Folk metal has been in vogue for the longest time. It isn’t hard to put together a folk metal starter pack of sorts. We’re at this point where even the most subtle and nuanced difference is all that it takes to make something really stand out in this genre. Tengger Cavalry’s latest offering ‘Cian Bi’ has all that it takes to stand out.
The album opens up with a short warm and mellow instrumental intro “And Darkness Continues”. “Cian-Bi (Fight Your Darkness) marks the start of everything heavy on the album. The overtone singing and native Mongolian instrumentation in the forefront with the metal aspects in the back is a very nice take on arrangement. The heavy parts breaks to accommodate more melodic and native instrumentation. “Our Ancestors” has a lot of traditional and catchy metal techniques in addition to the strong folk parts and overtone singing. “Strength” is one of my favourite songs off the album. It is safe to assume that it is one of the finer songs in the genre in recent years. There is a very fine balance between metal and folk parts to the song. All this is topped by the very unique Mongolian music that is so nicely mixed into the composition. This song is very rich in harmony, vocals and instrumental wise.
“Chasing My Horse” is a groove rich song. The textures that the overtone singing and the vocals create is beautiful. The harmony seems to make up for some kind of tranquil vibe amidst all the groove. “Electric Shaman” takes the idea of being cross genre a few steps ahead with electronic arrangements coupled with the already present folk metal action. It is really chill song to simply relax to. “Redefine” is very traditionalist sounding as far as its metal parts goes. The song has its moments and some epic build ups. “The Old War” is a very interesting track. It starts off as a real head banger’s love at first sight and the vocals change the dynamics of the song. It brings in a very heavy and dark vibe that some growls simply can’t bring.
“One Tribe, Beyond Any Nation” is a song to mosh to. This song will strike a vibe of familiarity for those already deep into folk metal because this song seems to be typical of the genre. “Just Forgive” is a texture and melody rich song.
“One Track Mind” is stunning. It is a nice blend of groove, heaviness, and native instrumentation. It is fast and catchy. The singing fills up all the empty spaces in the music. This song doesn’t miss much as far the album and the genre goes. “Sitting In Circle” is the closing track. The tracks soft and mellow tunes is a nice break from the heavy album. It is easy to get lost in the instrumental arrangements of this wonderful song.
Tengger Cavalry’s latest offering ‘Cian Bi’ is among the finer album as far as folk metal is concerned. By bringing in a ton of Mongolian and other folk compositions and arrangements, this album ushers in a stronger sense of diversity in the metal community. This album is heavy, melodic and above all, very unique. Within all that the band tried doing, it is evident from the music that they did not shy away from experimenting from metal to electro and folk. There is something for everyone on this. The overtone singing and vocals adds a newer perspective to metal. At this point, it is safe to say anything can work with metal. The overall quality of production was okay. So begin with, this album would have been a challenge to produce. Given the complexity of the music and the textures that it comes with, the production doesn’t really do full justice to the band’s music. Maybe even that would be okay because the overall production is very clean on this album. This album is an essential for the quintessential folk metal fan.