CHTHONIC – Seediq Bale

A review for this album has been late in the making, but it should speak well for CHTHONIC that their album titled Seediq Bale still demands a review nearly a year after its initial release. CHTHONIC bring their own unique style of extreme metal to the table with a heavy Taiwanese flare. Some fans would most easily label the music as symphonic black metal, but idiosyncrasies that define their sound set CHTHONIC apart as a diamond in the rough among the extreme metal scene. Incorporation of female vocals, keyboards, and the erhu (also known as a Chinese violin) create a distinctive sound when combined with such Eastern themes. The album itself tells mythological tales about the struggles of the seediq tribe that has been around for countless years. On the technical side of things, Seediq Bale has what is potentially the best production of any CHTHONIC album thus far, and enhanced versions of the album contain music videos and live footage. The band’s performance is flawless both on the album recording and in the live material. The entire album drips with dark atmosphere, and it should be obvious to any listener that the band put a lot of thought and passion into how to convey such pathos. “Indigenous Laceration” is easily the catchiest song on the album, but “Bloody Gaya Fulfilled” should stand as the band’s greatest opus on this release. The lyrics themselves are not politically charged, but it is worth noting that CHTHONIC have undertaken a unique political crusade to have Taiwan included as a separate country in the United Nations. So far their quest has not met with success, but such noble determination on behalf of their country only further demonstrates the internal fire driving this band to accomplish great things. This was easily one of the best releases of 2006, and extreme metal fans should not hesitate to give this band the chance it deserves. (Down Port Music)

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