Review by Greg Prato:
Apparently massively popular back home in Taiwan, “melodic” black metallists Chthonic continue up the ladder toward global success, as their 2009 release, Mirror of Retribution, was released via the Spinefarm label (which is linked to the rather large distribution company Fontana Universal). Produced and mixed by Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano, Mirror of Retribution follows the same sonic path as their previous albums — textured, almost symphonic, and utterly brutal, as evidenced by such tracks as “Blooming Blades” and “Venom in My Veins.” As with earlier releases, Chthonic don’t shy away from including “messages” in their songs, and this time around the tragic 228 Incident (also known as the 228 Massacre) is supposedly referenced in the album’s lyrics — “supposedly” because without the aid of a lyric sheet, good luck trying to decipher what is being screamed. But unlike quite a few other extreme metal acts, Chthonic manage to stand out on Mirror of Retribution by adding goth, symphonic, and prog elements into the proceedings — without ever losing the intensity of their full-on metallic attack. And because of that, Mirror of Retribution is certainly Chthonic’s most fully realized — and strongest — album released thus far.
Chthonic/ Mirror of Retribution (FONINT4032 / 602527124032 / C14) Available Now!