Reviews for July 10th, 2013

Chthonic - Bú-Tik

Chthonic is a Taiwanese black metal band with Eastern folk influences and “Bú-Tik” is their seventh album.

Back in 2011 I reviewed Chthonic’s last album, “Takasago Army” and thought that was brilliant, so it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that I think quite highly of their latest effort as well. I mentioned Dimmu Borgir in my last review and feel the need to repeat myself again here. Chthonic sounds to me like the Taiwanese version of Dimmu Borgir. Not in a they-ripped-off-Dimmu sort of way, but in that they play complex and cinematic metal on a grand scale. In other words, Chthonic sound like they are at the top of their game.

Not only are the songs well-crafted and elaborate, but they are also very well produced. “Bú-Tik” is not the kind of album you can pull off with a muddy or poorly mixed production, so again it comes as no surprise that the sound quality is crisp and all the instrumentation is given room to breathe in the mix.

If you haven’t yet taken the time to check out Chthonic, I have to ask, why the hell not? This is a top-shelf metal band at the top of their game and I applaud them for their latest amazing effort.

Check out the track “Defenders of the Bú-Tik Palace.”

Battlecross – War of Will

Battlecross is a thrash band from my former home state of Michigan and “War of Will” is their third album.

Whenever I hear about a band from Michigan I sit up and take notice. I haven’t lived in Michigan for something like 15 years, but I still feel a very strong sense of loyalty to the place where I grew up, and as such always like to look out for hands that hail from Michigan. Most of the time I’m left at least somewhat disappointed, but Battlecross has been one band that has made me proud of their Michigan roots.

“War of Will” is a no-nonsense, straight up thrash metal album with harsh vocals that would also work in a melodic death metal situation like In Flames or something. For thrash metal this music is actually quite lush and thick sounding which gives the album a nice punchy feel. I don’t know who produced this album, but bravo to them for such a brilliant production sound. The vocals, which could have easily gotten lost in the mix or overpowered it, are placed perfectly to be easily distinguished without drowning out the music. This is an album that is well suited for playing at loud volumes.

Take heed o’ metal bands from Michigan (and the surrounding Mid-West area), rally ‘round the Battlecross and learn what it is to make an impressive slab of metal such as “War of Will.” No go forth and multiply (but don’t copy.)

Here is the track “Force Fed Lies.”

Goatess – Goatess

Goatess is a doom metal band from Sweden and this is their self-titled first album.

With a rather odd name like Goatess I almost overlooked this band. Then I saw something that caught my eye. The band’s singer is Chritus, a.k.a. Christian Linderson, who has done time in some of my favorite doom metal bands: Count Raven, St. Vitus and Lord Vicar. Well that changes everything.

Goatess combines a traditional doom metal sound with the trippier riffing of a stoner metal band to produce a sound that I am wholly unable to dislike. Monster riffs slathered in fuzz and clean vocals vaguely reminiscent of the Ozzman are my weakness. As such, I am helpless to do anything more than sit back and let this album wash over me in its warm and fuzzy glory.

I doubt this album will get much attention because I just don’t see it getting the promotional backing it would take to make an impression on the consciousness of the metal community, and I find that sad. So here I am doing my best to spread the good word about Goatess. Nobody listens to me either, but at least I can say I made the effort.

Check out the track “Know Your Animal” below.