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Beautifully Creepy! - 100%

SlipIntoLambCambria, October 27th, 2008

Awesomely Creative Vocals! Technical Melodies! Thunderous Beats! Epic Lyrics and Earth-Shattering Keyboards! Yeah, Chthonic’s “Seediq Bale” has it all.

This is a genre I’m relatively unfamiliar with, but if more bands sound like this, consider me a fan of symphonic black metal.

Seediq Bale has a dark theme and overall sound to it, while it also possesses a somewhat poetic undertone. It has great production quality, giving you a nice full effect of the album. The songs are full of explosive vocals, fast-paced melodies, alternating time signatures, heavy riffs, and well-placed solos. Everything works together as a whole and you can hear every instrument clearly. Every song is enjoyable and thought-provoking.

Vocals: This album is comprised of 3 different types of vocals. Harsh, high pitched, almost sadistic sounding vocals. Deep guttural, growling vocals and my favorite, clean female vocals that are executed beautifully. Most impressive about these differing vocals, is how well they work together. Chthonic is very good about using the right vocals in the right places.

Drums and Bass: The drums have the perfect amount of everything. Nothing gets overused, but there is still enough substance to keep things different from track to track. They carry the vocals and the guitars wonderfully. I find it absolutely fantastic when the clean vocals and the thundering sound of double bass kick co-inside. I can’t recognize the bass in too many songs; it’s usually going alongside the drums or carrying the guitar-work.

Guitars: These are wonderfully eerie on “Seediq Bale”. Fast melodies that produce the dark sound on this album. They are excellent at interchanging the time signatures with the rhythmic sections and heavy riffs. Pretty decent solos, that fall into place at the perfect time. Each song has its own unique sound and nothing is overused or repeated on the following track.

Keyboards: Definitely my favorite thing about this album, hands down. The keys on “Seediq Bale” seemingly come to life. They stay side-by-side with the guitars, speeding up and slowing down as needed. CJ can play some ridiculously fast parts on his synthesizer and pianos. These definitely give Chthonic their extra-ordinary sound.

Oriental Violins: These guys just don’t stop impressing me. They have two different oriental violins in the band. Thus, adding the perfect Taiwanese element that makes “Seediq Bale” so different from other melodic/symphonic black metal groups.

Overall High Points: Very original, unique, and hard to find. Every instrument works perfectly with one another. Chthonic knows when to use what sounds, where. They constantly mix it up from song to song. This album produces a very non-forced, non- over the top sound, things all too common with symphonic, power, melodic, and horror metal. You don’t hear this kind of musicianship too often.

Overall Low Points: None I can think of.

If you’re a fan of symphonic, power, melodic, or just plain black metal, give these guys a listen. It’s probably nothing you’ve heard before.

Favorite Songs: Progeny Of Rmdax Tasing, Indigenous Laceration, Bloody Gaya Fulfilled, Quasi Putrefaction.