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Music / Chthonic

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Chthonic (閃靈) are a Taiwanese Black Metal band that formed in 1995.

The band originally played traditional Black Metal before they found their own sound, combining Black Metal, Melodic Death Metal, and Taiwanese folk music. The lyrics generally consist of themes from Taiwanese culture and history. The band members are also political activists advocating independence for Taiwan. Additionally, Freddy Lim is currently the Chairman of the Taiwan chapter of Amnesty International.

Current Lineup:

  • Freddy Lim, "Left Face of Maradou" – lead vocals, erhu (1995–present)
  • Doris Yeh, "Thunder Tears" – bass, backing vocals (1999–present)
  • Jesse Liu, "The Infernal" – guitars, backing vocals (2000–present)
  • Dani Wang, "Azathothian Hands" – drums (2005–present)
  • CJ Kao, "Dispersed Fingers" – keyboards, synthesizer (2005–present)


  • 祖靈之流 (Where the Ancestors' Souls Gathered)'' (1999)
  • 靈魄之界 (9th Empyrean)'' (2000)
  • 永劫輪迴 (Relentless Recurrence) (2002)
  • 賽德克巴萊 (Seediq Bale) (2005)
  • 十殿 (Mirror of Retribution) (2009)
  • 高砂軍 (Takasago Army) (2011)
  • 武德 (Bu-Tik) (2013)
  • 政治 (Battlefields of Asura) (2018)

This Band Displays the Examples of These Tropes:

  • Action Bomb: "Broken Jade" is about kamikaze pilots.
  • Bilingual Bonus: There are English and Taiwanese versions of each album. There are usually different artwork for the albums of English and Taiwanese versions.
  • Black Metal: They started in this genre, and it's still a large part of their Genre-Busting sound.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Where the Ancestors' Souls Gathered is much closer to the standard Norwegian Black Metal sound. It was not until their sophomore album that they would find their own style.
  • Elite Mooks: The white-clad police at the end of the "Defenders Of Bu-Tik Palace" video get the better of the band... briefly.
  • Epic Rocking:
    • "Mother Isle Disingrated, Aboriginal Gods Enthroned" and "Holy War," both from the debut, are 9:52 and 7:00 minutes long respectively.
    • "Floated Unconsciously in the Acheron", "Summon of China", and "Guard the Isle Eternally" from 9th Empyrean are 6:58, 6:02, and 9:06
    • "Onset of Tragedy" is 6 minutes, while "Grievance, Acheron Poem", "Slaughter in Tri-Territory", and "Relentless Recurrence" from Relentless Recurrence are around 8 minutes long
    • "Bloody Gaya Fulfilled" and "Quasi Putrefaction" from Seediq Bale are almost 7 minutes long.
  • Folk Metal: Incorporates elements of these through traditional Taiwanese music.
  • Genre-Busting: Their music combines black metal, melodic death metal, symphonic metal, and Taiwanese folk music.
  • Green Thumb: During her free time, Yeh likes to mess around with plants and similar things.
  • Horrible History Metal: Many of their songs touch on the most sordid parts of Taiwanese history.
  • I Am the Band: Freddy Lim.
  • Instrument of Murder: In the video for "Defenders of Bu-Tik Palace" Dani and Doris use their respective instruments in melee against their foes. In the video for "Supreme Pain for the Tyrant" and ehru string becomes a garrote.
  • Lead Bassist: Doris is a type B and C
  • Meaningful Name: The name is an adjective pertaining to deities, spirits or creatures that dwell in the underworld.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Doris Yeh
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Dani and CJ.
  • New Sound Album: Takasago Army brought about a more Blackened Death Metal Sound. Bu-Tik continued the trend.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Freddy does most of the vocals, which are harsh. Doris occasionally does some clean vocals.