Chthonic (band)

Chthonic (band)
Chinese name 閃靈樂團 (Traditional)
Origin Taiwan
Genre(s) Blackened death metal[1]
Symphonic black metal[2]
Label(s) Spinefarm (Universal Music)
Years active 1995–present
Current Members Freddy Lim
Jesse Liu
Doris Yeh
CJ Kao
Dani Wang
Past Members Su-Nung
Sandee Chan
Reno Killerich
Official Website

Chthonic (sometimes typeset ChthoniC or ChThoniC) is a Taiwanese metal band, formed in 1995 in Taipei. The group incorporates influences from traditional Taiwanese music including the classical Asian instrument erhu (the band often calls it hiân-á in their native Taiwanese). They are acclaimed artists, as well as political activists who advocate Taiwan independence and self-determination for the Tibetans and Uighurs.

Since their formation, Chthonic has released six studio albums. Their most recent album, Takasago Army, was released on August 1, 2011 in Europe and on September 6, 2011 in North America via Spinefarm records.



The band's stated goal is to use their music to bring ancient history and mythology into the modern era, especially the tragic pan-green history and myths of Taiwan (for example, those of the Seediq people). The name "Chthonic" is a Greek word which refers to the earth and can have implications of the underworld. As a topic of much confusion, the name is actually pronounced as "Thonic".

In 2003, they won the Best Band Award at the Taiwan Golden Melodies Award Ceremony.[4] The band is also banned in parts of China for their political views.[5]

The lead vocalist, Freddy Lim, is notably active in the political scene and supports Taiwanese independence. In February 2009, Freddy Lim and Doris Yeh participated with human rights activists at the Taipei zoo panda exhibit, which symbolizes China's attempts to establish soft power relations with Taiwan.[6]

In 2007 he and other artists organized an international music festival to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the 228 Incident, entitled "Spirit of Taiwan: With justice we cure this nation".[7]

On March 30, 2007, it was confirmed that Chthonic were to be part of the 2007 Ozzfest tour as a rotating second stage act. While taking part in Ozzfest, they also toured as a support act for Nile in July and August and as a headliner in September.[8]

On August 3, 2007, Chthonic flew from the United States to Germany to play at Wacken Open Air.[9] Unfortunately, their instruments were not delivered on time, so Su-Nung had to play a keyboard instead of his erhu.[10]

The band begun recording of their upcoming album, titled Mirror of Retribution, in May 2008. The album was recorded in The A Studio in Hollywood, California, and was produced by Rob Caggiano. On October 11, 2008, Doris stated at the time that the album was complete, and that mastering of the album should be finished by the following week. Freddy announced that the album will be released in early 2009.[dated info] Three tracks (Rise of The Shadows, Venom In My Veins, and 49 Theurgy Chains) were confirmed to be on the album. Freddy also announced at a concert in Taichung that Er-hu player Su-Nung will be leaving the band in 2009 to follow his own career path.[citation needed]

In 2010, they digitally released the single Painkiller, which is a cover of Judas Priest's song of the same name. It also contains a Taiwanese version of the song "Bloody Waves of Sorrow".

On June 7, 2011, they digitally released Takao, the lead single from the album Takasago Army which is released in July.

Lyrical themes

Before Seediq Bale, most of the band's lyrics were written in Classical Chinese, which is rarely seen in contemporary Chinese music, and sung with Mandarin pronunciation. After Mirror of Retribution, the lyrics are written and sung in Taiwanese. Some songs may also include verses in Japanese or Taiwanese aboriginal languages. The band also started releasing English versions of their albums after Seediq Bale.

The themes mostly surround the defiant spirit of early Taiwanese colonizers, fictional wars between aboriginal gods with Han's gods, Taiwanese folklore and mythology, and historical events such as Wushe Incident, 228 Incident, and the Takasago Volunteers.

Stage Appearance

Chthonic is also known for their shocking and original stage costumes, which is composed mainly of corpse paint similar to many black metal bands, but with other unique feature in it: the Freddy's facepaint had a stamp on it, believed to be the mark of a damned spirit. Doris had corpse paint to make herself look like some goddess of death or female demon. Jesse's corpse paint had curses written all over it, with sharp teeth. The bottom half of Dani's face was covered in a black shiny demon mask. Cj had a cloth wrapped around his head, which, in mythology is a spell to raise Chinese Vampires from the dead.

Recently with the release of Takasago Army, they have changed to military styled costumes. They also stopped using corpse paint because the band members found it tedious to put on.[11]


Current members

  • Freddy, Left Face of Maradou – vocals, erhu (1995–present)
  • Doris, Thunder Tears – bass, backing vocals (1999–present)
  • Jesse, The Infernal – guitar (2000–present)
  • Dani, Azathothian Hands – drums (2005–present)
  • CJ, Dispersed Fingers – piano, synthesizer (2005–present)

Former members

  • Su-Nung, The Bloody String – erhu (2006–2009)
  • Alexia – keyboard (2004–2006)
  • A-Jay – drums (1999–2005)
  • Luis – keyboard, vocals (2003–2004)
  • Sheryl – keyboard (2002–2004)
  • Vivien – keyboard (2001–2002)
  • Ambrosia – keyboard (1996–2001)
  • Null – guitar (1999–2000)
  • Wang – drums (1998–1999)
  • Zac – guitar (1998–1999)
  • Yu – bass (1997–1999)
  • Ellis – guitar (1996–1998)
  • Terry – drums (1996–1998)
  • Man 6 – bass (1996–1997)

Session members

  • Reno Killerich – drums; on Seediq Bale (2005)
  • Sandee Chan – vocals; on Seediq Bale (2005)


Studio albums


  • Satan's Horns (2003)


  • Deep Rising (1998)
  • Nightmare (1999)
  • UNlimited Taiwan (2007)
  • Painkiller (2010)
  • Takao (2011)
  • Broken Jade (2011)

Compilation albums

  • Anthology: A Decade on the Throne (2006)
  • Pandemonium (2007)

Live album

  • A Decade on the Throne (2006) – Live DVD + 2CD


  • Spred the Qi (2003) – Double VCD



  • A Decade on the Throne (2006) – Live DVD + 2CD


  • Dynasty (2006)
  • Taiwan Guts (2008)


External links


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