CHTHONIC - A Decade On The Throne

Chthonic - A Decade On The Throne

22 songs
101:58 minutes
***** ****
Tra / SPV


Taiwanese symphonic black metal band Chthonic are quite unknown in Europe, but on their home island, they are one of the most popular metal acts. It’s a known fact that Asia has quite a big rock and melodic metal scene, but the more extreme music is harder to find.

To celebrate the band’s tenth anniversary, Chthonic have released a huge package containing a double live CD and a live DVD. The three discs are set into a kind of elegant book with thick cardboard pages showing live photos and Chinese texts. I can’t remember having ever seen an aesthetically more appealing CD box.

The two live CDs are running for about 100 minutes and are a fine example to demonstrate how live music should sound on CD. The production is optimal, the audience has been well integrated into the recordings and the mix of songs, solos and short speeches makes for a real live atmosphere. The songwriting is quite diverse, but the track listing unfortunately contains some blackouts. The first one is the five minute long intro consisting solely of piano and torture moans. The situation soon improves with the following songs containing angry vocals, great female choirs, excellent guitar work and brilliant keyboard parts. Their songs impress with symphonic, atmospheric, chaotic, hyper fast and gothic passages, with many unpredictable breaks. Only the guitar and drum solos aren’t too spectacular. The use of Asian flutes and violins are another argument to highlight the band’s Far East origins.

The 20 track live DVD contains more or less the same songs as the CDs and is about 97 minutes long. Unlike the CDs, the DVD is a low budget production with deficits on the image quality and a lesser sound than the CDs. More cameras on different positions would have helped to create a better atmosphere, but then we have to respect that Chthonic probably don’t have too much of a budget. The band’s eccentric stage acting is still worth checking out. It’s quite unusual to see Asian people with corpse paint, and especially the young lady on the bass is just looking too cute with her make-up. All in all this is an enjoyable live show with a frenetic audience, glitter falling from the ceiling and of course fierce musicians that are really into their jobs.

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