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ChthoniC's Mirror Of Retribution - 96%

MystifyXD, April 16th, 2010

ChthoniC is a Taiwanese melodic black metal band that is here to prove the existence that there are excellent metal bands in Asia. Once again with their 5th album, “Mirror of Retribution”, they have proved their excellence and might once again.

Generally speaking, the album’s production is cleaner than their previous outputs. Their music also is more melodic compared to their former works, but this album still has the aggression black metal has, and also, this album has its death metal tendencies which will make you bang your head a lot. Though I’ve seen a lot of critics saying that this band sounds like Cradle of Filth, someone who hates Cradle of Filth shouldn’t be discouraged to listen to ChthoniC. The band has its own unique charms, you know. The aggressiveness the vocals and the riffs give, which is prevalent on the intro of “Bloody Waves Of Sorrow”, and the melancholy the keyboards and the er-hu (a two-stringed Chinese violin) give, which is leading on the ending of “Sing-Ling Temple”, is much felt by the listener.

The vocal performance is the first thing people will notice in the album. From shrieks a la Filth to grunts a la Nergal, every vocal moment is sure to keep your head banging. The riffs are more melodic than your usual black metal, but they’re still damn aggressive. Tremolo pickings aren’t much of a staple here, which adds more death metal tendencies. The addition of the er-hu attracted me more to the music, for the instrument adds more melancholy alongside the aggression of the riffs. Although the album features solos, especially on “Venom in My Veins” and “Hearts Condemned”, the solos are quite short, though I’m not quite surprised for this is a black metal record.

One last thing I liked on the album is that it is devoid of fillers. There is no moment, except for “1947”, that this album will barely leave you time to take a break. Overall, an almost flawless album that never fails to impress its listeners. Just go, snag this album without any second thought whatsoever.

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