Taiwanese metal band Chthonic was formed in 1995 in Taipei. Their music incorporates elements and influences of traditional Taiwanese folk music, enka and Taiwanese opera, accompanied by traditional Taiwanese musical instruments, such as the classical Oriental instrument erhu (called hiân-á in Taiwanese) and zheng, the box zither. Since 2011 their trademark hiân-á has been complemented with stringed instruments like the koto and shamisen, as well as Tibetan bells and shakuhachi and pgaki flutes. Also integral parts of Chthonic's music are elements from contemporary symphonic black metal, melodic death metal, blood-boiling riffs and solos.
The band's stated goal is to use their music and lyrics to bring ancient mythology of East Asia history into the modern era, and to build awareness of the myths of Taiwan and tragic events in the country's history.
A rather difficult animal to pigeonhole, this far critics have attempted to label Chthonic as black metal, death metal or folk metal, but the band themselves have chosen to use the term Orient Metal to define this genre of heavy metal that's unique to Taiwan.
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 played major music festivals around the world, and toured in more than 30 countries. Remaining as one of the most active Asian bands in the global metal scene, Chthonic has hit the Taiwanese pop charts with several of their albums, and they've been awarded the Golden Melody Award - the Taiwanese equivalent of the Grammy Award.
The band members are also active in different fields. Singer Freddy Lim has served as the Chairman of the Taiwan chapter of Amnesty International. The rest are no slouches either; Dani works hard in music education to develop younger generation musicians; Jesse and CJ are involved in music production; Freddy, is active in public affairs relating to human rights and social justice issues and finally, Doris Yeh (the Bassist, the Boss and the Beauty) advocates women's rights and has acted in movies. Not just a brain, but a royal treat for the eyes too, Doris – one of the hottest girl rockers on the planet – has graced magazines like FHM and GQ with her presence. And that's not because of her world views.
Since their formation, Chthonic has released 7 studio albums. The most recent “Bú-Tik” drops on June 2013 via Spinefarm Records. It was recorded at Sweden's Sweetspot Studio, and it was mixed and produced by Rickard Bengtson, who worked with the band already on 2011's "Takasago Army". An engaging story about 228 Massacre, the Bú-Tik Palace and the Mirror Of Retribution, talking about the righteous violence and justifiable defense, the new album will once more send you reeling deep into the folklore and history of exotic Taiwan.