Chthonic is a cool band. They got that drama and theatricality that characterized a lot of progressive rock in the golden age of the 1970s but with a dosis of black metal darkness and evil, and approach it in the perspective of their own Taiwanese culture. Takasago Army is the epitome of global metal, blending elements of a wide variety of heavy metal and rock subgenres with elements from Taiwanese music, and it works brilliantly.
Musically, Takasago Army is difficult to classify in terms of genre, but there definitely are both black metal and power metal elements present in the music on this album, and the sound is wrapped in a layer of symphonicity, too. So, the music on this release certainly is quite epic in a dark sort of fashion. Traditional Taiwanese instrumentation is also utilized on this album, and there are passages sung in what I assume is Taiwanese, as in the chorus of 'Takao'. But the genre influences do not stop here, as there is also a sort of modern thrash edge to a lot of the riffage.
Granted, there are many different genre elements on this album, but that does not mean that the music is not coherent. As a matter of fact, Chthonic come across as extremely focused in the music, and the album is very consistent, yet at the same time multi-faceted and rich in texture. The tunes are generally very melodic (but we are still dealing with extreme metal) and quite captivating. The presence of symphonic and traditional elements, and other non-metal element, may not appeal to hardcore metal purists, but I really like how all of this comes together into some really enjoyable metal music.
I think that Chthonic are very innovative, and Takasago Army strikes me as being a very unique musical experience in melody, intensity and musical originality. Fans of symphonic metal certainly should check it out.
1. The Island
2. Legacy of the Seediq
5. Southern Cross
7. Broken Jade
8. Root Regeneration
10. Quell the Souls in Sing Ling Temple