There was a celebration of epic proportions at the local tavern Soda Bar on June 25! What? You missed out!? Luckily for you, we were not too intoxicated to remember that fun and folktastic festivity (try saying that 3 times..). Mongolian folk metallers Tengger Cavalry returned to our beaches on their first round as a signed band, having joined the growing M-Theory Audio Records family a few months before. Speaking of the M-Theory Audio clan, it wouldn’t be a small family affair without Helsott!
Fresh off their first European tour, Helsott took over the small stage and amplified it with their exciting energy. The pagan metallers performed with a type of vitality and passion a band would play after they’ve returned home after a long journey. Helsott performed songs from their April EP The Healer such as the titular track and “Astrolive” and classics like “Agamemnon.”
Vocalist Eric Dow and the rest of his band mates never failed to deliver and they harvested the joy fans threw at them in their triumphant homecoming. It was nice to see guitarist David Walston have a little shred war with bassist Mikey Muller and guitarist Michael James while Dow channeled his Viking with his stern glance, eye patch and all!
The choppy tides Helsott stirred settled with the groovy Venezuelan called Felix Martin and his catchy Proggy tunes. Felix Martin stunned with his self designed 14 and 16 string guitar which is a wonder in and of itself but once you see Martin pluck this baby, man…The virtuoso and his band mates, fellow string master Scott Fernandez and drummer Brandon Zachey (drummer of Sicarius), worked up the crowd with their suave grooves.
Though Martin didn’t speak, he warmly smiled at the crowd while Fernandez was charming onlookers with his humor and creating a fun vibe. He’s a lot funnier and way more charming than you, Seinfeld! Oh that’s right I went there. Preferences aside the Felix Martin band is a diamond in the rough and though it’s not “metal,” his unique and feel good blend of prog is something far more rare than any gem.
Tengger Cavalry invaded the Soda Bar stage for the first time as a signed band and we all swam to the stage like the eager overgrown and beer soaked children that we are to hear their tales of war, and metal and GAHH!!! *puts on armor* The cavalry didn’t dilly dally and charged right in, pillaging the venue with their presence and unique brand of folk metal.
We felt the brutality of “Cursed” especially with Nature Ganganbaigal’s signature throat singing, the aggressive strumming from bassist Alex Abayev, the fast paced tempo from drummer Josh Schifris and Chad Carney (bassist of … Sicarius?! Whoa these boys are busy!) plucking away at the tovshuur. Though Uljmuren De and his Morin Khurr (horsehead fiddle) were missing that night, Chineeleg Borjigin played the tovshuur (two-stringed lute) and occasionally the jaw harp like a pro, filling in the void and then some!
This fun raid isn’t complete without the fierce “War Horse” which scoped out its surrounding before charging everyone… NO EDD IT’S MY HORSE…playing the drums?! Oh no its was just Schifris jamming with a horse head. Because Tengger Cavalry couldn’t say no to our adorable glazed eyes, they gave in to the chants and gave us one more song! The Cavalry completed another successful raid in our city and doused us with their fervor. Till the next raid, my friends!