This week two albums by Taiwan’s premier metal act CHTHONIC ”“ dubbed the “BLACK SABBATH of Asia” by their home country’s largest newspaper, and soon to be the first-ever Asian act to take part in Ozzfest ”“ will finally be released in North America. Relentless Recurrence, initially released in 2002, and last year’s A Decade on the Throne live double album/DVD will continue the momentum started by the acclaimed Seediq Bale, the group’s first American release.
The music of CHTHONIC (pronounced THON-ick) focuses in part on the history of the Taiwanese people. The band has even christened its upcoming international tour ”“ which will commence in suburban Seattle when the group kicks off the summer’s first Ozzfest ”“ “UNlimited,” in part to protest how the United Nations (UN) limits Taiwan’s full participation as an independent country. (Visit www.myspace.com/CHTHONICtw for more on “UNlimited CHTHONIC, UNlimited Taiwan.”)
Set to a riveting soundtrack of symphonic black metal, Relentless Recurrence relays a Taiwanese folk tale about a demonic ghost hell-bent on revenge. Like the group’s other recordings, the album sees CHTHONIC use a Hena, a traditional Asian instrument comparable to a violin, to emphasize the legend’s sorrow and grief. Meanwhile, A Decade on the Throne is an engrossing live double album/DVD set recorded before a sold-out crowd in the band’s home country, and features guest performances by the so-called Oriental Orchestra as well as the Taipei Ladies’ Choir. It will be released in a lavish digibook with special artwork and a velvet covering.
Though the band’s image is reminiscent of the black metal legends of Scandinavia, CHTHONIC’s use of corpse paint is inspired by the history of their own culture. In Taiwanese folklore, deities known as the “Eight Generals” wear corpse paint to become empowered with Taoist spirits that give them the power to judge good and evil. It is this spirit that the band conveys on stage.
CHTHONIC has been pushing boundaries throughout their career, and having singlehandedly launched an extreme metal scene in their home country, the group now sets their sights squarely on the rest of the world. The band will continue taking its music abroad in August when it performs at Wacken Open Air, Germany’s largest annual metal festival, and it will embark on its first full European tour this fall. And though CHTHONIC – like all rotating second-stage Ozzfest bands – will have just 20 minutes to make its case on tour this summer, the group hopes its message reverberates long after their final notes are played.
CHTHONIC “UNlimited” tour dates (more dates TBA): 7/12 White River Amphitheatre - Seattle, WA (Ozzfest) 7/13 Studio Seven - Seattle, WA* 7/14 The Gorge - George, WA (Ozzfest) 7/15 Roseland Theater - Portland, OR* 7/17 Sleep Train Amphitheatre - Sacramento, CA (Ozzfest) 7/18 The Boardwalk - Orangevale, CA* 7/19 Shoreline Amphitheatre - San Francisco, CA (Ozzfest) 7/20 Galaxy Theatre - Santa Ana, CA* 7/21 Hyundai Pavilion - Los Angeles, CA (Ozzfest) 7/22 Orpheum Theatre - Flagstaff, AZ* 7/23 House of Blues - Hollywood, CA* 7/24 Cricket Pavilion - Phoenix, AZ (Ozzfest) 7/25 Launch Pad - Albuquerque, NM* 7/26 Journal Pavilion - Albuquerque, NM (Ozzfest) 7/27 Bluebird Theater - Denver, CO* 7/28 Coors Amphitheatre - Denver, CO (Ozzfest) 7/30 Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - Kansas City, MO (Ozzfest) 7/31 Bob’s - Tulsa, OK* 8/02 Smirnoff Music Center - Dallas, TX (Ozzfest) 8/03 Wacken Open Air Festival - Wacken, Germany 8/06 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre - St. Louis, MO (Ozzfest) 8/07 Pearl Room - Mokena, IL* 8/08 Germain Amphitheatre - Columbus, OH (Ozzfest) 8/09 Peabody’s - Cleveland, OH* 8/10 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre - Chicago, IL (Ozzfest) 8/11 Station 4 - St. Paul, MN* 8/12 Alpine Valley Music Theatre - Milwaukee, WI (Ozzfest) 8/13 Forest Hills Lodge - Rockford, IL* 8/14 Verizon Wireless Music theatre - Indianapolis, IN (Ozzfest) 8/15 The Silo - Reading, PA* 8/16 PNC Bank Arts Center - Holmdel, NJ (Ozzfest) 8/17 Mark’s Showplace - Bedford, NH* 8/18 New England Dodge Music Theatre - Hartford, CT (Ozzfest) 8/19 The Chance - Poughkeepsie, NY* 8/20 Tweeter Center - Boston, MA (Ozzfest) 8/21 B.B. King’s - New York, NY* 8/22 Tweeter Center - Philadelphia, PA (Ozzfest) 8/23 Huntington Music Hall - Huntington, WV* 8/24 Post Gazette Pavilion - Pittsburgh, PA (Ozzfest) 8/25 Harpos - Detroit, MI* 8/26 DTE Energy Music Theatre - Detroit, MI (Ozzfest) 8/27 Jaxx - West Springfield, VA* 8/28 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre - Charlotte, NC (Ozzfest) 8/29 The Haven - Winter Park, FL* 8/30 Sound Advice Amphitheatre - West Palm Beach, FL (Ozzfest) 9/01 The Muse - Nashville, TN 9/02 Uncle Pleasant’s - Louisville, KY 9/05 Penny Arcade ”“ Rochester, NY 9/06 B.B. King’s - New York, NY** 9/07 The Funhaus - Toronto, Ont. 9/08 The Embassy - London, Ont. 9/09 Peabody’s - Cleveland, OH 9/16 Jaxx - West Springfield, VA
* with NILE ** with KATATONIA