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Friday, June 1, 2012

ChthoniC - Music Review

Jessie Chen & Wendy Chang

When I was a high school student, one day I saw a music video on TV. It was sung by ChthoniC(閃靈). I was shocked by their powerful melody and strange make- up. Since then, I have become one of their fans. ChthoniC released their sixth and last album, Takasago Army (高砂軍), in July, 2011. It was ranked #7 on the Top 10 Metal Music list.

ChthoniC is a Taiwanese metal band that was formed in 1995. There are five members in this band. “ChthoniC” means “underworld” in Greek. Because of the meaning of “ChthoniC”, this band combined elements like darkness, Hell, and strong energy in their music and stage performances. Most of ChthoniC’s songs are related to Chinese culture. They write songs and lyrics based on Taiwanese traditional myths and historical events. They play the traditional Chinese two-string instrument, Erhu, on their albums. They also wear black-and-white make-up during their concerts. ChthoniCis a different from other bands and represents a unique style.

(ChthoniC Official YouTube Channel)

Takasako Army tells the story of the Takasago Volunteers, a group of Taiwanese aborigines who were soldiers in the Japanese Army during World War II. There are 10 songs in this album. ChthoniC combined three kinds of music on this album, metal, Classical Chinese, and Japanese Enka. They also invited famous Taiwanese singers to sing together on this new album, including Zhan Yawen(詹雅雯), and Yu Tien(余天). These singers give this album a more authentic Taiwanese flavor.

"Takao" is my favorite song on Takasako Army. ChthoinC invited YuTien to sing this song with them. YuTien's deep voice and ChthoinC’s powerful melody went together very well. The song begins with Japanese Enka and strong guitar. It really touches me deeply. The lyrics are very special because they are written in Classical Chinese. That’s the biggest difference between ChthoniC and other metal bands.

(Click to hear "Takao")

ChthoniC’s vocalist's voice and their musical style might be hard to accept at first, but if you listen carefully, you’ll start to understand what they want to express about Taiwan society If you are a heavy metal fan, you won't want to miss such a special band. Go to YouTube and watch ChthoniC's video. We are sure you will enjoy their music and performances immediately, just like we did. There is also an English version of Takasako Army available for download from iTunes. If you like what you hear, you can buy it on ChthoniC‘s official website.

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