Oblivious Presents: Chthonic

This week, on Oblivious Presents, the Captain reaches 6000 posts in a desperate cry for attention. As usual, a review follows, so wrap up warm and sit tight because we're going to listen to some Taiwanese black metal[1].
image
That's pronounced "Thonic" apparently

First off, before I review the album Seediq Bale, I'm going to completely ignore the band's political activity which is always dragged up in whatever you'll read about them. While there is a point to that, much of their music is supposedly about freedom from the Chinese government. Not that you'd notice with typical metal screeches filling most of the vocal portion of the band's sound and anything that could be understood being in Taiwanese, Japanese or Chinese.

Lyrically speaking, they are not all too different from any other band in this genre. Their songs are mostly about the mythology and folklore fot heir homeland, in this case Taiwan. Although the source material for lyrical inspiration is, in essence, the same as many metal bands, it is a refreshing change not to hear about vikings.

In any case, Seediq Bale is packed full of loud, yet ultimately quite forgettable songs with a few exceptions. Of these, the most notable is the brilliant introduction to The Gods Weep, which seems somewhat ruined by the rude intrusion of heavy guitars and screaming Taiwanese man. Fortunately, Chthonic have the power of the riff, as shown in Indigenous Laceration which makes the vocals somewhat sufferable. Sadly, it seems that Chthoni's problem is that they perform brilliantly in the more epic and orchestral pieces such as the minute long Enthrone, which, luckily, has vocals mostly performed by bassist Doris "Thunder Tears" Yeh, whose clean singing, although mostly a wordless wail, draws attention and seems to give the rest of the song a brief respite from the ferocity of regular vocalist Freddy Lim's piercing screech. While listening to this album I though that half of the songs could've been pressed into one longer and overall, more impressive piece that incorporates the wonderful solo of Bloody Gaya Fulfilled and the other aforementioned highlights, without the torture of what I assume is a cat being raped two-thirds of the way through Where the Utax Ancestors Wait. Fortunately, this occurs on the album's finale, Quasi Putrefaction, which is a brilliant song and something I'd recommend to anyone with the faintest interest in the black metal subgenre, whether they're dipping their toes in the proverbial pool or they're the olympic hopeful spending every waking moment in there.

While Seediq Bale was a good album I feel it could be so much more if perhaps the key elements that make Chthonic great were pushed together such as they are in Quasi Putrefaction. The album itself I would rate as a worthy gift for anyone interested and I urge anyone reading this to at least give that final song a listen.

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[1] It probably isn't Black Metal but I honestly couldn't care less about the bickering metal subgenres.

I read on your Twitter that you were desparate for a reply to this, so here you go.

I have never heard of Cthonic, sounds like a kind of medicine. Although, not hearing of them doesn't seem like that much of a tragedy.

T-Bone24:
I read on your Twitter that you were desparate for a reply to this, so here you go.

Aww. Thanks.

A friend of mine wanted to get us all to see them live. I'd never heard of them, and I was even more perplexed as I was assuming that the same friend was getting us tickets to see In Flames and Killswitch Engage. Both plans fell through due to numerous counts of social bullshit that I refuse to even attempt to comprehend.

Captain Pancake:
A friend of mine wanted to get us all to see them live. I'd never heard of them, and I was even more perplexed as I was assuming that the same friend was getting us tickets to see In Flames and Killswitch Engage. Both plans fell through due to numerous counts of social bullshit that I refuse to even attempt to comprehend.

Ah, apparently they're very good live if that's your thing. A friend of mine saw them in London recently and recommended them, hence my puchase of the album and thus the review.

SirBryghtside:
Nice review - oh yeah, and to do footnotes use the [footnote] BB code - it's useful.

Thanks for the tip.

One day you might come up in the ranks of me.

Oh wait, you once where above me. Whatever happened to those times?

Good review. I'm not much into the whole genre/subgenre, but I can appreciate a good review when I see it.

HUBILUB:
One day you might come up in the ranks of me.

Oh wait, you once where above me. Whatever happened to those times?

I disappeared for a couple of months.

We missed you.. :)

Anyways, never heard of this band. Then again I'm not much of a music fan

 

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