Band: Tengger Cavalry
Album: Blood Sacrifice Shaman
Genre: Folk Metal
Release: May 18, 2015
Label: Metal Hell Records
Reviewer: Ziad Gadou

What started as a Western phenomenon in Europe has now proceeded to become a global movement. Metal is now cross-continental. It has reached all possible geographic and cultural borders, crossed them and is recruiting armies of musicians to fight for its voice, and theirs. Tengger Cavalry, a Mongolian folk metal act (yes, the Genghis Khan Mongolia), brought their horse-head fiddles and Mongolian lutes to the metal equation.

The multitalented diversity of Nature Ganganbaigal leads this quintet on a journey of exquisitely unfamiliar ground. Metal audiences first witnessed them when they opened for Turisas in Beijing after 4 years of annual studio releases and almost no live performances. The success of their second installment led them to play Beijing and New York’s Strawberry Music Festival.

Blood Sacrifice Shaman, the band’s fifth release, comes to solidify Tengger Cavalry’s spot as one of the most different and diverse acts the international scene has witnessed. “Hymn of the Mongolian Totem” fairly introduces both the heavy, that audiences hunger for, and the Shamanstic folk that is the banner this band single-handedly carries.  “Tengger Cavalry”, “Horseman” and “Hero” are guaranteed to get you moshing in smiles to the heart-warming Dombra playing of Mural and percussive brilliance of Kai Ding. If Braveheart was based in Mongolia, “The Native” would be its central soundtrack. A great feature this album encompasses is its great production. Every instrument enjoys its own freedom to soar to its listeners in a clear and coherent co-existing atmosphere. “The Wolf Ritual” is my personal pick off the album.  I think it provides the perfect balance between the heavy and the beautiful, in terms of time given to each and the justice that the production provides to each of these two factors.

Tengger Cavalry's Blood Sacrifice Shaman is a masterful record, a statement, and most of all an impressive achievement added to the young resume of Mongolian metal. I expect to hear from this band a lot in the coming few years. Their sound captures what any culture, tradition, and/or metal enthusiast would like to add to his playlist. Mongolia is back on the global conquest.  This time it is not for land or fame, but to dominate your ears and hopefully your local stage.


Tengger Cavalry is on Facebook here.

Nature Ganganbaigal – Guitar, Throat Singing, Horse-head Fiddle
Xin Wang – Horse-head Fiddle
Mural – Dombra
Wei Wang – Bass
Kai Ding – Drums

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