A band from Mongolia that blends the screaming guitars of heavy metal and traditional Mongolian guttural singing has picked up 7 million views for its two videos. Leather jackets, skull rings and bandannas alongside intricately carved Mongolian horsehead fiddles are just some of the images in the first two music videos the Mongolian band The Hu released on YouTube this fall. Excited listeners from around the globe have posted comments like: "This makes me want to ride a horse and shoot people with a bow" and "This sounds like ancient mongol rock of b. Really badass! And yet what The Hu is doing, while new, comes out of a tradition that began several decades ago when Mongolia transitioned from a satellite of the Soviet Union to a democracy.
Music of Mongolia
The Hu - Wikipedia
I was in college the first time I heard throat singing. A friend, who was then enrolled at the Berklee College of Music, had learned of a bitonal chanting technique from Mongolia and spent months trying to master it before attempting a demonstration one night over dinner. What resulted was a chorus of grunts sounding from a quickly reddening face. It was a far cry from the Youtube clip we pulled up after, which featured a throat singer belting guttural yet smooth, almost vibrational, harmonies into an empty steppe like a human didgeridoo. It was a sound unlike any I had heard a person produce, made up of notes I never even knew existed.
Whatever Happened To ... The Heavy Metal Mongolian Band Called The Hu?
Eight months later The Hu released their first album, which blends the screaming guitars of heavy metal and traditional Mongolian guttural singing. We caught up with two band members on a video call to Mongolia, where they have been waiting out the pandemic. Members of The Hu bring traditional instruments from Mongolia into their heavy metal sound. And they've even gone intergalactic, contributing a song to a new 'Star Wars' video game.
In the 13th century, Genghis Khan and then his sons ruled a territory from China to Europe. During the history of Mongolian people, there was a famous phrase: "A Mongol born on a horse and die on a horse". That was how they conquered the world two times on their horses and established the largest Empire two times.