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on 12 November 2011
This is one of the most original and creative albums I have heard in a long time. Chthonic actually manage to create mood and atmosphere within the songs, something which 90% of bands fail to do. The song arrangements and layers of traditional Taiwanese instruments enhances this, creating vibes and feelings that is far beyond the reach of the regular 'extreme metal band'. All this without losing any of the heaviness you expect!
A must-have album for any music fan!
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on 5 October 2013
I bought this for my son's birthday, as he had been raving about the group, since he had seen them at a festival earlier in the year. Having been a lover of niche music since my youth, I thought I'd have a listen. Track one: The island- very gentle, Crouching Tigerish- I'll listen to it, whilst doing some e-mails. WRONG! Track two assails the airwaves with growls and double pedal, (I love double pedal). Fast approaching 60, I am not aux fait with all types of metal; mainly the bands my sons listen to, but I would say Chthonic are somewhat like Sylosis. The album appears to follow a tale of battle/s, somewhat along the lines of Sabaton's Primo Victoria, but unless you speak Taiwanese and can growl, you can't sing along to this like Sabaton! Although this is (in my opinion) very heavy, the group are obviously very proud of their roots, as themes of Oriental music permeate every so often. I'm afraid I can't go into further detail, as my son has now taken the album back. I might just have to buy it.
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on 29 March 2012
Ok just in case you don't know this band they are a Taiwanese Symphonic Black metal band. This is a concept album about taiwanese soldiers forced to fight for the japanese and then the same soldiers having to defend taiwan from chinese occupiers fleeing Mao.
fistly this is a good album, with a good mix of brutalness and classical asian elements within it. Black metal is combined well with classical elements and traditional asian instruments to create a sound seldolm heard in extreme metal.
I would to say though that i feel it could have done with more variety during the gentler bits, and the female vocals could have been used far more
That said this is still a good album that any fan of extreme metal should check out
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on 19 September 2012
If you are looking for unique extreme metal, this is a must have album. Every track from start to finish is both heavy and melodic, with traditional Taiwanese instruments perfectly integrated. Two standout tracks are "Broken Jade" and "Oceanquake", but all are great and the album flows perfectly. If you are looking for something different, this album is a masterpiece.
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on 18 January 2012
takasago army is the bands finest hour, walls of proper metal combine with screeches of blackened metal howls and oriental cascade of sounds and some of their finest songs means this album shouldnt be ignored, one of the finest in 2011.
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on 22 July 2012
Chthonic are a Taiwaniese heavy metal band, and although you could probably label this "Melodic Death Metal" I think that term doesn't the music at play here justice. The vocals are harshly brutal, and the guitar playing here is of the speed and ingenuity assosciated with Death Metal, the inclusion of the traditional taiwanese instruments make this much more than generic melo-death.

Takasago Army is a concept record based around the Taiwanese voluenter division of the Imperial Japanese Army, recruited from the Taiwanese aboriginal tribes during World War II. The album's front cover art depicts a WWII Takasago Army volunteer marking himself as "Seediq" (an act forbidden by the Japanese), although he is now serving in the Japanese military. The album themes explore the internal conflict of the soliders between their taiwanese heritage and being marked as japanese soldiers. It makes for an intresting album theme, as various battles are explored and the conflict of the soldiers played out. The song "Karou" in particular refers to the sucide mission the Karou Attack corps carried out on an American airforce landing strip.

This albums marks a new high point for this band: whereas before it seemed the tawianese elements of the sound were added as an after thought for "distinctness", this time these intruments form the basis for the albums sound and feel. They are interwoven carefully so that they add to the brutality of the sound, and sometimes also convey the sense of sorrow and despair. It is a well crafted album that takes you on a musical journey. There are peaks and troughs as the pace is varied to give the album a great deal of depth and allow the listener to really immerse themselves as oppossed to being battered around the head with song after song of fast-pased aggression. Thats not so say that there aren't any songs like that on this album: "Takao" and "Mahakala" are incredibly aggresive songs and rank among the most brutal and agressive this band have ever put to disc.

If you are not a fan of harsh vocals, this will album is definatly not for you, but if your looking for something more from melodic death metal, this album will give you plently of food for thought along with ripping your face of with some great buzzsaw riffs and killer drumming. Very enjoyable.
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on 7 September 2011
Sadly, only the 1st few tracks are good(very), the rest are boringly untuneful). They've peaked. Takau is by far the best song-it's great. The one before it is almost as good too.
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