Imagine if Genghis Khan had formed a heavy metal Mongolian rock band instead of invading China. That’s the sound of The Hu. 

The Hu combine traditional instruments and Mongolian throat singing with hard rock.

Their music draws heavily on Mongolian culture and mythology and it informs their aesthetic too.

It’s a sound that is distinctly Mongolian but has international appeal as well.

Their videos rack up millions of views of YouTube. And they sell out shows across Europe, North America and Australia.

Don’t let the fighting leathers fool you. Everyone in The Hu is classically trained. 

Every member in the band has a Bachelor degree in music.

The band’s name, The HU, is the Mongolian root word for human being. 

TS Galbadrakh, the lead throat singer and morin khuur (horsehead fiddle) player, played the instrument in the Mongolian national orchestra.

Nyamjantsan Galsanjamts, who plays tsuur (flue) is also considered one of Mongolian’s best tumur khuur (jaw harp) players.

As teenagers, the band grew up listening to Metallica, Led Zeppelin and Slipnot.

‘We always loved rock music because Mongolian traditional music itself has so many rock elements in it,’ says Galbadrakh.

The song below is called ‘Wolf Totem’.

The video showcases Mongolia’s epic Steppes. The song itself incorporates an ancient Mongolian war chant. 

‘Ten of us will strike you as thunder,’ it says. ‘Ten thousand of us will hand you the wrath of Heaven.’

I wonder if the Chinese regret not maintaining the Great Wall a bit better?

“As Mongolians, we are raised to have a great respect for our elders and our history. We didn’t come here by ourselves. There are generations of people who paved the way.”

TS Galbadrakh

Main image:  TS Galbadrakh, the lead vocalist and horsehead fiddle player for The Hu (©