Review: 'BU-TIK' by Chthonic (Critic's Pick!)

The fast-pounding and ferocious tunes in Chthonic's seventh studio album, Bu-Tik, have a distinctively Oriental touch.

SINGAPORE - As a fan of extreme metallers Chthonic's fast, pounding and ferocious tunes, I sometimes find it hard to believe that frontman Freddy Lim and his headbanging mates were born and bred in Taiwan, otherwise known as the birthplace of schmaltzy, sentimental Mandopop ballads.

True-blue Taiwanese they might be, but the quintet hardly pander to radio-friendly mainstream tastes.

Bu-Tik, Chthonic's seventh studio album, continues the path they've treaded the past decade, one that has led them to gigs across Europe, including high-profile heavy metal shows Download Festival and Bloodstock.

Like their best albums Seediq Bale (2005) and Takasago Army (2011), Chthonic's brand of melodic death-meets-symphonic black metal on Bu-Tik is infectious and cathartic.

I love the blend of brutal riffs and Lim's powerful screams with traditional Chinese instrument erhu, aboriginal tribal chants and Hokkien folk interludes, giving their numbers a distinctively Oriental touch.

Standout tracks include Rage Of My Sword, Next Republic and Defenders Of Bu-Tik Palace, which are truly epic, majestic works.

Format: CD, Digital download

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