Serj Tankian hooks up with The Hu for impossibly epic new version of Black Thunder

The Hu group shot with inset picture of Serj Tankian
(Image credit: The Hu: Khishigsuren Baasan | Serj Tankian: Travis Shinn)

The Hu have continued their ongoing quest to bring Mongolian music to the world by releasing a new version of the track they describe as the "crown jewel" of last year's Rumble Of Thunder album, Black Thunder. And to make things even more epic, System Of A Down man Serj Tankian provides the vocals on the new version.  

"I had discovered the Hu’s music from a YouTube video that a friend sent me and was instantly struck by their powerful and delightful merging of Mongolian folk and metal," says Tankian. "A few years back I had scored a film called Furious where we also used the legendary Tuva singing and heavy guitars. So, when they reached out to collaborate, I was intrigued. 

"I appreciate the pride with which they represent their culture through music. It led me down a historical rabbit hole of Mongolians and Armenia. Genghis Khan conquered Armenia along with the rest of Europe, but the Mongols also later teamed up with Armenia to fight the Turkish hordes. Happy I had the chance to collaborate with the Hu and learn all of this in the process."

Also on board for the new version of Black Thunder is Daniel "DL" Laskiewicz from Bad Wolves, who adds, "Working on this version of The Hu’s Black Thunder was so much fun and so different from what I normally get to do. Their vision, their voices…they’re special. This is more than music, it’s a movement, it’s culture, and I’m honoured that I was presented with the opportunity to be part of it."

"The lyrics and the video have several different meanings on the surface as well as on a deeper level, " adds The Hu's leader Gala. "Therefore, every version of Black Thunder carries a certain unique idea. 

"Our producer and our band members were amazed by the additions that were made by DL and Serj and their unique singing styles, which added to our beloved song. DL’s powerful vocals, topped by the Serj’s signature voice and one-of-a-kind Armenian-American style, is shedding different light to The Hu’s music. We hope our fans enjoy this featured version and feel the soul of the song through their ears."


In February, The Hu released a new version of This Is Mongol, one of the standout tracks from Rumble Of Thunder. The song was originally released as the first single from the album in May last year, but the reworked version – This Is Mongol (Warrior Souls) – featured a new vocal, from Alice In Chains singer William DuVall. 

Previously, the band reworked three tracks from their debut album The Gereg with other musicians: a new version of Wolf Totem featuring Papa Roach's Jacoby Shaddix, a version of Yuve Yuve Yu with guest vocals from Ashes To New singer Danny Case, and a dazzling version of Song Of Women starring Halestorm leader Lzzy Hale

The band have also announced a deluxe version of Rumble Of Thunder, which will be released on June 30 via Better Noise and features the new versions of This Is Mongol and Black Thunder. It's available to pre-order now.

The Hu's European tour kinks off on June 7. Full dates below. They also play at  Louder Than Life Festival in Louisville, KY, on September 23, and at the Aftershock Festival in Sacramento, CA, on October 6. 

The Hu: Rumble Of Thunder European Tour 2023

Jun 07: Nickelsdorf Nova Rock, Austria
Jun 08: Interlaken Greenfield Festival, Switzerland
Jun 10: Southampton Guildhall, UK
Jun 11: Donington Download Festival, UK
Jun 13: Liverpool Academy, UK
Jun 14: Bristol O2 Academy, UK
Jun 16: Landgraaf Pinkpop 2023, Netherlands
Jun 17: Clisson Hellfest, France
Jun 20: Lille L’Aeronef, France
Jun 21: Norwich University of East Anglia, UK
Jun 22: Glasgow O2 Academy, UK
Jun 23: Newcastle NX, UK
Jun 24: Glastonbury Festival, UK
Jun 27: Frankfurt Batschkapp, Germany
Jun 28: Strasbourg La Laiterie Artefact, France
Jun 30: Werchter Rock Werchter 2023, Belgium
Jul 02: Heslinki Festival, Finland
Jul 04: Hamburg Grosse Freiheit 26, Germany
Jul 05: Luxembourg Rockhal, Luxemburg
Jul 06: Aix-les-bains Musilack 2023, France
Jul 08: Madrid Mad Cool Festival 2023, Spain
Jul 10: Marseille Espace Julien, France
Jul 12: Munich Backstage Werk, Germany
Jul 13: Dresden Alter Schlachtohf, Germany
Jul 15: Wroclaw Center Concert A2, Poland
Jul 16: Vizovice Masters of Rock, Czech Republic
Jul 17: Budapest Budapest Park, Hungary
Jul 20: Bontida Electric Castle Festival, Romania
Jul 22: Nordfjordeid Malakoff Festival, Norway

Tickets are on sale now

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.