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Tengger Cavalry: Sunesu Cavalry

Exotic yet familiar folk metal from China

Unsurprisingly for such a huge territory, China boasts a fairly sizeable metal scene and Tengger Cavalry are one of its leading lights, this album being the Western release of the band’s second album, originally issued last year.

The group’s sound draws on the country’s heroic, sword-wielding, horse-riding past in an almost identical fashion as pagan metal bands have done in Europe. Nor do the similarities end there – there’s the incorporation of ethnic elements, a penchant for clean, acoustic tones and, of course, the high-energy and epic approach to the songwriting.

In that sense, it’s a strangely familiar listen and, without research, one might easily mistake it for some folk metal from another land altogether. Aided by a suitably sizable production, Sunesu Cavalry makes for an exciting and engaging listen; upbeat yet aggressive and throwing in plenty of catchy hooks alongside the music’s more textural elements.