Chthonic – Bu-Tik

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Review by Raymond Westland

Spinefarm Records

Up until the release of Takasago Army, virtually no one in Europe and North America had heard of Tawainese black metal/folk outfit Chthonic. The album was critically acclaimed and thanks to extensive touring with Arch Enemy, Devildriver and Skeletonwitch, the band won over many new fans.

On their latest record, Bu-Tik, Chthonic’s trademark combination of black metal, folk metal and Oriental flourishes continues to serve the band well. The abundent use of indigenous instruments gives Bu-Tik an adventage few other bands possess. This time around the emphasis lays on the orchestrations and symphonic elements and less on the guitars. I’m not too excited about this decision, because it takes a lot of the power and venom from otherwise fine compositions, like ‘Supreme Pain For The Tyrant’, ‘Next Republic’ and ‘Defenders Of Bu-Tik Palace’.

Another element that serves the band well is their uncanny ability to write memorable songs with massive chorusses and all the catchy hooks to die for. Tracks like ‘Sail Into The Sunset’s Fire’, ‘Set Fire To The Island’ and the somewhat Manowarian titled ‘Rage Of My Sword’ are catchy as hell. Before you know you’re singing and tapping along. Singer Freddy Lim’s screams and screeches bare some resemblance with Cradle Of Filth’s Dani Filth. However, Chthonic packs a bigger punch than the last five Cradle albums combined. The tasteful guitar leads and solos by Jesse Liu are the proverbial icing on the cake.

Bu-Tik is a solid album which thrives on everything you come to love from Chthonic. Well-written songs enriched with Oriental flourishes and rich orchestrations dominate the record. I’m sure Bu-Tik will further establish Chthonic as a truly global metal force.

Chthonic-Bu-Tik

8.5 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Arising Armament (intro)
  2. Supreme Pain For The Tyrant
  3. Sail Into Sunset’s Fire
  4. Next Republic
  5. Rage Of My Sword
  6. Between Silence And Death
  7. Resurrection Pyre
  8. Set Fire To The Island
  9. Defenders Of Bu-Tik Palace
  10. Undying Rearmament (outro)