The Hu – Hunnu Rock From Mongolia

After getting into Tenngar Cavalry, I discovered that Mongolia metal and rock is actually an entire scene and not just one band. There are many different styles mixed in with traditional Mongolia music, from very extreme metal to hard rock. The Hu (sometimes The Hu Band or The HU) is one of the more popular ones, as they were the first Mongolian musical act to top a Billboard chart. They mix hard rock with Morin khuur and Mongolian throat singing. The first song I heard from them was “Wolf Totem”:

It has a slow build up that kicks into a nice groove and very effective mixing  of traditional Mongolian elements with rock. Listening to other singles like “Yuve Yuve Yu” and “The Great Chinggis Khaan“, it seems the band likes to go for driving and/or rollicking hard rock filmed in beautiful locations around Mongolia.

Things have been really taking off for the band: the president of Mongolia congratulated them for their accomplishments in promoting the country. The band toured Europe and North America. They had a song featured in the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order video game. They released a remix and new video of “Wolf Totem” featuring Papa Roach lead vocalist Jacoby Shaddix. They were awarded the highest state award for Mongolia, the Order of Genghis Khan, for promoting Mongolian culture around the world. All of this with just one album released. Hopefully the future will bring bigger things for the band as well. They have an official website, or you can find them on many streaming services like Spotify. But be sure to check out their epic videos on their YouTube channel as well.

Tengger Cavalry: Nomadic Folk Metal from Mongolia

I read a music discussion online about different combinations of things that people mix with metal. Someone made a joke about how you never hear about “Nomadic Folk Metal” and thought: there has to be someone. Turns out there are many nomadic folk bands. Probably one of the more well known ones is Tengger Cavalry. They blend a bit of an epic nomadic horseback vibe in their metal with traditional Mongolian elements like Tuvan throat singing for some vocals and instruments like morin khuur. They also speed up things to incorporate elements of death metal-ish vocals as well – its really an interesting mix.

My favorite songs are the ones like “Cavalry in Thousands” below that mix the throat singing, metal instruments, Mongolian instruments, and a slower epic nomadic vibe. There are many other Mongolian nomadic metal bands out there with different mixes of traditional instruments, metal styles, and vocals styles that I will be covering in the future. Unfortunately the lead singer of Tengger Cavalry – Nature Ganganbaigal – passed away this year. You can find a lot of their music on BandCamp, or follow the future of the band on their Facebook page.