I’m a sucker for a purdy box, and I’ll want to own an album or movie, solely based on its shiny or artistic packaging. When the new ChthoniC release showed up in the mailbox, I could barely contain my pre-pubescent glee. Had the man in red and white upped it to two days a year? It looks like a black hardcover book with red foil Taiwanese lettering and a thick matte-board page for each of the three discs (one DVD and two CDs). All liner notes are in Taiwanese.
Never heard of ChthoniC? I hadn’t either, but apparently they’ve been big for a while overseas. In fact, all of the media here is from the bands tenth anniversary show in Taipei from February 2006. A trusted musical confidante who actually had heard of the band, told me before listening that I wouldn’t like it: It was Taiwanese black metal. Now, I would have to disagree on this tip. After first being enthralled with the CDs of the 90-minute show, I watched the DVD of the same show. ChthoniC, from merchandising to live performance, is an extremely visual band.
The “metal god” hand adorns the stage front as each band member stands as demi-gods in black and white makeup. My associate was correct. This is black metal with blast beats, but also a twist of Eastern flavor. The traditional band includes a two-string violin which additionally gets its own haunting, lulling solo as do a piano, drums, bass and guitar. Incorporated into the celebration act is an Oriental Orchestra and the Taipei Ladies Choir. In the end, A Decade On The Throne delivers what its gorgeous, dark packaging set up.