Ever since I became enthralled by the Asian metal scene thanks to the wondrous talents within places like India and Singapore, I’ve made it one of my many missions involving metal to hear more. I’ve always been amazed by the ancient Chinese traditions, like many. But we’ve rarely seen that translated into metal. Bands like Black Kirin and Zuriaake have become personal favorites of mine to show me what the Chinese people have to offer with their special blends of metal colliding with a traditional sound of their nation. But somehow the renowned group of Tengger Cavalry eluded my gaze with very much the same style, but it’s with their sixth full-length record that I’ve finally gotten on board. And let me tell you – “Cian Bi” is the very defining aspect of an exquisite metal experience.
Not many people look to the ways of ancient China and think that it can and should be put into a vicious metal format, much less make it sound any fucking good. I was one of those people until I heard Whispered, then Zuriaake, and then Black Kirin who all showed me that it could very well be done to tremendous effect! And I wanted more!! Just like Zuriaake, Tennger Cavalry are veterans of this special Chinese folk metal scene and their tremendous work in this decade speaks for itself as these guys have done everything from putting out multiple albums in one year to being mentioned in prolific newspapers and stations. That’s no small feat and is an accomplishment for any metal band, and if Tennger Cavalry hasn’t already proven their dominance and musical prowess with any of their past material year, then it’s their upcoming piece of “Cian Bi” that’s sure to make quite the album.
When I first listened to “Cian Bi”, I approached its massive fifteen tracks casually like I do with any album. That was a mistake right off the bat. When listening to what Tennger Cavalry has created here, you need to look at every single song as if they were a mere excerpt in a grandiose tale that’s all interwoven into a single piece that packs one fucking hell of a wallop! Whereas I found the first half of “Cian Bi” entertaining but sometimes lacking a power that I felt like Tennger Cavalry had, they immediately made up for it in the second half as the track “Redefine” serves as a great transition to show that this band can deliver with loads of power! But overall, there’s no denying that “Cian Bi” is an album brimming with ridiculous talent, delicious diversity, and a wondrous sense of musicianship that can’t be denying for even a moment. Tennger Cavalry knows exactly what they’re fucking do here, and it certainly shows!
Promise like this can always be seen, but it’s not often enough that it’s actually shown! Tennger Cavalry display true mastery over their craft in a way that we’re not greeted with very often, but I accept the excellence that is “Cian Bi” with arms open wide! These men show they’re more than capable of bringing out the best of their style with ease, and I’ll be damned if I let another album of their’s slip under my radar! I suggest you do the same should you want to hear what majesty China has for us.
- And Darkness Continues
- Cian-Bi (Fight Your Darkness)
- Our Ancestors
- Chasing My Horse
- Electric Shaman
- Ride into Grave and Glory (War Horse II)
- A Drop of the Blood, A Leap of the Faith
- The Old War
- Our Tribe, Beyond Any Nation
- Just Forgive
- One-Track Mind
- You and I, Under the Same Sky
- Sitting In Circle