Chthonic – Relentless Recurrence – Review


Relentless Recurrence (SPV)
by Tim Den

A reissue of the rising Taiwanese black metal band’s 2002 effort, Relentless Recurrence is every bit as musically proficient, thematically grand, and lyrically poetic as Seediq Bale, proving that Chthonic had been a force to be reckoned with long before the Western world finally took notice. It’s pretty staggering that a band of this maturity developed in relative seclusion. Relentless Recurrence, like Seediq Bale, distinguishes itself from the rest of the genre mostly through its Chinese, Taiwanese, and Aboriginal Taiwanese tales. Here, the band tell of a murder committed back in 1851, where an entire household was wiped out by a single perpetrator. A young child seemingly survived, but the implication is that its mother’s anguished spirit had to traverse through the depths of hell in order to save her son (she herself was raped and then committed suicide). The prose of vocalist Freddy Lin is once again elegant yet effective, delivering bone-chilling verses with his high command of the Chinese language. And though most black metal fans (read: White dudes) won’t have the luxury of truly understanding Chthonic’s greatest asset, I can vouch for the power of Lin’s words. Sure, he might just be retelling some of history’s forgotten episodes, but he does so with an ocean’s worth of melancholy, bitterness, and restlessness. Through the songs on Relentless Recurrence, you can almost envision vengeful ghosts crying out their tragedies.

A completely unique take on black metal, it’s no surprise that Chthonic have been the subject of hype lately. Relentless Recurrence is another drink of originality that will convert any extreme metal fan.