CHTHONIC - Pandemonium

Chthonic - Pandemonium

11 songs
67:54 minutes
***** ***
Tra / SPV


Taiwanese black metal band Chthonic, formed in 1995, has released already its second greatest hits compilation called Pandemonium. I can’t see the immediate sense of releasing at this state another a compilation when considering that only a few months ago, Chthonic released a double live album containing the band’s hits. The cover artwork is yet again looking fantastic and the album contains a gorgeous booklet, picture cards and a filmy sheet with foreign symbols.

To make the album more attractive, Chthonic re-recorded seven of their standards, leaving only three songs (from last year’s Seediq Bale) in their original versions. Only the short instrumental intro has not been released before. The re-recorded material is either from Relentless Recurrence (2002), 9th Empyrean (2000) or Where The Ancestors’ Souls Gathered (1999). There are no tracks from their early albums Deep Rising (1998) and Nightmare (1999).

There is nothing new to write about the song material itself which hasn’t been mentioned in the review of their live album A Decade On The Throne. It was of course a wise choice to include Onset Of Tragedy on this compilation, as this opulent track with violins is the band’s highlight. As should be expected from a best-of, there is no single black-out on this record. Chthonic play a melodic and symphonic black metal sound as known from Northern European bands. But Chthonic are more than just clones. They play fast songs with a steady balance between melodic and aggressive parts. The masterful instrumentation and strange sound samples are two further arguments to push Chthonic into the top five of today’s black metal scene.

Even if I have no doubts about Chthonic’s musical skills, I keep wondering who will buy this compilation. If you possess all previous Chthonic recordings, you don’t need this compilation, only if you’re an obsessed collector. If you want an introduction to the band, choose their live album which also contains an addition live show on DVD.

Back to Reviews