Mongolian Metal Band Uses Throat Singing and Traditional Instruments to Rock Out

Ever since its inception, heavy metal music has been filled with trailblazers, each of whom put their own unique spin on the genre. From Metallica consistently changing their style with each album, even when they know fans might hate it, to Dream Theater seamlessly merging the sounds of progressive rock and metal, these are bands that are unafraid to do what they want. But in a musical landscape that is filled with innovation and experimentation, certain bands will still stand out for doing something new and different. UUHAI is one of these such bands and luckily for us, they have been making music since 2021.

Based in Mongolia, UUHAI effortlessly combines the modern metal sound with its own traditional instruments and vocals. The band's name, UUHAI, comes from deep cultural traditions, as “shouting ‘uuhai' in unison has roots as a spiritual mantra as a sign of goodwill leading to good fortune and was used as a way of releasing energy, emboldening one’s spirits and stimulating the elements of one’s body.” In each of the band's music videos, the five members are clad in traditional Mongolian garments while some play traditional instruments such as the Morin khuur (horsehead fiddle) and the Zhangu drum. As awesome as the guitar riffs sound when paired with these instruments, the real magic starts when the vocalists come in, as they use throat singing and Urtiin Duu (long song) techniques in place of the death growls that are commonly heard in Western metal music.

The result is mesmerizing, and you don't need to speak or even understand Mongolian to recognize that. (Thankfully, for English speakers, the band's YouTube videos do feature translated captions in case you would like to know what they are singing about.) UUHAI's energy is contagious, and it is hard to keep yourself from head-banging along with them, or at the very least, tapping your foot. One English speaking commenter even wrote: “Accidentaly [sic] found this song, now i want to start horseback archery training and conquer half of the world.”

The band's goal is to “blend globalized rock music with the UNESCO-registered cultural legacies of Mongolian throat singing, long song, and horse-head fiddle music in creating Mongolian rock metal songs while uniting fans in shouts of ‘hoo-rah.'” Clearly, their plan is working, as they have caught the attention of music lovers all around the world, and will be touring across Europe later this year.

To keep up to date with UUHAI's music, you can subscribe to their channel on YouTube and follow them on Spotify.

UUHAI is a Mongolian heavy metal band that is known for combining classic metal elements with their cultural instruments and vocals, including throat singing.

You don't need to understand Mongolian to be able to jam along with them. It's hard not to head bang when you hear their signature sound.

Here are some more of their music videos:

UUHAI: Website | YouTube | Spotify | Instagram
h/t: [Laughing Squid]

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Sarah Currier

Sarah Currier is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Based in central Iowa, she is currently enrolled at Iowa State University and is working toward a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in English. She loves all things creative, and when she’s not writing, you can find her immersed in the worlds of television, film, and literature.
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