Incredibly energetic, fast paced gallops through ancient plains, accompanied by bands of singers and fiddlers? Not your average day trip in the metal world. I’ve seen quite a few people auto-cringe at the mere mention of the words “folk” and “metal” together these days, which means the proverbial bar for this genre is pretty high right now. I don’t think Tengger Cavalry have any issue standing out from the crowd though. With a strong focus on traditional Mongolian elements paired with a ripping background, they’ve created a real adventure of an album.
I found Blood Sacrifice Shaman especially shines in its moments of harmonic simplicity and focus. It’s fun throughout, with variations between epic, romantic, adventurous ups and enthralling stripped-down breakdowns. There’s a certain controlled splendour that comes through the tones of the low, calm melodic leads (standout track “Horseman”), creating a truly distinctive pairing with the incredibly used throat-vocals. Some of my favourite moments on tracks like “Rootless”, and “The Wolf Ritual” had me coming back repeatedly. A shining, positive energy permeates this great collection of tracks, and a few bonus re-released tracks are included to give listeners a taste of the evolution of the act. Truly engrossing, atmospheric and uplifting.