The Hu

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The Hu
The Hu performing in 2019
The Hu performing in 2019
Background information
OriginUlaanbaatar, Mongolia[1]
GenresFolk metal
Years active2016–present[1]
  • Gala
  • Jaya
  • Enkush
  • Temka

The Hu (stylized as The HU) is a Mongolian folk metal band formed in 2016.[1][2] Incorporating traditional Mongolian instrumentation, including the morin khuur, the tovshuur, and throat singing,[3][4] the band calls their style of music "hunnu rock", a term inspired by the Xiongnu, an ancient tribal confederation of uncertain origins, known as Hünnü in Mongolia. Some of the band's lyrics include old Mongolian war cries and poetry in the Mongolian language.[5][6]

The Hu consists of Galbadrakh "Gala" Tsendbaatar, Nyamjantsan "Jaya" Galsanjamts, Enkhsaikhan "Enkush" Batjargal, and Temuulen "Temka" Naranbaatar. They have released the studio albums The Gereg (2019) and Rumble of Thunder (2022).


Beginnings: 2016–2019[edit]

From 1924 to 1992, during Mongolia's communist period, various types of music were banned, including Western styles such as jazz and rock, and even traditional Mongolian music. The Mongolian Revolution of 1990 sank the country into a financial crisis but also led to a cultural upheaval.[7]

Years later, the four members of the Hu (Enkhsaikhan "Enkush" Batjargal, Nyamjantsan "Jaya" Galsanjamts, Temuulen "Temka" Naranbaatar, Galbadrakh "Gala" Tsendbaatar) studied at the Mongolian State Music and Dance Conservatory, practicing throat singing and traditional Mongolian music.[8] The singer Bayarmagnai "Dashka" Dashdondog formed the band in 2016 as their producer and songwriter, selecting students from the conservatory.[8][9] With an interest in trying something new and a genre of heavy-metal music previously banned from the country, they incorporated traditional instruments and drew inspiration from the Hunnu empire in a style they called "Hunnu rock".[9][10][11] The band adopted the name the Hu (Mongolian for "human beings").[12]

We took the name because of the inclusive nature. It’s not about being Mongolian; it’s about being human.

— "Temka" Naranbaatar, 2019, The Guardian [8]

Gala's older brother, Tuga Namgur, would later be recruited as the band's interpreter and manager.[11]

The Hu released two videos on YouTube in late 2018: "Yuve Yuve Yu" and "Wolf Totem". On 11 April 2019, "Wolf Totem" reached #1 on Billboard's Hard Rock Digital Song Sales, making the Hu the first Mongolian musical act to top a Billboard chart. In addition, "Yuve Yuve Yu" reached #7 on the same chart, while "Wolf Totem" debuted at #22 on Billboard's Hot Rock Songs chart.[1]

On 17 May 2019, the Hu met Mongolian president Khaltmaagiin Battulga, who congratulated the band for their accomplishments in promoting the country.[13] On 6 June 2019, the band released the lyric video for their third single, "Shoog Shoog".[14] In June and July 2019, they performed 23 concerts in twelve European countries.[citation needed] The band released the music video for their fourth single, "The Great Chinggis Khaan", on 23 August 2019.[15]

The Gereg (2019–2021)[edit]

The Hu released their first studio album, titled The Gereg, on 13 September 2019, via Eleven Seven Records.[16][17] Gereg is a term used for a diplomatic passport from the time of Genghis Khan.[11] In describing its sound, songwriter/producer Dashka claimed they sought to "find, study and incorporate as much of Mongolia's musical culture as they could into a rock style".[11]

The band subsequently embarked on their first North American tour, from September to December 2019, to promote The Gereg.[18] On 4 October, they issued a new version of "Yuve Yuve Yu", featuring vocals by Danny Case of From Ashes to New.[19] On 13 December, the band released a remix of "Wolf Totem", featuring Papa Roach lead vocalist, Jacoby Shaddix.[20] This version was featured in the horror film The Retaliators.[21] On 1 May 2020, a remix of "Song of Women", featuring Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, was released online.[22]

On 27 November 2019, the Hu received the highest state award in Mongolia, the Order of Genghis Khan, for promoting Mongolian culture around the world.[23]

While touring in Australia in April 2020, the band was forced into lockdown at an AirBnB near Sydney for 45 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[11][24] While there, they worked on the single "Black Thunder" and filmed a series of cooking videos titled "Hu's in the Kitchen", uploading them to their YouTube channel. On 28 June 2020, the band uploaded their COVID-19 relief fundraising concert on YouTube. In an interview before the event, they stated their plan to release their second album in 2021.[25] In July, a Simlish version of their song "The Legend of Mother Swan", performed by Myrkur, was featured in the video game The Sims 4, as part of the "Nifty Knitting" stuff pack.[26] On 3 December 2020, the band released a cover version of Metallica's "Sad but True".[27]

In 2020, the Hu were selected as one of 53 artists to participate in Metallica's thirtieth anniversary album, The Metallica Blacklist, released on 1 October 2021.[28] They contributed a cover of "Through the Never".[29] All profits from the album's sales were donated to charity, with each contributing band choosing a particular cause. The Hu selected the Giving Day Charity Fund.[29]

In September and October 2021, the band returned to North America for the Hun Tour,[30] their first live performance since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. They played a selection of songs from The Gereg and their forthcoming studio album, Rumble of Thunder.[31]

The Hu performing at Aftershock 2023

Rumble of Thunder (2022–present)[edit]

On 12 May 2022, the Hu released the single "This Is Mongol".[32] "Black Thunder" followed on 8 July, and the band announced their second album, Rumble of Thunder, which came out on 2 September.[33] Songwriter Dashka described modern society and ancestral history as inspirations for the album, with a goal of expanding the sound outlined in The Gereg.[34] The band would return to Australia, where they spent lockdown in 2020, in August 2022.[24]

On 10 February 2023, they released their music video for "This Is Mongol (Warrior Souls)", featuring William DuVall of Alice in Chains on lead vocals and rhythm guitar.[35] On 30 March, they issued a remix of "Black Thunder", featuring Daniel "DL" Laskiewicz of Bad Wolves and Serj Tankian of System of a Down.[36]

Star Wars Jedi[edit]

The Hu's music is used in two video games from the Star Wars universe: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (2019) and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (2023). Several of their songs can be heard during gameplay, performed by the in-game band the Agasar. These include "Hohochu", "Sugaan Essena" ("Black Thunder"), and "Eseerin Vasahina".[37][38]

We were all fans of Star Wars beforehand. We started watching the movies at such young ages and all wanted to be Luke Skywalker. The character of Luke gives us a desire to be strong, honest men.

— "Gala" Tsendbaatar, 2020, Revolver [39]

The lyrics for "Sugaan Essena" were originally drafted in Mongolian and performed during live shows in Europe and North America. Following tour dates, the lyrics were rewritten in an alien language for use in the game.[39] Gala claimed the band "would love to perform it (the song) in the Star Wars language we created, but it would be too hard".

Band members[edit]


  • Galbadrakh "Gala" Tsendbaatar – morin khuur, throat singing (2016–present)[40]
  • Nyamjantsan "Jaya" Galsanjamts – tumur hhuur, tsuur, throat singing (2016–present)
  • Enkhsaikhan "Enkush" Batjargal – morin khuur, throat singing (2016–present)
  • Temuulen "Temka" Naranbaatar – tovshuur, backing vocals (2016–present)

Touring members

  • Unumunkh "Ono" Maralkhuu – percussion, tumur hhuur, backing vocals (2019–present)
  • Jambaldorj "Jamba" Ayush – guitars, backing vocals (2019–present)
  • Nyamdavaa "Davaa" Byambaa – bass, backing vocals (2020–present)
  • Odbayar "Odko" Gantumur – drums (2019–present)

Former touring members

  • Batkhuu Batbayar – bass, backing vocals (2019–2020)


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions

The Gereg 11 25 38 73 32 99 24 14 21 103
Rumble of Thunder
  • Released: 2 September 2022
  • Label: Better Noise
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
38 38 18


List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album



"Yuve Yuve Yu"
(solo or with From Ashes to New)
2018 49 4 35 7 2 The Gereg
"Wolf Totem"
(solo or with Jacoby Shaddix)
34 5 22 1 1
"Shoog Shoog" 2019 24
"The Great Chinggis Khaan"
"Song of Women"
(solo or with Lzzy Hale)
2020 4
"Sad but True" 3 Non-album single
"This Is Mongol"[32]
(solo or with William DuVall)
2022 7 9 Rumble of Thunder
"Black Thunder"
(solo or with Serj Tankian and Daniel "DL" Laskiewicz)
11 14
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Album
2018 "Yuve Yuve Yu" The Gereg
"Wolf Totem"
"The Great Chinggis Khaan"
2019 "Yuve Yuve Yu"
(featuring From Ashes to New)
The Gereg (Deluxe Edition)
"Wolf Totem"
(featuring Jacoby Shaddix)
2020 "Sad but True"
2022 "This Is Mongol" Rumble of Thunder
"Black Thunder Part 1"
"Black Thunder Part 2"
"Bii Biyelgee"
2023 "This Is Mongol (Warrior Souls)"
(featuring William DuVall)
Rumble of Thunder (Deluxe Edition)
"Black Thunder"
(featuring Serj Tankian and Daniel "DL" Laskiewicz]
"Sell the World"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2019 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order The Agasar In-universe band
2023 Star Wars Jedi: Survivor The Agasar In-universe band

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ "Mongolian metal sensation the Hu discuss their musical influences". Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  3. ^ "The Hu, a New Breakthrough Band from Mongolia, Plays Heavy Metal with Traditional Folk Instruments and Throat Singing". 9 January 2019. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  4. ^ "'The HU', a Mongolian Heavy Metal Band, Will Make You Want to Shred Something". The Inertia. 10 January 2019. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  5. ^ Cengel, Katya (5 January 2019). "How A Mongolian Heavy Metal Band Got Millions of YouTube Views". NPR. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  6. ^ Ortiga, Kara (28 May 2019). "This Insanely Popular Mongolian Metal Band Makes Music Using Traditional Instruments". Vice Media. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  7. ^ Lkhaajav, Bolor; Maire, Antoine. "The Fall of the Soviet Union: Mongolia's Path to Democratic Revolution". Diplomat Media Inc.
  8. ^ a b c Farber, Jim (22 October 2019). "Steppe change: how Mongolian rock band the Hu conquered the world". The Guardian.
  9. ^ a b Adams, Rachel (7 August 2021). "What Every Fan Should Know About the HU – Untapped Sound". WTC Creatives LLC.
  10. ^ "The Hu". The Masquerade.
  11. ^ a b c d e Cengel, Katya. "Whatever happened to the heavy metal Mongolian band called the Hu?".
  12. ^ Hergett, Rachel (13 October 2023). "The Hu use metal to share tales of Mongolian ancestors". Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
  13. ^ "Meeting with The Hu Band". Office of the President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga. 17 May 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  14. ^ Lewry, Fraser (6 June 2019). "Mongolian sensations The HU launch video for Shoog Shoog". Metal Hammer. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  15. ^ Lewry, Fraser (21 August 2019). "The Hu launch trailer for new single The Great Chingiss Khan, out Friday". Metal Hammer. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  16. ^ "The Hu Announce Debut Album, "The Gereg"". Heavy. 12 June 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
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  18. ^ Munropublished, Scott (17 July 2019). "Mongolian outfit The Hu plot North American tour". louder.
  19. ^ Lewry, Fraser (4 October 2019). "The Hu release new version of Yuve Yuve Yu with English vocal from Danny Case". Metal Hammer. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
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  26. ^ "Video Surfaces of Myrkur Singing in Simlish for The Sims 4 – Hardcore Gamer". 29 October 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2022.
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  28. ^ Gross, Joe (10 September 2021). "'The Metallica Blacklist' is an Enormous Tribute to an Enormously Influential Album". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  29. ^ a b "The Metallica Blacklist. Coming to Digital September 10th, Vinyl & CD on October 1st |". Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  30. ^ "The Hu: 'The Hun Tour,' upcoming second album – News.MN". News.MN – The source of news. 22 September 2021. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  31. ^, Mike Sorensen Bad Wolf Media special to The Herald-Whig (21 September 2021). "The Hu discuss returning to America for 'The Hun Tour,' upcoming second album". Herald-Whig. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  32. ^ a b Childers, Chad (13 May 2022). "The Hu Issue Chugging Rocker 'This Is Mongol' Ahead of New Album". Loudwire. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  33. ^ Enis, Eli (8 July 2022). "The HU Announce New Album, Drop Stunning New Song "Black Thunder"". Revolver. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
  34. ^ Massie, Andrew (28 July 2022). "Interview: The Hu Producer B. Dashdondog talks new album & Aussie tour". Metal-Roos. MH Magazine.
  35. ^ "Hear Alice in Chains singer join The HU on new version of "This Is Mongol"". Revolver. 10 February 2023. Retrieved 10 February 2023.
  36. ^ "The HU Launch New Version of Black Thunder Featuring Guest Spots from System of a Down & Bad Wolves Members". ThePRP. 30 March 2023. Retrieved 31 March 2023.
  37. ^ Mercante, Alyssa (19 November 2019). "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order just made a Mongolian rock band canon". GamesRadar+. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  38. ^ "Star Wars Jedi: Survivor – 11 Best Songs in the Game". 6 August 2023. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
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External links[edit]