26 September 2023

Rumble of Thunder

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By The Hu, Better Noise Music, 2022.

Mongolian hard rockers The Hu are back with a new album that blurs the boundaries between world Music and Heavy Metal.

The Hu are unique in combining traditional Mongolian throat singing and Mongolian guitar and percussion with the standardised instruments of westernised heavy rock; electric guitar, bass and drums.

On Rumble of Thunder they also sing all songs in their native tongue.

They do provide English translations which is helpful, however I found that after a while I stopped reading them and just drifted along with the music.

There’s a cinematic scope to the album that evokes images of the vastness of the Mongolian landscape and the Tribal rhythms conjure the sights, sounds, and emotions of a glorious past.

The vocals are an intriguing mix of heavy-metal/death-metal growl with traditional throat singing and it is surprisingly musical.

It’s a formula that many non-metalheads would find approachable and the 12-track album maintained my interest to the end.

Rumble of Thunder celebrates Mongolian culture.

The musicians display great pride in their country’s heritage and many of the songs celebrate their achievements, conquests and reawakening.

Opening track, This is Mongol, talks of the impending ascension of ‘The Father and Lord Chinggis’ to re-reign over Mongolia.

Other tracks extol the great deeds of the past and implore the youth to take up the challenge.

Upright Destined Mongol, teach Me, Tatar Warrior and Yut Hovende all remind us of their great and glorious past while a secondary theme emerges in the middle tracks that warn us of the dangers of climatic and ecosystem destruction.

Sell The World is a wake-up call to us all. “Keep ransacking until the richness of it turns to grey…trade for gold…trade everything alive and lifeless until the flowing rivers vanish… keep digging until the sacred mountain turns to ruins.”

The young around the world are alive to the fact that those engaged in the destruction of our planet won’t be the ones who have to clean up the mess and find a way to survive in a world that is no longer nurturing but is in fact hostile.

Thanks to my guru Neil for providing his copy of the album for review.

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