"Mongol Metal"

By Dr. Abner Mality

We all know that what is best in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women. And what would be the perfect soundtrack for this? Perhaps heavy metal from Mongolia!

The Mongols have taken to metal like riding across the steppes on horseback. They are natural at it! Straight from Ulan Baator comes this compilation featuring three authentic Mongolian bands who mix the fierce thunder of metal with the ancient melodies of  their warrior people. This music is breathtaking! The folk music of the Mongols fits so naturally with metal riffs and rhythms that it's impossible to believe it hasn't always sounded this way. Folk metal of the Scandinavians and Eastern Europeans does not sound so fitting!

The three bands are Tengger Cavalry, Nine Treasures and Ego Fall and all of them do justice to the Mongol Metal sound. Tengger Cavalry is the most well known and their songs of horsemen thundering across the open plains are full of zest and energy. The traditional violin of the Mongols, known as the Morin Khuur, and the Mongolian zither called the Yatga integrate beautifully with galloping metal riffs. The mournful sound of the Morin Khuur in particular sounds like it was made for this kind of music. And of course, the Mongols have been doing harsh guttural vocals for centuries before Western metal bands. You get to hear their distinct throat singing techniques here as well. Sometimes it sounds comical, almost like a cartoon character, but it is wonderfully blended with "normal" harsh metal vocals. The band Ego Fall in particular does well at both styles.

Nine Treasures is the last of the three bands. All of these acts create distinct, energetic metal with catchy riffs and melodies. Ego Fall adds synthesizers and an almost metalcore type singing, while Nine Treasures has a kind of "barking" vocal. Some of the best tunes here are Tengger Cavalry's "Expedition" and "Horseman", Nine Treasures' "Tes River Hymn" and "Sonsii" and Ego Fall's "Wind the Horn" and "Back to The East". Each band performs four songs each.

This is a great new sound in heavy metal. You can feel the wind whipping through your hair and the sword in your fist when you fill your soul with "Mongol Metal"!