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Review: Chthonic - Mirror of Retribution
Chthonic
www.chthonic.tw
Mirror of Retribution

Label: SpineFarm Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 50:51
Tracks: 12
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: January 24, 2010
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers Rating
for:
Mirror of Retribution

Rated 4.13/5 (82.5%) (16 Votes)
Review


Judging from the back of the CD I could tell this wasn't going to be the average listen. Whilst your average Black Metal band could be found sporting corpse paint, Taiwan's Chthonic sport ghost paint – they look pretty damn fruity may I add, however it totally adds to the feel and enjoyment of this album. Mirror of Retribution isn't your run of the mill Black Metal album and Chthonic aren't your run of the mill Black Metal band. For one they infuse a good amount of melody, largely due to the use of the erhu which is basically the Chinese answer to a violin – although it only has two strings. Riff-wise this stands as some of the most interesting I've heard from the genre.

Fans of the more primitive side of Black Metal would do well to leave out Chthonic, these guys boast quite a bit of melody as mentioned, great production, and a lot of Death Metal moments. For me I couldn't have asked for more. Mirror of Retribution features the perfect amount of evil balanced out by epic melodic moments surprisingly good arrangements. After a creepy intro "Autoscopy" Chthonic launch into what they do best and rip your face off with "Blooming Blades" – loads of fast tremolo riffs intertwined with more epic moments using the erhu and some lightning fast drum-work. From here onwards Chthonic take you through a whirlwind of a listen that never becomes dull or boring – Mirror of Retribution stands as the most fun I've had with a Black Metal album in years – which makes it a hell of a lot easier to recommend to non-Black Metal fans.

After numerous spins I have nothing but good things to say about Mirror of Retribution. This album is both evil and mystical, wild and epic, and a great ratio of face-ripping aggression and exotic arrangements. Breathing life into the mould Dimmu Borgir have been raping their entire career and rising head and shoulders above the competition, get this album now and don't look back. Highly recommended.


Track Listing:
  1. Autoscopy
  2. Blooming Blades
  3. Hearts Condemned
  4. Venom In My Veins
  5. The Aroused
  6. Sing-Ling Temple
  7. 1947
  8. Forty-Nine Theurgy Chains
  9. Rise of the Shadows
  10. Bloody Waves of Sorrow
  11. Spell of Setting Sun: Mirror of Retribution
  12. Unlimited Taiwan (Bonus Track)
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