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Chthonic - "Bú-Tik" (CD)

Chthonic - "Bú-Tik" CD cover image

"Bú-Tik" track listing:

1. Arising Armament (Intro)
2. Supreme Pain For The Tyrant
3. Sail Into The Sunset’s Fire
4. Next Republic
5. Rage Of My Sword
6. Between Silence And Death
7. Resurrection Pyre
8. Set Fire To The Island
9. Defenders Of Bú-tik Palace
10. Undying Rearmament (Outro)

Reviewed by on June 13, 2013

"Stretching the bounds of symphonic black metal and adding in unique Asian elements not present in many albums from the genre, 'Bu-Tik' is a winning combination of sounds."

The east-meets-west of metal, Chthonic merges oriental folk sounds with European symphonic black metal. The result is surprisingly pulse-pounding, keeping up a non-stop galloping pace for the majority of their latest full-length album “Bu-Tik,” which is filled to the brim with booming drums, blistering guitars, and no shortage of keyboards or traditional stringed instruments.

The face paint and keyboards are dead giveaways of the symphonic black metal style, but there are a couple of other influences clearly at play on “Bu-Tik.” Melodic death metal comes out pretty strongly in several tracks, especially in the guitar playing, and the various chants and shouts bring up a Viking or folk feel from time to time. The vocals feature a good deal of variety, covering ground from screams to guttural growls and various chants.

Rounding everything out are the Asian strings, courtesy of the erhu, which create a martial arts movie vibe. Atmospheric instrumental tracks open and cap the album to further cement the oriental sound, but overall, they are essentially just skippable lulls in what is otherwise a completely unyielding metal experience. The best parts of the album are when the two worlds collide, like on the stellar “Supreme Pain For The Tyrant” or on “Defenders of Bu-Tik Palace,” which easily deserves a spot as the backing soundtrack to an RPG boss fight.

Stretching the bounds of symphonic black metal and adding in unique Asian elements not present in many albums from the genre, “Bu-Tik” is a winning combination of sounds. If you like the general style of Cradle of Filth, but don’t care for Dani Filth’s vocals, this is definitively an album to check out.

Highs: Symphonic black metal gets an oriental overhaul for a fantastic result.

Lows: The intro and outro are unnecessary, and the non-stop pace does create some repetition.

Bottom line: Asian folk sounds collide with ferocious symphonic black metal on Chthonic's latest outing.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)