally found your groove. The high points? ….the wonderfully soaring leads that stick in your brain…the constant cymbal crashing in the backdrop and the damn exquisite vocal…delivered clean and with overlays that allow the track to be huge. This is nice, but a bit wimpy compared to the rest of this release.

A Callous Mind—-Delivering a nice return to the more than predictable material on the record, this is Prog-Death Metal at it’s finest. the mood swings that this band manages to produce are incredible…the drums are stellar and when the guitar really lets loose with the vocal you are in the middle of a noise fest. This is what I needed at this moment and the band has not failed me…delivered with venom and speed, I am at once comfortable and smiling.

Reincarnation—-This is a remarkably full sounding song from the very first notes…the guitars are layered and the drum track is pivotal. the scream that leads off the vocal is trademark by now and almost expected…this is stellar stuff. The slight fuzz that runs through the guitar sound is dark and the clean vocal that enters really give the song a nice melody…this is superb.

Angry Again—-Ending the release much as it started, this track finds the band in fine melodic form without ever losing that slight touch of Finnish Black Metal that has steered the group. this is Finland’s answer to Metallica and the band lives up to that moniker in a rather spectacular way…it will be interesting to get the debut release and watch the progression….Onwards and Upwards!!!

**** 1/4 out of 5


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