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Tengger Cavalry - Blood Sacrifice Shaman Award winner

Tengger Cavalry
Blood Sacrifice Shaman
by Matt "Wolverine" Johnson at 04 June 2015, 10:22 PM

I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew. The punishing, heavy sound of China's TENNGER CAVALRY is a fresh assault on not just the eardrums, but also the mind, perplexing my senses as I became entranced with the traditional instruments. Their new album "Blood Sacrifice Shaman" is a re-release of their 2010 debut album by the same name. It was re-recorded with new instrumentation and new members, giving it a totally revamped sound and energy. This "Mongolian Folk Metal" sextet has gained much-deserved awards and lots of international attention for their unique sound and music. What started out as the solo vision for Nature Ganganbaigal has turned into a force to be reckoned with.

There is a tangible energy present while listening to this album. The hands-on requirement of the instruments lets you feel what you are listening to and there is a great sense of culture as well. The blending of the sound of that culture stretching back hundreds of years with the modern heaviness of Folk Metal creates an extremely enchanting atmosphere that cannot be ignored. Perhaps it is fitting then, that the band's name is taken from the name of the sky-father deity in Mongolian Shamanism.

The first song is an intro with some nice percussion that invites the energy into your head in preparation for the wonder to follow. The focus then turns to a nice Metal blast in "Tennger Cavalry" accompanied by the horsehead fiddle and morin khuur. I especially enjoyed the didgeridoo on "The Native" since I play one myself. I definitely wasn't expecting an aboriginal instrument to make an appearance on an album from a band from China. And of course, the title track is crushing and hypnotizing at the same time and in a way that almost says "Shaman" as the music plays, even with the ferocity of the Metal near the 2:50 mark. Splendid!

There are almost as many Folk instrumentals on the album as there are Metal songs. That observation gives "Blood Sacrifice Shaman" a distinct place in Folk Metal. While others are busy concerning themselves with being the heaviest or the most technical, this band has stayed true to its heritage and only added Heavy Metal to the already-cool style of Oriental Folk music.

Now granted there are no real lyrics or vocals, but the music stands up well for itself. The quality is outstanding and says a lot for the production process. "TENNGER CAVALRY" deserve all of the acclaim they have received thus far, and I'm sure there is plenty more to come their way!

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Соёмбо (Hymn of The Mongolian Totem)
2. Tengger Cavalry
3. Horseman
4. Rootless
5. The Wolf Ritual
6. The Native
7. Blood Sacrifice Shaman
8. Hero
9. Spirits
10.  \[Bonus]Tengger Cavalry (2009)
11.  \[Bonus]Blood Sacrifice Shaman (2009)
Lineup:
Mural - Dombra
Hasi - Morin Khuur
Nature Ganganbaigal - All Instruments (previous), Guitars, Vocals (present)
Wang Wei - Bass
Ding Kai - Drums
Wang Xin - Morin Khuur
Record Label: Metal Hell Records
     


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