World Watch: The HU – Wolf Totem


To the steppes of Mongolia stretching from east to west we go. The HU are a Mongolian metal band utilizing their country’s traditional instruments and throat singing to add a sharp fresh facet to a too-worn genre.

“Wolf Totem” evokes a rhythmic plod across the countryside to the place of final battle. It sets a steady beat whose deep percussion provides a thick undercurrent for long vocal undulations.  Not only that but… “If lions come, we’ll fight to the end / if tigers come, we’ll fight and battle / if elephants come, we’ll fight in rage / if humans come, we’ll fight and obliterate”- called out and repeated– intense. The video does it justice.

Their other single, “Yuve Yuve Yu” has a faster beat and a folksy danceable rhythm. It’s title makes up a catchy chorus with sing along potential.

The band has garnered critical acclaim for their unique sound and credible backgrounds. All college educated, they utilize traditional Mongolian instruments such as the “horsehead fiddle,” Tovshuur (Mongolian guitar), and Tumur Khuur (jaw harp). They’re veteran musicians whose style is meeting a lot of new listeners. The meeting of throat singing and metal is surprisingly symbiotic, cosmically destined for one another.  The music is infectious and is a welcome new sound.

With only this tiny sample of The HU‘s music we look forward to what’s coming next and as their twitter has said, the’ve got some more coming. Set aside your preconceived notions of both genres here and embrace something different.


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