Chthonic – Bú-Tik (Review)

ChthonicMelodic Black/Death Metal from Taiwan; I haven’t heard Chthonic since their excellent Seediq Bale album so I was looking forward to seeing what Bú-Tik had to offer.

Chthonic embody orchestration and fury. Highly melodic and razor sharp, the songs are flourished like swords as only a master can.

Precise, tight riffing and swathes of keys and strings are combined with folk-Asian influences to produce songs that are reminiscent of the symphonic Dimmu Borgir’s and Cradle of Filth’s of the world but with the origins of the harmonies coming from a much different background. Chthonic very much have their own character.

The drums and multi-layered venomous vocals dominate this release, with the orchestration pitched at the right level. The guitars are sheets of serrated steel working underneath everything, and the bass is muted at best.

With good songwriting and an expert understanding of this genre Chthonic have once again produced a well-rounded and thoroughly enjoyable release. There’s an intensity to these tracks and the molten Metal barely lets up until the album fades. With a whole hat-full of ideas and quirks rolled into their sound repeated listens are recommended. The direct assault of the songs works immediately, but after that has gone you’re left with the insidious harmonies stalking you when you least expect it. Symphonic Black Metal earworms indeed.

An impressively realised album that has obviously had a lot of work put into the compositions and structure of the tracks. Check them out and see what you think; just beware the pointy bits – those swords are sharper than they look…

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