Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

ChthoniC

Seedig Bale

Review by Gary Hill

Quick – name off your five favorite Taiwanese bands! OK, so you might not have heard of any bands from Taiwan – until now that is. ChthoniC are putting the concept of Taiwanese metal on the playing field. And they do it with style. Their particular breed of music falls into the form of extreme Goth metal. While you will hear things that remind you of Cradle of Filth, they only start there. Indeed, they infuse classical elements and epic metal textures into their sound. Add in some alternating soaring female vocals and Asian violin and you'll see that this is a sound all their own. I'd have to say that while only Nixon could go to China, only ChthniC could pull off this musical mix. The sound is oppressive, but also extremely powerful. The pounding is unrelenting, but yet they weave enough melody and power into it that it doesn't really seem “scary.” Yes, this sound is dark and brutal, but it's got a velvet edge to it. If you like extreme metal, do yourself a favor and check these guys out. You won't hear anyone else who sounds quite like this and I'm betting you'll really like it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Progeny of Rmdex Tasting
This comes in tentatively, but then twists into a scorching, slab of powerhouse gothic metal. The riffing on here is killer and they make great use of keyboards to diversify the sound. The contrast between screamed extreme metal vocals and soaring female singing works quite well, too. The overall feel is like taking Cradle of Filth and mixing it with a female fronted epic metal band. While this is unusual and a bit jarring at first, it's also extremely strong. I'd look at this song like a baptism in fire preparing you for the onslaught that is just beginning.
Indigenous Laceration
A meaty riff starts here, but it resolves as an echoey start and stop pattern at first. Eventually it takes over in earnest, creating a pounding piece of pyrotechnics over which the snarled vocals emerge. The percussion turns too fast to believe after a while. Noisy screaming guitar duels with keyboards to great effect. This is oppressive, but also oh so tasty. The female vocals don't show up until the latter half of this track.
Enthrone
While this also stomps in, the effect is dramatic and symphonic. They move through a series of changes and the track actually turns neo-classical for a time. The female and male vocals each get their time to shine here and a frantically fast classical music sound serves as an interlude between lines of lyrics. It's amazing how much happens on this one, especially when you consider that it's only a minute and four seconds in length.
Bloody Gaya Fulfilled
A more melodic hard rocking texture serves to start this one off. They pound it out into more of their signature wall of sound motif. The female singing skims around the top of the more traditional extreme metal sounding vocal work. This is another that shows off an epic metal, neo classical approach through much of the track. It's another powerhouse piece, but by this point why would you expect anything else? They include a very epic metal related interlude on this.
The Gods Weep
The most sedate tones of all, in the form of nearly progressive rock oriented classically tinged sounds begin this. As the rest of the group enter it reminds me a lot of a heavier take on something from Rush's Hemispheres disc. When it screams out in earnest, though, this is all dark, extreme metal. They integrate more of the classical textures into the arrangement later, and the echoes of “Cygnus...” return. This is one of the most dynamic pieces on the disc, wandering from one sound and musical theme to the next. The changes seem to come rapid fire around each corner. We don't get the female vocals until the closing segment of the tune.
Where the Utux Ancestors Wait
Keyboards lead this off, feeling like the soundtrack to some science fiction or horror film. When the metal pounding takes over the female vocals add a gentle edge to the proceedings. They don't stay around long, though. Instead the extreme shouting / snarling takes over. The female vocals and other elements return as icing on this musical cake at later points.
Exultant Suicide
By this point the music is starting to suffer a bit from lack of variety. This cut is another strong piece of ChthoniC's trademark sound, but it's all starting to blend together and this piece suffers from that. A mellow, keyboard dominated break, though, does serve to alleviate that problem a bit. The soaring female vocals and exceptional riff that follows don't hurt either.
Banished Into Death
Frantic, but dramatic modes start this off. As they pull into the song proper some dissonant sounds in the mix lend an almost prog rock sensibility – mind you, crafted into metallic brutality. This is probably the most creative track here. Those prog rock sounds skirt over the top and they drop back to a classically tinged keyboard solo for a time.
Quasi Putrefaction
They close the disc with another smoking slab of extreme metal flavored with classically dominated epic metal motifs. While it's a bit too little variety it's also a strong cut that does a nice job of closing the album. At seven minutes in length it's also the longest track on show here.
 
More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Non-Prog
Progressive Rock
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2019 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com