Relentless Recurrence

Taiwanese black metallers Chthonic get a big crowd in the Red Arena, many probably curious to see what a Taiwanese band wearing black and sporting heavy black & white make up is going to sound like. There is a healthy section of the crowd that appear to be hardcore fans and they get a good reaction as they take the stage.

Perhaps unsurprisingly they are musically reminiscent of Cradle of Filth, most of the songs are heavy and operatic/anthemic. The lyrics are completely undecipherable of course and although the rhythms are quite hypnotic, at times it's only the keyboards that stop them sounding like a wall of pure noise. They are pretty full on and intense but there's nothing new here and whereas CoF have moved on and developed their sound Chthonic seem like a bit of a step back. There are some more interesting moments where they bring on the mysterious erhu (or at least I thin kthat's what it is!) but they do little to draw attention from the overall impression.

You'd have to concede that they do the genre well, it's just that the genre wasn't that great to start with! Half way through the set it all becomes rather one paced and ultimately they are lacking in both originality and variety finding themselves easily outclassed by the bands that follow.