“A Decade On The Throne” (DVD/CD) by Chthonic

Artist: Chthonic
Title: “A Decade On The Throne” (DVD/CD)
Label: Deathlight Records
Release Date: 6/26/2007
Genre: Melodic Black Metal
Rating: 4/5

Chthonic is a Taiwanese Melodic Black Metal band that blends the elements of the more traditional Symphonic Black Metal into that of Taiwanese music and comes up with a very interesting and intriguing listen for the discerning music fan. Formed in 1995 the band is fueled by their ancient history and heritage along with its mythology and from this they aim is to bring their nations often tragic past to the minds of the people in the modern world of today. The DVD entitled “A Decade On The Throne” is an incredible live concert from the band as they deliver an absolutely pummeling set of tunes for a capacity crowd in Huashan Culture Park in Taipei, Taiwan. Filmed last year (2006), the band uses their cultures musical themes and ideas to great success and it is quite impressive to see how instruments like the Er-hu (a traditional Oriental violin) work within this context. As far as trying to figure out how the level of drama in their music plays out, just envision a little bit of what Dimmu Borgir has been doing on their last few albums but with a distinctive Oriental twist to it. The band also sings in their native tongue so unless you understand Black Metal growls in Chinese you will need to find some English translations to find out what they are singing about. Given a lot of this is based on cultural mythology and history is it surely bound to make for interesting reading. A band like this would most certainly cause quite a stir in a country like their own and according to research they have been banned in certain parts of China based on their own political stand and views. Lead singer Freddy Lim is quite active in the political aspect of his country and stands firm on issues like Taiwanese independence and negationism (which is also referred to as Historical revisionism).

Joining Freddy in the band are Jesse the Infernal (guitar), Doris Thunder Tears (bass), CJ (keyboards), Dani Azathothian Hands (drums) and Su-Nung, the Bloody String (Er-hu). Outside of the main set of music we are treated to solos from guitar, keyboards, drums and Er-hu and while I normally am always blown away by the drum solo it was on this video that the keyboards and Er-hu did it. That violin sure has some melancholy edge to it and really presents the ethnic feel that they are delivering best. I admit that it was interesting to see an instrument like that used in a Heavy Metal group. What impressed me the most was the fact that I was unable to turn this film off or even skip around to see what else was coming up. Instead, I sat straight through and enjoyed tune after tune from these really talented musicians. This is one incredible band who further prove that Metal music is only as limited as you allow it to be. The sixteen actual tunes performed cover the bands catalog quite well and makes this DVD a great jumping on point for a newer fan of Symphonic Metal. They also include two CD’s which feature the concert so you can have it should you only want to listen to this in the car or on your stereo. There did not appear to be any additional features but the concert itself was more than satisfying for me. The group might have been around for ten years already but I think their climb to the top will accelerate based on the growing popularity of Dark Metal and that which features a more Ethnic aspect to it.

The DVD packaging itself is quite stunning and here is why. It’s housed in a hardcover book with a velvet feel to it and dramatic red embossing for its lettering. The inside appears to be a real book until you open it and find it sectioned off to fit the DVD and two CD’s comfortably. Truly one of those collector type releases. My one gripe is that it seemed a little difficult to place the discs back into the book because of the way the pages were cut. There are several photos from the show to enjoy along with some commentary but the text is also entirely in Chinese. I am not sure if their website has the literal translations of everything on this at this time, but perhaps they do plan on doing this to serve the larger Metal buying public.

Track Listing:
1. Indigenous Laceration
2. Progeny Of Rmdax Tasing
3. The Breath Of Ocean
4. Decomposition Of The Mother Isle (Aboriginal Gods Enthroned)
5. Grab The Soul To Hell
6. Guitar Solo
7. Drum Solo
8. Vengeance Arise
9. Bloody Gaya Fulfilled
10. Fuck Or die
11. Piano and Keyboard Solo
12. The Gods Weep
13. Oriental Violin Solo
14. Guard The Isle Eternally
15. Where the Utux Ancestors Wait
16. Floated Unconciously In The Acheron
17. Grievance, Acheron Poem
18. Onset Of Tragedy
19. Relentless Recurrence
20. Quasi Putrefaction

Official Website: www.chthonic.org

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