Rarely do the DVD extras outshine the main event but Chthonic's latest release is an exception, beginning with a main-stage live show filmed at Formoz Festival in Taipei and ending with a generous set of videos and mini-documentaries.
Their performance is chaotic, immersive and intense, theatrically enhanced by the addition of the Chai Feng Traditional Orchestra and Taiwanese opera singer Tang Mei-Yun during Defenders Of Bu-Tik Palace.
Southern Cross is a complete shred-fest while Oceanquake and Supreme Pain For The Tyrant pinpoint their unique hybrid of black metal and Taiwanese folk. But for a true understanding of this enigmatic collective, delve into the DVD extras that feature five videos from last year’s Bu-Tik, presenting martial arts, 1930s Shanghai and aqua theatrics with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. This reveals the band to be bold, intelligent and revolutionary through the layers of thinking and research that go into the films, their political defiance siphoned through their art and one final modest chinwaq between the understated beauty queen of black metal, Doris Yeh and director Vince Chuang. Much more than a mere money-spinner.