Tengger Cavalry: “Blood Sacrifice Shaman” – the epic sound of Folk metal and North-Asian nomadic music

Formed in 2009, by the bandleader Nature Ganganbaigal, Tengger Cavalry hails from Beijing, China. Tengger is the name of the sky god of the Mongolian grassland.  Tengger Cavalry blends overtone throat singing, Mongolian horse-head fiddle and other nomadic music tradition of North-Asia with heavy metal music, creating a unique music genre – Mongolian folk metal. After the release of four studio albums in Europe and United States, Tengger Cavalry has become known as one of the most unique, innovative and exciting metal bands in Asia.

Tengger Cavalry are an amazing group of musicians, and “Blood Sacrifice Shaman” their latest release is a truly amazing album. They make some of the most creative metal fusion my ears have ever had the privilege to listen to. Take two very epic sounding genres: Folk metal and North-Asian nomadic music then give all of the musicians excellent, virtuoso musicianship, and you will get the sound presented on this album.

Nature Zang of Tengger Cavalry
Nature Zang of Tengger Cavalry

“Blood Sacrifice Shaman” is a blood-rushing blend of folk instruments, growls, chants, death-defying rhythms and bone-crushing guitar riffs.  If you took out the folk elements from Tengger Cavalry’s sound, you would have an almost classic Melodic Death album. But with the Mongolian folk mixed in, you have a sound that is truly unique to this band and this band alone!

However, what makes this band truly special in the fact that they mix in overtone throat singing and the Mongolian horse-head fiddle which adds an atmosphere to the music that I have not heard in any popular rock genre ever.  Tengger Cavalry have taken a giant leap forward with “Blood Sacrifice Shaman”. While their other efforts were quite excellent, this album, which comes out today, is in the big league.

I don’t usually go for folk-metal, due to the tempos and vocals, but Tengger Cavalry is an exception, combining their North-Asian folk roots with metal delivers an outstanding adrenalin-pumping soundscape. This album has the ability of appealing to the casual metal listener, and pleasing those of who listen to folk-metal and know what an impressive album in this genre needs to sound like.

The tracks currently up for streaming on Bandcamp – “Tengger Cavalry”, “Horseman” and “Hero” are intense, melodic, and brutal, while the production really brings out all the best aspects of these songs. The tracks are mixed between brutal metal and lush folk instrumentation, making you think of ancient battles, medieval times, and rolling mountains where wild horses run rampage.

“Blood Sacrifice Shaman” absolutely rocks and Tengger Cavalry is one of the most talented collectives for this sub-genre. Their combination of metal and folk really comes across better than a lot of other bands out there right now.


Rick Jamm

Journalist, publicist and indie music producer with a fervent passion for electric guitars and mixing desks !

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