Do you know The HU? (I know msjadeli @tao-talk does) They hit big on the socials a couple of years back with a mixture of Eastern Folk instruments, heavy metal rifflings and Mongolian throat singing. Their break through track Yuve Yuve Yu was a deep chanted complex epic that made you want to stand on a rain lashed mountain side an conjure balls of energy between your hands. While headbanging. Essentially it was a blues riff played on strange strings and and ear worm hook that went ‘oh wee oh wee ohh’. That Seasick Steve in his teenage metal phase played by the Swiss Chef from The Muppets and Electric Mayhem type vibe was fun. It’s mate Wolf Totem got riffier and throatier even before Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix (SHADDIX FACTS: JS was previously known by his stage name Coby Dick in Papa Roach’s breakthrough period. He named his band after his Polish grandfather, It’s a wonder it took him 3 albums to realise he was born with one of the coolest names a rock star ever had, but we digress). The HU (their name is the root word for Human in Mongol and must have the H and U in capitals at all times) are the realest rock and rollers you’ll ever mosh to.
Now I don’t know about you, but when I want mad folky thrashing and Mongolian throat singing on a Metallica cover version I accept no substitute. Only The HU will do. Their take on Sad But True is truly a marvel too boot, but that is not why we are here today. We are here today as part three of the feat. Lzzy Hale trilogy. The Return Of The Jedi of the trilogy. The World’s End, The Return Of The King, The Red Dragon, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest, The Lzzy Hale 3: In 3D.
Song Of Women by The HU featuring Lzzy Hale is a massive sounding song. It broods and swells and matches those low throaty grumbles with a searing vocal performance by the journeyman front-woman. She’s singing about being the worlds Sister, Mother, Lover, Wife, Muse and Leader as kings fall and birds sing. Holy moly this song packs a punch.
“I am bones and I am skin, I am home where life begins, I’ve started wars I’ve given peace across the ocean carry the seed”
The bow work and Oyayayaya grumble builds a slow 2/2 beat as the maelstrom of a song rises like a tide. It’s a delight to immerse yourself in the elemental sound. Lzzy has a go at the chanting herself. Mixing English and some of the tonal stuff that head HU-man Gala is leading her into. To the uneducated headbanger there are elements of folk metal heroes Skyclad or Ensiferum with vocals akin to German Industrialists Rammstein in tone or Brazilian groove thrashers Sepultura in structure. All the while you’ve got Lzzy sounding like she might be doing something more orchestral than usual. Maybe like the Dutch classicists Within Temptation or their symphonic fellow Nederlanders Epica, with a bit of a Finnish Nightwish type vibe, with a dash of Brighton folk punks Levellers as if playing with British violinist Sophie Solomon. But what do we know? Heavy metal is all derivative and sounds the same.
“I am fire I am water I am Empress I am thunder”
It’d be easy to see Halestorm as a metal band and only a metal band. Just as it is easy to see Metal as just guitars, drums bass and screaming. A scene that prizes history, language, culture, art and musicality as much as metal is sold short by a media and a people who can’t see past the Heavy Metal Parking Lot, Hail Satan cliches and hear the deep, rich, inclusive and tolerant culture of the heavy heads.
Lzzy is one of our brightest stars. A CV that takes in Apocalyptica, The Picturebooks, The HU, Machinegun Kelly, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Black Stone Cherry, Stone Sour and Shinedown (among many others) as well as leading the charge with her own headline worthy band is to be celebrated.
The HU are a truly magnificent proposition. I adore the swell of noise they make. All hail Lzzy Hale. She don’t half pick ’em