CHTHONIC will play Megaport Festival‘s main stage today, April 1, and metalheads all over the world can watch the livestream online at 21:00(GMT+8) = 09:00(EST). (Invitation link below.)
Live Stream Invitation: Click Here
Click the link above on April 1, 2023, and the livestream link will be on the page you are directed to.
About CHTHONIC’s Newest Music Video
After a five year wait for new music from CHTHONIC, the band premiered the music video for their new single “Pattonkan” March 1 at Knotfest. “Pattonkan“ was then released on all digital platforms on March 2.
Although the song “Pattonkan” is completely in Taiwanese, English subtitles are available on YouTube:
CHTHONIC’s lead vocalist and sitting member of Taiwan’s Parliament, Freddy Lim, has invested most of his time in parliamentary works, yet inspirations for music have still popped up from time to time when he felt depressed. However, he didn’t have time to sit down quietly and write them down. “I feel anxious sometimes, there are so many things I want to do, but I feel I don’t have sufficient time in my life to do everything,” he said. “How would those who came before us think of us in Heaven if we don’t move forward?”
With such emotions in mind, Lim once met Mr. Kao Ying-chieh（高英傑, son of an indigenous victim of Taiwan’s White Terror authoritarian period Kao Yi-sheng（高一生, and his family. Lim listened to him telling the story of how his father advocated for democracy and was eventually executed, and read the over 60 letters that Kao Yi-sheng sent to his family before he was executed.
“The very strong emotional bonds between Kao Yi-sheng and his wife, as well as with his children were an inspiration to me,” Lim said. “As long as we don’t give up, defend the people and land we love, and move as hard as we can, we’re on the right track.”
Guitarist and backup vocalist Jesse Liu, who co-composed the music, said that they first wrote a lot of complicated stuff, but later simplified it as the emotions flew. “We found that the simplified version actually really hit the spot!” So the new song was born.
The title “Pattonkan“ is the indigenous Tsou name for “Yushan（玉山）” or “Jade Mountain”. Jade Mountain is the highest peak in northeast Asia, and considered as a sacred mountain to the Taiwanese. The name “Pattonkan” is meant to be a reminder of the inspiration for the song. The line 風起田地 過溪山野 吾魂四時看顧守護 actually echoes a line in Kao Yi-sheng’s final letter “田地和山野都有我的魂守著”, meaning that his soul will safeguard the fields and mountains of Taiwan.
CHTHONIC worked with film director Hung Po-te once again for the music video for “Pattonkan”. The actors in the video are the same ones that acted in the videos for “Kaoru“, “Defenders of Bú-Tik Palace“, and “Millennia’s Faith Undone“. Hung Shih-hsun acted as the male lead Tsing-guan, and Wang Ting-chu acted as his wife Kaoru. The actress who played the daughter in the music video of “Millennia’s Faith Undone (the Aeon’s Wraith Version)” appeared as an adult. Lee Hsueh, who played a role in the movie Untold Herstory also appeared in the video.
The painting that appeared in the “Pattonkan” video is Looking at Jade Mountain from Alishan by Chen Cheng-po （陳澄波）. Chen Cheng-po and Kao Yi-sheng were both key players during the 228 Massacre. Chen was executed openly in the street, while Kao was arrested and executed years later. The production team decided to make it more powerful artistically through the connection of the painting and music.
The director, Hung Po-te, pointed out that previous videos in the same series gradually turned from the husband Tsing-guan’s perspective to his wife Kaoru’s. This time, he wished to show the kid Kiku’s perspective. The child’s story was inspired by that of Kao Yi-sheng’s daughter Nana. After Kao was executed, his family was still under long-time surveillance and repression by the authoritarian regime. Nana, who dreamed of becoming a singer, became a controlled “toy” for high-ranking officials.
Band lead and bassist Doris Yeh is very supportive of the director’s interpretation of the storyline.
“The song is not about praising a hero, but to see a family through a person, and see a generation of people through a family,” Yeh said. “This is a song that’s full of brevity, yet also sorrowful.”
While Taiwan is considered home of Austronesian peoples and a mystic island nation in the Orient, the image of Taiwan also encompasses advanced technologies, modern cities, and upholding human rights and progressive values. The metal band CHTHONIC has given the best interpretation of the contrasting images of the country.
CHTHONIC’s lyrics are inspired by Taiwanese mythology, folk stories, and history, and their music incorporates elements of traditional Taiwanese folk music, enka, and sorrowful melodies from Taiwanese opera, accompanied by traditional Taiwanese musical instruments, such as hena, zheng – also known as “box zither” – and pgaku flute. Elements from contemporary symphonic black metal, melodic death metal, blood-boiling riffs and solos are also integral parts of CHTHONIC’s music . Critics have tried to label CHTHONIC’s music as black metal, death metal or folk metal, but CHTHONIC has opted for simply “metal” for its simplicity and authenticity.
From the festivals Fuji Rock and Summer Sonic in Japan, to Ozzfest in the US, to Download festival in the UK, and Wacken Open Air (WOA) in Germany, CHTHONIC has been to major music festivals around the world, and has had toured hundreds of shows in Europe, North America, and Asia. They have also worked with many internationally renowned artists. Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe, Trivium’s Matt Heafy, guitarist Marty Friedman, Japanese folk singer Hajime Chitose, and Hong Kong diva Dennise Ho have all appeared in CHTHONIC’s works.
In Taiwan, several of CHTHONIC’s albums have been on the pop-music charts, and the band has been awarded the “Golden Melody Award” – the Taiwanese version of the Grammy Award. Besides being CHTHONIC, band members are also active in different fields: Doris Yen, the bassist and the band leader, has been advocating for women’s rights, acted in movies, and has curated major rock music festivals. Drummer Dani Wang is working in music education to bring up younger generation musicians, Guitarist Jesse Liu and the keyboard player CJ Kao are involved in the production of many albums from Taiwanese bands. Lead vocalist Freddy Lim is active in public affairs relating to human rights and social justice issues, and now he is a member of the Taiwanese parliament, elected in 2016, and re-elected in 2020.
With exception of its earlier works, CHTHONIC’s albums – including Seediq Bale (2007), Mirror of Retribution (2009), Takasago Army (2011), and Bú-Tik (2013) – were all released worldwide, with positive feedback from music critiques.
Since the Lim was elected, CHTHONIC continues to operate, but in a low-profile manner, without tense performance, and they still released the album Battlefields of Asura and won another Golden Melody Award. In 2019, CHTHONIC worked with an orchestra to perform in the “Taiwan Victory Live” concert on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei, which attracted an audience of over 50,000 and from which a live album was released.