Late last night, I noticed that Chthonic had changed their profile picture to a spiffy new band photo (seen above). Immediately, I foresaw an announcement coming soon, but I didn’t know it would be this soon or this cool. The Taiwanese metal band have announced their long-awaited next album which is titled Battlefields of Asura, and it comes out on October 10!
For five years I, and other fans, have waited for this. Though the band has been busy starring in and helping score their own action-comedy movie, not to mention lead singer Freddy Lim’s political undertakings in Taiwan under the New Power Party, we haven’t seen a full studio album from Chthonic since 2013’s Bù-Tik. Along with this momentous announcement, they have teased the release of a full single and video for “Millennia’s Faith Undone” coming September 6. Until then, we get a fierce tease of the new music we can expect from the album:
Oh my. They haven’t changed a bit. Lim throws so much power into his voice; he’s easily one of my favorite vocalists ever. The guitars toward the end of the teaser are electrifying and melodic. Thrown in is what I think is a little synth and a soothing vocal line from another vocalist who may be Hong Kong pop artist Denise Ho (also known as HOCC) who has been tapped to work on the album. Some insight into the album’s themes can be found on the pre-order page for a deluxe box set for the album:
‘This is a journey with Taiwanese immortals. What lies ahead is full hostility, murderous emotions, walls of iron that are difficult to conquer, and lusts and desires that are not easy to bid farewell to, but there is also courage that inspires infinity. At the end of the adventure, it turns out to be a quest for the perpetual prajna. When you feel tears on your face, you will realize that this is where all the stories told in Chthonic’s past albums come from’
This all seems well in line with what the band has offered in the past. Chthonic‘s music has always been exceptionally powerful, action packed with folklore and mythology stemming from Chinese and Taiwanese history with elements of cultural spirituality and religion. It appears this album might lean a little heavier into the latter if this description and album name are anything to go off of. I personally can’t wait to hear more, and we don’t have to wait too long. Album of the year? Maybe!
Follow Chthonic into battle on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Pre-order Battlefields of Asura and associated merch through Omerch (Europe) and IndieMerchStore (America, though items don’t seem to be live quite yet), or spring for a huge box set which contains a number of unique items for serious collectors.