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Music / Tengger Cavalry

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Back: Randy Tesser, Nature Ganganbaigal, Tamir Hargana
Front: Greg Baker, Patrick Reilly
Tengger Cavalry is a defunct Chinese-American "nomadic Folk Metal" band formerly based in New York City. The band started as the solo project of Nature Ganganbaigal ("Nature G" for short), an ethnic Mongol originally from Beijing, but expanded into a five-piece group beginning in 2015, performing their debut concert as a full group at Carnegie Hall.

Named for the Turkic father-god Tengri, the band mated traditional Mongolian folk instrumentation and throat-singing to galloping metal beats much in the vein of "The Trooper" by Iron Maiden, making them one of the pioneers of the "Mongolian metal" subgenre. Think of them as a Melodic Death Metal version of The HU and you won't be far off—but note that they predated The HU by several years, and apparently resent the newer Mongol rock band's higher profile.

In February 2018, the band announced they had broken up, only to re-form less than five months later. However, on 13 June 2019, it was announced that Nature G had been found dead in his home in New York at the age of 29, putting an abrupt end to the group's nine-year, eight-album run. The band's website has since gone offline; however, the former members maintain pages on Facebook and Bandcamp.

  • Nature G - rhythm guitar, throat singing, morin khuur; all instruments (2010–2019; died 2019)
  • Patrick Reilly - lead guitar (2018–2019)
  • Randy Tesser - drums (2018–2019)[15]
  • Greg Baker - bass, double bass (2018–2019)
  • Tamir Hargana - horsehead fiddle, Tuvan throat singing (2018-2019)

Former members:

  • Yuri Liak - drums (2015)
  • Alex Abayev - bass (2015–2018)
  • Josh Schifris - drums (2016–2017)
  • Zaki Ali - drums (2017–2018)
  • Robert Mc Laughlin - igil, shanz, throat singing (2015)
  • Borjigin Chineeleg - throat singing, topshur, jawharp (2017–2018)
  • Uljmuren De - morin khuur (2016–2018)
  • Phillip Newton - topshur, backing vocals (2017–2018)

  • Blood Sacrifice Shaman (2010)
  • Cavalry Folk (2011)
  • Sunesu Cavalry (2012)
  • Cavalry in Thousands (2016)
  • Ancient Call (2016)
  • Grassland Rock (acoustic remix, 2016)
  • KAAN (EP, 2016)
  • Mountain Side (EP, 2016)
  • Soundtrack of the Cavalry (2016)
  • Die on My Ride (2017)
  • Cian Bi (2018)
  • Northern Memory (2019)

Tengger Cavalry's music provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Cool Mask: Nature G customarily performed live in a skull-like mask that entirely obscured his face. This is a nod to the war masks sometimes worn by Mongol soldiers.
  • Genre Mashup: They helped pioneer the "Mongolian metal" subgenre by using throat-singing in place of typical Melodic Death Metal Harsh Vocals and adding traditional Mongolian folk instrumentation—particularly the morin khuur, a two-stringed cello-like instrument.
  • Genre Roulette: Tengger Cavalry's discography is mostly heavy metal but includes a significant number of acoustic songs as well, and on live tours they sometimes opened with an acoustic set and then followed it with a metal set.
  • Nature Metal: A lot of their songs but particularly "Hymn of the Earth" which describes the beauty of the Asian steppes in the summer.
    Under the boundless welkin, green hills bathe in the sunlight
    Breeze ripples. Cloud floats. Sheep jumps. Horse gallops
    Every creature enjoys the wonder of life. Everywhere is the music of life
    Warm sunlight pours down like summer rain, deeply sinking into soil
    This is the hymn of the earth, the hymn of life
  • Soprano and Gravel: A lot of the songs mix in clean tenor vocals from Nature G in addition to throat-singing.
  • Voice of the Legion: Throat-singing sounds a lot like a demonic choir, especially when the sound engineer adds reverb into the audio mix. Fittingly, Nature G performed on the soundtrack to Doom Eternal shortly before his death.