Album Review: Chthonic – Battlefields of Asura (Self Released)

Taiwanese metal band, Chthonic are to release their eighth album, Battlefields of Asura, on October 10th, 2018. The follow-up to 2013’s Butik.

Formed in 1995, Chthonic have toured in over 40 countries, played hundreds of concerts and festivals, and become the most visible Taiwanese metal band with international publicity. In the past five years, all five members of Chthonic have turned a new page in their lives respectively. Frontman Freddy Lim formed a new political party and got elected into the Taiwanese Parliament in January this year, while the other members established their families. Nevertheless, they have not forgotten their promise to release new material to the fans.

According to the band, the new album depicts the adventure of deities in Taiwan through eleven songs carrying messages about resistance, freedom and fraternity. The journey is full of hostility, adversary, impregnable fortresses and desires but also inspires infinite courage to search for eternal wisdom. When asked why the band named the new album ‘Battlefields of Asura’, Doris Yeh, the spokesperson of Chthonic, states that “this album is the prologue of the albums released in the past and was inspired by and dedicated to the activists of Taiwan’s first modern political reform movement back in 1920s.”

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It’s no surprise that Battlefields of Asura is a bit of a heavy metal epic. From the moment The Silent One’s Torch brings the album to life to the moment Millennia’s Faith Undone caps it off with sharp heaviness. Bookended by an intro and outro that helps the sell the feeling of a journey.

What we have here are nine-tracks of furious and ear-catching heavy metal tracks that shows time hasn’t weathered the Chthonic storm. They’ve always flirted with electronica as part of their sound and that is no different here as Flames Upon the Weeping Winds and Souls of the Revolution show. However it never overshadows what is a hyper black metal release, one with some memorable flashes of intensity.

Highlights of Chthonic’s blast-beat heaviness comes in the form of Taste the Black Tears. A rage-filled and energetic song where the vocals howl and drums hit as hard as humanly possible. As well as the thumping chant of Carved in Bloodstone, a shorter but equally impressive powerful offering.

Chthonic have made an impressive return here and their time away seems to have only stoked the fire. Their stories come through leaving you feeling inspired.

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Chthonic – Battlefields of Asura Full Track Listing:

1. Drawing Omnipotence Nigh
2. The Silent One’s Torch
3. Flames upon the Weeping Winds
4. A Crimson Sky’s Command
5. Souls of the Revolution
6. Taste the Black Tears
7. One Thousand Eyes
8. Masked Faith
9. Carved in Bloodstone
10. Millennia’s Faith Undone
11. Autopoiesis

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The album will be available on all major streaming services but you can keep up to date with news by checking out their Facebook Page.

Chthonic - Battlefields of Asura (Spinefarm Records/Universal)
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