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Biters, I think it’s obvious at this point I’m a bit of a hard rock, metal fan. So, I’d like to tackle the Mongolian throat singing metal band The Hu.
The Hu was introduced to me a few months back by one of my gaming friends. It happened through what must be their most well-known song and the center piece of this article, Wolf Totem.
Good Aggressive Vibrations
When it comes to metal and hard rock, I love it! I love the fashion, the aggressive guitar and drums, its high-octane energy. Though there is one aspect from metal I can’t get behind and that is the ‘death growl.’
Before getting to The Hu’s song, I’d like to briefly sidetrack to my GBM recurring mention, Johnathan Young. Also, GBM newcomer, The Covers Duo. I find there is a real fine line you must walk with ‘death growls.’
When not used just right they take me right out of the song. Johnathan did a cover of Gonna Go Far Kid with guest singer, Lauren Babic. She comes in with this lovely smoky alto tone. She has these heart felt pained expressions that fit the song.
Then she goes for the ‘death growl.’ She puts on a kissy face and what I can only describe as a little kid trying to do a monster voice. It was so out of left field I was briefly took out of the cover.
This Is Halloween Red And Slimy Green
On the flip side we have,Pamela Romvel of The Covers Duo. When she sang This Is Halloween, her crystalline princess voice switches to this primal shriek. I think it helps the feel of the lyrics.
This Is Halloween from 90s Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas movie, was a more lighthearted song. But shrieking when she sings “Everybody scream!” was right on point.
All this to say, Biters, that nine times out of ten I don’t like those ‘death growls’ because it can come out sounding “put on” and makes the lyrics unintelligible.
Back To The Who?
So, what does my little mini review have to do with the The Hu’s Wolf Totem song? The whole song is written in Mongolian which makes it completely unintelligible to me. Also, giving throat singing is a skill like the ‘death growl’ I’m sure the singer’s natural voice would sound different when not employing it.
By my own logic I should hate this, but I don’t, I love it. The song, form what I read, is an ode to Gangis Kahn. It’s a celebration and testament to the spirit of their culture.
In the music video they come riding up on motorcycles like a small army which is fitting with its call and respond style it sounds like a war chant. It sounds like a war chant. There is this nice driving beat you can’t help bob your head to fitting nicely with the song. Moreover, it fits the band’s main theme of unity.
Just take look at the lyrics.
“…If you come with evil intentions, we’ll give you a fight…If you come as tigers, we’ll face you as Lions with blue mane.” — The Hu, Wolf’s Totem.
The Hu, Wolf’s Totem
Even their name carries this message, which roughly translates to the people band. Aside from that Wolf Totem just makes me feel powerful. It’s like no matter what comes my way I’d turn around and see them at my back.
50 Shades Of Throat Singing
Along with the original version of the song The Hu collaborated with Papa Roach’s singer, Jacoby Shaddix for The Retaliators film soundtrack. I’ve also seen this dubbed in the American version.
I can kind of see why as Shaddix is put as the center focus making The Hu more background players in their song. Even still the video looked like a nice jam session between the two. I must admit I like it a bit more than the original.
My Last Thoughts
I think now not only do I have some English lyrics I can grab onto, but Shaddix has this repeated line of “We’ve all been lost. We’ve all been cold.” I don’t know about you, Biters, but I may not always need that army of bikers at my back. However, who hasn’t ever said “Man, I wish I brought a jacket” or “Does anybody remember where we parked?”
I could go on and on about Wolf Totem. It’s a great song with a great message check it out if you haven’t yet.