Chthonic
Bu-Tik


4.5
superb

Review

by dragoth USER (31 Reviews)
June 4th, 2013 | 24 replies


Release Date: 06/25/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Chthonic delve into their oriental sound and past influences and arise all the stronger for it

Taiwanese black metal act Chthonic raise no small amount of debate within the metal community, with their opus Seediq Baalle released in 2005 they established themselves as a band capable of releasing truly great black metal. Since then they have been on rough terrian, with their follow up albums Mirror of Retribution and Takasago Army gaining them equal measures of praise and criticism, with fans eagerly awaiting the moment they would match their great Seediq Bale once more. Well, with Bu-Tik they have finally managed to come close, albeit with a new sound entirely.

On this album, Chthonic have thrown everything that they have at the listener, there are no slow songs on this, no instrumental breaks, the only instrumentals been the beginning and the end of the album, this is extreme metal as it was meant to be, fast and pounding, not letting up until the listener is either wrapped up in its brutal embrace, never going back, or is lying unconscious on the floor. The production is crisp, allowing all the elements making up the sound to be heard (save the bass unfortunately) and the song structure is varied across the album, adding variety and inspiration to a genre that can occasionally be found wanting in these areas.

What Chthonic have managed to accomplish on this album is a wondrous blend of all the different aspects that make up their sound, from the oriental erhu and other influences from their native Taiwan, to the Cradle of Filth/Dimmu Borgir symphonic elements, to the thrash/death/black metal sounds that they have developed since the beginning. All of these different elements, combined with the powerful and ranged vocals of Freddy Lim and the almost obligatory lyrics about Taiwans messy history, they bring these all together in a form that has not been seen since Seediq Bale. This sound is what has made, and continues to make Chthonic so unique amongst the extreme metal world, and without this, you get the result of Mirror of Retribution which, whilst not a bad album, is not what is wanted from Chthonic.

Each member manages to play their part perfectly, with only guitarist Jesse Liu managing to produce fast and brutal riffs and occasional solo that doesn't let up for the entirety of the albums duration. The drums are brutal, fast double bass pedalling and symbol crashes are to be expected a lot. The symphonic side of the band is provided by keyboardist and synthesiser player CJ who manages to add elements of atmosphere and oriental music to the maelstrom around it through his work, combine this with the erhu from Freddy and the other elements of experimentation, that are more present on this album than on any other and you have a unique sound that is instantly recognisable as Chthonic, bringing in new instruments to the mix to draw even more from their homeland than ever before, a prime example of this sound is on new anthem Defenders of Bu-Tik Palace and great track Rage of My Sword. The vocal department provided by Freddy Lim is on top form, with his unique brand of high scream piercing through each song, thankfully it is employed more than on previous outing Takasago Army which had it on the back, this is not to say that his low, almost death metal growls are bad, they are powerful and provide a good contrast to the highs, and are used wonderfully on this album to punctuate important moments, tempo changes and choral moments, Defenders again been a good example of this. It is unfortunate that Doris Yeh's bass parts are masked by the sound, only occasionally braking through to throw a moment of heaviness at you.

If listeners were wanting a return to the sound of Seediq Bale on this album, then they will unfortunately be left wanting, what you have here is the sound of a band evolving once more. Chthonic are entering a new stage of extreme metal, keeping their influences close to heart and drawing them in like air to the lungs, but at the same time they are reaching up, picking new fruit from the tree, and it is bearing sweet results. Bu-Tik is a must listen for anyone who enjoys oriental sounds, or has enjoyed the newer sounds of Chthonic. If this album shows anything, it is that Chthonic have much more to bring to the table.

Recommended tracks:
Sail into the Sunset Fire
Next Republic
Rage of my Sword
Defenders of Bu-Tik Palace



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user ratings (63)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
BlissfulIrony (4)
An impressive re-imagination that offers originality, diversity and brutality all in one coherent pa...

Philip Whitehead (4.5)
Seediq Bale was no fluke. Despite the different sound, Chthonic show that they are more than capable...


Comments:Add a Comment 
dragoth
June 4th 2013


237 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Hello, was wondering where you had vanished to

Shuyin
June 4th 2013


11827 Comments


4.5?

gotta check this one out then, the last album was alright

Digging: Yoko Kanno - Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex OST Vol 1

dragoth
June 4th 2013


237 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I really, really enjoyed this album, I think it is probably the best thing they have done since Seediq

dragoth
June 4th 2013


237 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

You definitely should, its really good.

@DragonHeartstring - makes sense, I haven't seen any of them, ile check them out, what you get banned for this time?

Shuyin
June 4th 2013


11827 Comments


if its anywhere near Seediq then it should be fucking awesome

dragoth
June 4th 2013


237 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Its a very different sound, if you go in expecting something like it, you will hate it, its of the same quality as Seediq, but its a very evolved sound

DatsNotDaMetulz
June 4th 2013


1807 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah same conclusion I reached. It's an amazing album but you won't like it if you were expecting another Seediq Bale. They've grown out of that sound a bit now.

Shuyin
June 4th 2013


11827 Comments


great! its pointless to rehash the old stuff

listening now, riffs are pretty cool so far

DatsNotDaMetulz
June 4th 2013


1807 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I'm just rehashing my review of the album (read it and pos pls) now but you can tell from songs like
Next Republic that they're exploring their other influences like power metal through the riffs. They
did used to dabble in stuff like that in their really early stuff too but since they got big with the
black metal stuff it just got lost in the days of old.

Also the acoustic versions they posted online of Defenders and Sunset's Fire are great. Sunset's Fire
acoustic vid just clips of Pirates of the Caribbean and One Piece.

dragoth
June 4th 2013


237 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

@DatsNot yeah, they are exploring lots of different elements in their sound now and its really good, they have lost a lot of the black metal sound they used to have.

Checked out your review, pos'd it ealier, will check out the acoustic stuff

DatsNotDaMetulz
June 4th 2013


1807 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a6DXkXJeZw Defenders

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPFlE6_fZOA Sunset's Fire

Also here's a trailer for the Supreme Pain For The Tyrant music vid out next week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dudw0_At3YU

ASIAN NAZIS

dragoth
June 4th 2013


237 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Those are pretty awesome, new video looks great. 3 videos in around 2 weeks, we're being spoiled.

Asian Nazis is an interesting idea to say the least

dragoth
June 4th 2013


237 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

@DragonHeart at least your consistent, it's good that your still with us

DatsNotDaMetulz
June 4th 2013


1807 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I may upload the symphonic version of Set Fire to the Island to YouTube at some point if I cba.

dragoth
June 4th 2013


237 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

It would be good to hear if you did decide too, is it as good as the album version?

dragoth
June 4th 2013


237 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Apparently not

foxblood
June 4th 2013


6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

will listen to this later

foxblood
June 4th 2013


6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i have the Taiwanese version and English version, what's better (or are they identical other than the way they are tagged?)

DatsNotDaMetulz
June 4th 2013


1807 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Only difference is the lyrics really. Musically exactly the same.

And the symphonic version and metal version of Set Fire to the Island are equally good. Just one comes with a full album with a naked cyborg woman on the cover and the other comes with soft porn of Doris Yeh. Which I gave to my friend for her birthday.

bloc
June 4th 2013


34919 Comments


Cool album cover



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