Today, Taiwanese metal ensemble CHTHONIC reveals the first of a series of video singles from their forthcoming new full-length. “Defenders of BÃº-Tik Palace” comes by way of the band’s seventh studio recording, BÃº-Tik. With BÃº-Tik, CHTHONIC continue their mission to build awareness of the myths of Taiwan and the tragic events in their country’s history. Centered around the story of the 228 Massacre, the BÃº-Tik Palace and the Mirror Of Retribution, BÃº-Tik highlights what bassist Doris Yeh describes as “righteous violence, justifiable defense, and the armed spirits!”
The video clip for “Defenders of BÃº-Tik Palace” was spawned from a collaboration between longtime working associate/director Chuang Chi-wen and martial arts choreographer Jeremy Yang. Elaborates Yeh, “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. The ideology of ‘Defenders of BÃº-Tik Palace’ was really suited for using martial arts to express its platform. Whenever we are interviewed overseas,” she continues, “we are always asked if Asians know martial arts, and before, we would immediately deny it, but later we thought; ‘why don’t we really shoot such an MV for you guys?'”
To properly create the video, the band members spent more than a month in training. Despite the crash course in martial arts and an obvious spike in fitness levels however, on the day of shoot all members suffered numerous bruises and injuries. Vocalist Freddy Lim’s back was particularly blistered by all the wires. Commented Lim later with a wry smile, “Next time, we can’t just follow whatever Doris says. Her ideas are often very dangerous.”
“Defenders of BÃº-Tik Palace” was filmed around BÃº-Tik Palace in Tainan, shooting the real scene and combining it with 3D imaging techniques. With the support of Tainan City Hall, the director and the entire crew, CHTHONIC successfully created the first martial art video with Taiwan historical monument scenes. In addition, the song features popular Taiwanese opera actress Meiyun Tang as the guest singer. Said Lim, “I really like Tang’s work. When I sent her the invitation, I didn’t expect that she would nod her head without doubt!”
BÃº-Tik was recorded at Sweden’s Sweetspot Studio by producer Rickard Bengtson, who also worked on 2011’s critically-lauded Takasago Army full-length and finds the band sharpening their signature brand of self-dubbed symphonic “orient metal.”BÃº-Tik will be released in North America via Spinefarm Records US later this June.