Fri, Nov 15, 2002 - Page 19 News List

Chthonic gets symphonic!

By David Frazier  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chthonic is set to celebrate its seventh anniversary.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CHTHONIC

After all the years of hard work and face paint, Chthonic (閃靈) can rightly claim its place as the most successful indie label rock band Taiwan has ever produced. The black metal ensemble has been invited to the biggest concerts, has sold the most CDs and is still going strong. This Sunday at 5:30pm the group celebrates its seventh anniversary, playing with the support of a traditional Chinese orchestra and lion drums in a three-hour spectacular at National Taiwan University's old gymnasium (台灣大學體育館 舊館).

Chthonic was formed in 1995 by Freddy Lin (佛來敵) and his partner, girlfriend and bass player Doris Yeh (葉湘怡). Early on, the band cultivated its black metal arts any chance they got, including the annual Spring Scream music festivals and live house shows. As head of the Taiwan Rock Alliance (台灣搖滾聯盟), Lin also organized seven of his own rock festivals, which in the last two years have gone by the name Formoz (野台開唱). In 2000, Chthonic became the first Taiwanese band invited to Japan's number one music festival, Fuji Rock. The following year they signed with the American label, Nightfall Records, through which they've sold more than 50,000 CDs in the US. This year, they played two major US festivals, New Jersey's Metal Meltdown and the Milwaukee Metal Fest, and made a short tour of Japan opening for the Swedish band Dark Funeral.

Lin wants something special for the band's seventh anniversary so he's enlisted the support of Taiwan's top student orchestra for traditional music, the NTU Chinese Music Orchestra (台灣大學國樂團), which will accompany Chthonic with Chinese flutes, erhus, pi-pas, gongs and zithers for the final half of the three-hour performance. In preparation, the two groups have been practicing together for the last month. The first half of the show will include lion drums and a number of Chthonic's early favorites. And behind the mixing boards will be Danish sound engineer Jan Borsing, who helped produce the band's latest album.

Tickets cost NT$666 and are available in advance through ERA ticketing outlets and at Rose Records.

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