Band: Tengger Cavalry
Album: Cian Bi
Release Date: 23rd February 2018
Sadly for the world of folk metal, not long after Tengger Cavalry released this album they announced that they would no longer be a band. However, I thought I needed to listen to this, as the folk metal world seems dominated by the more traditional European folk metal style, and hearing a more Middle and Far Eastern sound is quite rare. Apart from Tengger Cavalry’s use of traditional Mongolian folk instruments, I hadn’t really heard that much else about them.
The album commences with And Darkness Continues, a mysterious and spiritual instrumental track which sets the scene for the rest of the album. The first main track which is also the title track, Cian-Bi (Fight Your Darkness) is the first track we hear the metal fused with the more traditional Mongolian folk instruments. There is also what I believe to be Mongolian throat singing, as well as the more usual style of harsh vocals you hear in metal. Our Ancestors introduces some cleaner vocals and a gallop to the instrumental, something that is also heard in Ride into Grave and Glory (War Horse II) and You and I, Under the Same Sky.
Strength starts heavy and fast paced, but there are calmer interludes. Electric Shaman also follows this instrumental theme, though it is a lot more pronounced and almost has an electronica feel (as the title would perhaps suggest). Redefine has a distinctly nu-metal theme to it, and to me that’s not a bad thing, it sounds great and fits in with the rest of the album. Just Forgive also has a bit of a throwback, and has a grunge theme to it, again not a bad thing!
A Drop of the Blood, a Leap of the Faith sounds a lot more like a more usual metal track, but there are folky themes towards the end and the clean vocals are more prominent. One Tribe, Beyond the Nation is probably the most “normal” heavy metal track on this album, but it is heavy on the strings. One Track Mind has a calmer instrumental, but the lyrics are a juxtaposition, there’s very much a “you be you and f*ck everyone else” attitude to the lyrics.
The album finishes with another calm instrumental, almost bringing the spiritual peace back to the listener after a rollercoaster of emotion and feeling. The entire album has a spiritual feel to it, even with the heavier tracks where the guitars and drums are driving and heavy, and all you want to do is headbang. It’s not an album that I would choose to listen to as background noise, it is something I would want to really concentrate on and be in a specific mood for. That being said, the album flows really well and the composition is fantastic.