Tengger Cavalry

Blood Sacrifice Shaman

review published: 10/3/2015


Tengger Cavalry may be the most interesting submission we have had in our unsigned band reviews section. Described as Mongolian Folk Metal (a term I have no basis to argue), Tengger Cavalry fuse Eastern and Western sounds in an intriguing and original manner.

Blood Sacrifice Shaman begins with intro track "Hymn of the Mongolian Totem," a piece that features tribal beats, industrial metal guitar riffs and Eastern instrumentation. It cuts out suddenly to bring us to the first official song, "Tengger Cavalry." An upbeat riff leads us through a mosaic of sounds including bowed stringed instruments, chanting, throat singing (I think), and traditional Asian percussion with a dose of metal drums heavy on the double kick.

It's a blend of traditional and contemporary. This is what Tengger Cavalry do incredibly well. It is heard again in the following track, "Horseman," to maybe an even greater extent. The heavy guitars disappear for brief moments to allow the more traditional instrumentation to take the spotlight.

Tracks like "The Native" and "Rootless" lose the distorted guitars altogether and show you the appreciation and respect that Tennger Cavalry have for the traditional sound. These tracks act as segues between the heavier passages and don't sound out of place at all.

Tribal drumming begins "The Wolf Ritual," perhaps my favorite of Blood Sacrifice Shaman. With riffs rooted in industrial and metalcore, the track has a heavy feel, but the Eastern melodies take it to an entirely different place than anything you've heard before. The song moves incredibly smoothly between its polar opposite sections.

The final two songs, "Blood Sacrifice Shaman" and "Hero," further build upon the foundation already established. The title track is a slow burner, droning along with chanting audible in the background. In the open landscape left by fading distorted guitars, Tengger Cavalry are able to explore more Eastern sounds before things close with the album's heaviest riff.

Blood Sacrifice Shaman is produced really well. East and West blend well, creating a really interesting dynamic. You can hear everything without it being overly polished. The composition of the songs is very impressive, blurring the lines between the folk and the metal sounds, and transitioning between them deftly.

Bottom Line: It's quite refreshing to hear something new and different. If you like metal, if you like world music, or if you just want to hear something really interesting, check out Tengger Cavalry.

Track Listing: 01. Hymn of The Mongolian Totem 02. Tengger Cavalry 03. Horseman04. Rootless 05. The Wolf Ritual 06. The Native 07. Blood Sacrifice Shaman 08. Hero 09. Spirits