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September 13, 2007


Elisabeth Vincentelli

I second everything Steve said, and would only add that I was struck by how creative the band can get within a fairly rigid framework. ChthoniC follows the basic precepts of old-school Norwegian black metal—which is formally and aesthetically strict—and at the same time manages to sound very much like something else. Their take on corpsepaint is unique, and the addition of the erhu allows for a more varied palette. What I'm curious about is their take on the anti-religious angle that's so fundamental in black metal.
Sigh, from Japan, also works out a twist in the black-metal formula. Not only do they now incorporate an instrument (sax) not traditionally associated with metal, but I wonder how they reconcile an anti-christian genre with the shinto tradition.


I saw ChthoniC at the NJ Metal Meltdown (or whatever it was called) in Asbury Park in, I think, 2000 (they were on right before Candiria), didn't get their name, and spent about the next three years raving about "some amazing black metal band from China." I recently got their 2CD/1DVD live set, A Decade On The Throne, which documents a ferocious hometown gig and comes in lavish packaging. Highly recommended.

David T. Little

Thanks for posting this, Steve. It is so nice to see someone finally acknowledging the protest/political aspects of metal. (And to see a band being so explicit in their politics!) It is a very important element of the genre, in my opinion, and has too often been overlooked.

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