Chthonic (sometimes typeset ChthoniC or ChThoniC) is a Taiwanese metal band, formed in 1995 in Taipei. The group incorporates influences from traditional Taiwanese music including the classical Chinese instrument erhu (the band often calls it hiân-á in their native Taiwanese). The band's stated goal is to use their music to bring ancient history and mythology into the modern era via a pan-green focus, especially to build awareness of the myths of Taiwan and tragic events in that country's history (for example, those of the Seediq people).
Since 2011 their trademark erhu has been complemented with stringed instruments including the koto and shamisen, as well as Tibetan bells and shakuhachi and pgaki flutes, the latter of which are traditionally used by the aboriginal people of Taiwan. The band members are also acclaimed artists and political activists who advocate independence for Taiwan and self-determination for Tibetans and Uighurs. Singer Freddy Lim is currently the Chairman of the Taiwan chapter of Amnesty International. Since their formation, Chthonic has released seven studio albums; the most recent, Bu-Tik, was released in Asia in May 2013 by Spinefarm Records.
Chthonic was formed in 1995, and the band name "Chthonic" is a Greek term referring to the earth and the underworld. In the west, the term is usually pronounced thonic. The original members were Freddy Lim and some of his classmates from high school and university. The line-up went through many changes before the band released their debut album in 1998. By that point the line-up had settled around Freddy Lim on vocals and erhu, Zac Chang on guitar, Xiao-Yu on bass, Xiao-Wang on drums, and Ambrosia on keyboards and backing vocals. Chthonic became quite popular in the rock scene in Taiwan. They played to a full house at Vibe, the main rock club in Taipei at the time, and played as headliners for large rock festivals like Spring Scream. They released their first single "深耕" ("Deep Plowing") in early 1998.