Jun 082011

I randomly watched three brand new videos this morning for three very different kinds of songs. If I were a baseball player, I’d say I went three for three at the plate — three chances, three hits. Three good songs, and as for the videos, I’d call them a triple, a double, and a single.

The triple comes from a UK underground band called Amebix, who haven’t released any new material in almost 24 years — until June 3, when they released a new single called “Knights of the Black Sun” on their own label, Amebix Records. The song includes much more clean singing than we usually tolerate around here, but I’ve fallen for it pretty hard. It soars like an anthem, with ringing guitars and passionate vocals and a memorable melody. The video is a dark, mesmerizing animation created by Andy Lefton and Fin McAteer. It’s beautiful to watch.

The double is the video for a new song by Taiwan’s Chthonic called “Takao”. It has been digitally released today (in Finland) as a single and will appear on the band’s next album, Takasago Army, to be released by Spinefarm Records. Stylistically, the song is very much in the vein of Finnish-brand melodic death metal, and naturally, I’m liking it a lot. Not surprisingly, there’s a “B-side” version of this same song on the single, with the choruses sung by members of Finland’s Ensiferum. To fully appreciate the beautifully made video, it helps to understand that the song is about a group of Taiwanese men recruited by the Japanese army from the Takao harbor to fight in the Pacific during World War II. According to Chthonic’s Doris Yeh, “they became the most revered and most feared combat unit in the Japanese Imperial Army.”

The single is a video for the title track to the new album from Florida’s Catalepsy — Bleed. The song is just a fucking crusher. The subject matter of the video isn’t nearly as interesting as the first two featured in this post, but it’s well made. As for the subject matter, let’s just say that you should remind me not to piss off Catalepsy, should I forget. Watch the videos after the jump. I think you’ll be glad you did.


The single for “Knights of the Black Sun” is now available digitally on Amazon MP3, and a limited-edition 12-inch vinyl version can be ordered via the Amebix web site. The song will also appear on the Amebix album Sonic Mass, which will be released on the day of the September equinox.


In the original chorus to this song, heard on the video, guest vocals are provided by a popular Taiwanese “enka” singer named Yu Tien. On the bonus track, members of Ensiferum contribute a Finnish folk-style vibe to the chorus. The dual-track single will be digitally released in the UK on June 13. No word on when it will become available in North America.


Catalepsy’s new album, of which this song is the title track, was released May 10 by Eulogy Recordings and can be obtained basically everywhere music is sold.

  23 Responses to “THREE FOR THREE”

  1. I do love that Chthonic song, both the music and the video. Classy.

  2. I found a blog entry by the guy who wrote the Takao lyrics in English…http://joehenley.net/2011/06/takao/

    I really liked this song. I think it’s the first time I’ve heard Chthonic’s music, but I have a feeling I’ll be listening to more of it very soon. I personally love traditional Chinese and Japanese instruments, so this song was really backed full of awesome.

    That said, I’m not sure how I feel about Ensiferum adding to the song, but obviously the band doesn’t have a problem with it, so I don’t know why I should either.

    • I haven’t found the alternate version of the song, and I’m curious about it. It could work well. I wish I knew when both tracks will become available for download in the US — though I suppose they’ll leak soon.

  3. The Catalepsy video was kind of annoying for two reasons. The big one is the apparent advocacy of karate kick bullshit moshing. The second one is more an aesthetic thing, but we never see who the person being tortured is. I come away from the video only thinking that the singer sure seems like a dick. If they had pulled the bag off at the end and it had been the singer, it would have added some depth to the song (an internal monologue) instead of just being some guy who really needs to take his medication.

    • I love unnecessary torture scenes in music videos… ok, no, not really. They rarely make any sort of sense and are just bland, cliched imagery with no real narrative depth.

      • I thought it might end up being some sort of Reservoir Dogs thing if the person getting tortured weren’t the singer.

        But yeah, as is, it was pretty bland.

    • I take the karate-moshing as a given. Drives me crazy to see it at shows, which is why I don’t go to many shows for deathcore/hardcore bands unless they’re likely to be fully packed — because then there’s not enough room for this — or if it’s a mixed bill with other kinds of metal — because fans of death metal, for example, won’t put up with that shit in the pit.

      Like you, I was waiting for the payoff at the end, with the bag coming off the prisoner, and was left with a “huh?” feeling when it didn’t happen. But the song isn’t ironic — it’s just about rage and retribution, and the identity of the person on the receiving end doesn’t seem to be relevant.

      But anyway, all this is why the video was only a one-bagger for me.

  4. Hah, Finnish & Taiwanese metal co-operation, didn’t see that one coming. Anyways, liking the Chthonic song. The music video has a strong emotional charge in it and i really like how it’s been done. Definitely need to look up for some more of their production.

  5. Want me to “Synn Report” em? They’ve had it coming for a while now, the bastards!

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