Chosen by Monk
It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven whole days since we last awarded our coveted ‘Video Of The Week’ title, and, despite the ongoing, and some cases renewed, lockdowns in many parts of the Überverse, we are still receiving a healthy bundle of submissions for our coveted ‘Video Of The Week’ title. Many of them are produced against the background of continuing quarantine conditions in some countries, while others reflect artists being able to return and flex their creative muscles once again.
After careful consideration of the 100-plus submissions we once again received this week – and, yes, we did watch them all – our winning selection is something we would not normally consider for inclusion in this feature… or indeed on the site the general: yes, it’s a cover version! But, then if you’re going to do a cover version, then you might as well grab your audience by the balls, force them to pay attention and throw the rulebook out the window… which is just what Mongolian rulebenders The HU have done with their absolutely stunning interpretation of Metallica’s ‘Sad But True’, which quite frankly left me gasping for breath when I heard an advance stream at the beginning of last week…
This year was supposed to be an incredible one for the hunnu metal monsters, who had taken the rock world by storm with their (quite literally) ground-breaking debut album and their mixture of traditional Mongolian instrumentation and musical themes, including throat-singing, with fiercesome heavy metal guitar and drums, arguably creating a whole new genre of their very own. But, like everyone else, their momentum ground to a halt when, after sold-out tours of the ÜK and Europe, the global pandemic hit, trapping the band briefly in Australia in the midst of another storming run. But, eventually making it back to their homeland, the band immediately set about trying to refuel that momentum. What followed was a deluxe edition of ‘The Gereg’, a YouTube documentary and one of the first large-scale full production online concerts of the lockdown era, as well as being featured on the ‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’ video game and soundtrack.
With the aforementioned re-issue of their debut album featuring a series of collaborations with the likes of Jacoby Shaddix and Lzzy Hale, what better way for The HU to round out what has turned out to be a surprisingly bright 2020 that by taking another lefthand turn by adding their distinctive stamp to one of the most iconic tracks in the modern metal canon? As I said, this rendition totally took my breath away when I listened to it for the first time, as they band have almost completely re-invented the song, added traditional Mongolian instrumentation along with their signature style of throat singing – and swapped out the English lyrics for their native language. As singer and Morin Khuur (horsehead fiddle) player Galbadrakh “Gala” Tsendbaatar told us:
“Like millions of people around the world, Metallica has been a huge influence and inspiration for us as music fans and musicians. We admire their 40 years of relentless touring and the timeless, unique music they have created. It is a great honor to show them our respect and gratitude by recording a version of ‘Sad But True’ in our language and in the style of The HU.”
Whatever else the near future may bring our way, The HU’s momentum seems set to continue into 2021. Not only is this single the first product of a series of special projects to mark the 15th anniversary of their record label, Better Noise Music, who are also behind the forthcoming horror-thriller ‘The Retaliators’, in which jaw harpist/flautist Nyamjantsan “Jaya” Galsanjamts also has a small part, alongside Jacoby Shaddix and lead stars Michael Lombardi, Marc Menchaca and Joseph Gatt.
Well, there you go. Just the one video for you for this week, but we hope you have enjoyed it and agree with our selection… Until next Sunday, keep ‘er lit, keep ‘er between the hedges and #StayTheFuckSafe…
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