After gaining quite a boost on outside of Taiwan popularity with “Takasago Army”, Chthonic returns with another very intense and equally interesting release. With “Bú-Tik” the band continues with their very thematic lyrical context and their majestic music that mixes Melodic/Symphonic Black/Death Metal elements with lush arrangements and authentic instrumentation. Proving that their last album was not a fluke, “Bú-Tik” continues with their musical intensity, and delivers ten tracks of top-notch quality.
The album opens with the very dramatic “Arising Armament”, a lush instrumental intro with a very tense vibe. The band’s musical magic continues with the powerful “Supreme Pain for the Tyrant”, a very aggressive yet atmospheric and catchy track. The vocals of Freddy Lim are impressive, and add that extra level of intensity to the music. “Sail into the Sunset’s Fire” keeps things rolling with blistering drumming and excellent riffing, a highly underrated skill from the band if you ask us. Featuring some excellent solos, this track is one of the best of the album.
The opening chant of “Next Republic” nicely changes things up a bit, just before Chthonic dives into another exercise in well-written brutality. The band’s core sound is quite compact and very powerful, allowing all the extra atmospheric elements to be excellent complements to their unique and very diverse sound. The very regal and mysterious “Rage of my Sword” nicely leads to the very direct “Between Silence and Death”, a track that is quite commanding and aggressive.
Doris Yeh does a great job in providing a pulsating bass guitar performance in this release and on “Resurrection Pyre” you can feel the pouncing on your speakers immediately. The mix in this release is quite aggressive, allowing the core elements of the band be very upfront and just get complemented by the synths and erhu, a very unique sounding instrument that authenticates the band’s roots. The album’s best track comes with the name of “Defenders of Butik Palace”, a punishing song that features excellent female vocals by Meiyun Tang, adding an extra spark into the band’s already excellent sound.
Overall, “Bú-Tik” is one hell of a release that will surely propel Chthonic into more international recognition. The band’s music is just astounding, perfectly blending aggression with atmospheric elements and a historical context, we can immediately tell they are truly skilled musicians. With a career spanning almost 20 years, the band has reached their prime with this release and we can only hope there are more releases as good as this one in the future.
Label: Spinefarm Records
Release: June 18th, 2013
Genre: Symphonic/Melodic Black/Death Metal