Freddy Lim: Chthonic’s Role in Metal and Politics

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Music Taiwan

Taiwan is a particularly politically charged place, united and divided under the same major issue: independence. Freddy Lim is a parliamentarian who also fronts metal band Chthonic alongside his wife, Doris Yeh, and Metal Clone X alongside guitarist Marty Friedman. His platform is Taiwanese independence and human rights, founding the New Power Party of Taiwan in early 2015 and taking office the next year. 

Freddy Lim (vocals) and Doris Yeh (bass) have shaped both the political movements that define youth in Taiwan born from the Sunflower Student Movement in 2014 as well as the rock and metal scene that has grown within the country. They formed the Taiwan Rock Alliance and organized multiple festivals. They also started The Wall, arguably the most famous rock venue in Taiwan, though this has been bought out since. 


Even the music of Chthonic itself weaves traditional Taiwanese elements into empowering lyrics to craft images of folklore that range from expressive ballad to quintessential head-banging, showing no reservation in either. With the notable use of traditional instruments like the erhu and swelling orchestral backgrounds, this music sounds truly epic and tells a story of Taiwan. 


With his finger on the pulse of youth, fronting the most successful metal band in Taiwan, Freddy Lim raises the question: Are arts and politics so different? If politicians are free to be themselves, express wildly, and still hold office, is this congruent with the values of Taiwan? Or is it simply a rumbling and rebellious howl that shouts with passion,  “independence” across all seas. 

Twitter Chthonic:



written by Ophelia Vang (previous writer)

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