This morning, Taiwan’s Chthonic premiered their official video for “Defenders of Bú-Tik Palace”, the first single from their forthcoming album Bú-Tik. Man, is it a feast for the eyes. With very high-production values, it’s like some kind of cyber-legend, bursting with acrobatic martial artistry and fantastic settings, blending the past and the future.
Although the video is a high-budget fantasy, the Bú-Tik Palace is also intended to draw together historical connections important to Cthonic. According to the band, “The BuTik Palace in Puli was used as command headquarters by Japanese colonial government to repress a Seediq Aboriginal Uprising in Wushe in 1930. During the initial phase of the 228 Massacre in 1947, militiamen in Taiwan also used it as its command headquarters. The chants in the second half of the song are the names of all martyrs who sacrificed themselves in resistance against dictators and fought for independence.”
According to this interview with Doris Yeh, the song was also intended to draw together connections between the band’s three previous albums. Musically, it’s an electric piece of Scandinavian-style melodic death metal, but one in which traditional music and a traditional vertical fiddle eventually make their appearance. The song also features guest vocals by Mei-yun Tang, a famed Taiwanese opera singer.