01. Arising Armament (Intro)
02. Supreme Pain for the Tyrant
03. Sail Into the Sunset’s Fire
04. Next Republic
05. Rage of My Sword
06. Between Silence and Death
07. Resurrection Pyre
08. Set Fire to the Island
09. Defenders of Bu-Tik Palace
10. Undying Rearmament (Outro)
Taiwanese symphonic black metal band Chthonic are an interesting bunch. They’ve had a devoted cult following which can be attributed to their fairly unique sound and aesthetic (and perhaps the fact that they’re one of the few well-known metal bands from Taiwan). Nearly two decades from their formation, they’ve recently gained worldwide fame after signing to Spinefarm Records in 2009. Bu-Tik is their third album on Spinefarm, and their seventh overall. The band have stated that this album is supposed to be a blend of their previous three albums. While it doesn’t contain a lot of black metal influences unlike the band’s older albums, it’s still very interesting and a fine album.
It’s hard to explain Chthonic’s sound on Bu-Tik to someone who isn’t very familiar with the band. The band employ a mixture of fairly traditional styles to create a sound that is quite fresh. They employ a power-influenced melodic death metal that is also slightly progressive, similar to Wintersun. In fact, East Asian ethnic instruments are frequently used on many Chthonic albums, which is another similarity they have to Wintersun. But Chthonic are slightly more on the weird side of the spectrum. While they still have empowering moments and epic synths, they rely more on guitar riffs. In some ways their sound can be likened to the cheesy-yet-awesome style of Japanese avant-garde/black metal band Sigh‘s album Hangman’s Hymn, but tamer. Sprinkling that with a flavoring of melodic death metal yields the sound on Bu-Tik. It’s an odd mixture, but it works well.
As it is probably obvious from what’s been said so far, Bu-Tik is a very empowering album. Feel-good melodeath riffs, 80’s shred influenced guitar solos, empowering synths and a constant pulse of double bass make the album very enjoyable to listen to. There are many memorable moments where all the instruments come together to create a buildup and then release, which is immensely satisfying. The songs can blend together a bit in that sometimes they all sound similar, but it’s not a big deal because they’re all pretty good. The production is very competent too, every instrument is audible very clearly and they don’t compete for the attention of the listener. The overall sound is very natural and smooth, which suits the band well.
Overall, Bu-Tik is a solid album full of epic moments. Fans of symphonic or melodic death metal are likely to enjoy it, as Chthonic have yet again delivered a unique and memorable album that no other band could have made.
Chthonic – Bu-Tik gets…