|While Taiwan is considered home of Austronesian peoples, and a mystic island nation in the Orient, advanced technologies and modern cities are also part of the image of Taiwan. The metal band Chthonic has given the best interpretation to the contrasting images of the country.
Chthonic's lyrics are inspired by Taiwanese mythology, folk stories, and history. The music incorporates elements of traditional Taiwanese folk music, enka, and sorrowful melodies from Taiwanese opera, accompanied by traditional Taiwanese musical instruments, such as hena, zheng - also known as "box zither"- and pgaku flute. Also integral parts of Chthonic's music are elements from contemporary symphonic black metal, melodic death metal, blood-boiling riffs and solos. Critiques have tried to label Chthonic's music as black metal, death metal or folk metal, but Chthonic has chosen to use the term "orient metal" to define this genre of heavy metal music that's unique to Taiwan. Meanwhile, Chthonic's bassist Doris - who was dubbed one of the sexiest female rockers by Revolver, and has been on magazines such as FHM and GQ - is a bonus for fans all over the world.
From Fuji Rock and Loud Park in Japan, to Ozzfest in the US, Download in the UK, and Wacken Open Air in Germany, Chthonic has been to major music festivals around the world, and has had toured over 200 shows in more than 30 countries. Chthonic is certainly one of the most active Asian bands in the world of metal.
In Taiwan, several of Chthonic's albums were on the pop-music charts, and the band has been awarded the "Golden Melody Award" - the Taiwanese version of the Grammy Award. Besides being Chthonic, band members are also active in different fields. Doris, the bassist and the band leader, advocates for a women's rights organization, and has acted in movies; the drummer Dani is working hard in music education to bring up the younger generation of musicians; the guitarist Jesse and the keyboard player CJ are involved in production of many albums of Taiwanese bands; the lead vocalist, Freddy, is active in public affairs relating to human rights and social justice issues.
The five members of Chthonic have worked together for nearly 10 years. Coming from different walks of life, their diverse backgrounds have turned into music that's well-enjoyed by fans around the world. The latest album Bú-Tik, released in 2013, takes listeners on a journey travel through time with the main character in the story, and lingers around countless violent scenes, joining riots with pirates, immortals, gangsters, prisoners, scholars, kungfu masters, and commoners. Bú-Tik may appear to be an album with an independent theme, but stories of prior albums including Seediq Bale, Mirror Of Retribution, and Takasago Army are blended in to fill the story of Chthonic's music with the flesh of different eras and identities.