What would happened if Genghis Khan will return from the grave to complete his conquest of the world? That scenario is totally unlikely, but it’s fun to wonder! The astonishment takes the Canadian folk metal band Mongol on their last record The Return. That release is a concept album written about a Mongolian prophecy. The prophecy states that Genghis Khan will return from the grave to complete his conquest of the world. On the album, the band explore what the Great Khan’s return to the modern world would look like.
The world appears to have two very different perceptions of the Mongol Empire, most believe that it was a brutal warmongering Empire, conversely it was also among the most progressive and liberal empires of its time. Both perceptions are true, and Mongol try to encapsulate that essence of duality in their music. Intertwined within the tracks, you’ll find melodic harmonies that conjure imagery of the vast glory of a great united Empire. In addition there are much raw beauty, but you will also hear ruthless thundering rhythms that recall the reckless unbridled violence of battle.
The main instrumental ideas of the songs were written by lead guitarist, Zev (Luke Barry), who worked with the drummer, Bourchi (Kenton Barry), to further form the songs. Zev then recorded bare bones instrumental versions of the songs, which were then sent out to the rest of the band members to add their own touch to the music – Sorkhon Sharr (Josh Blackburn) on bass, Zelme (Thomas Quiring) on rhythm guitar, Sche-Khe (Dayton Barry) on keys/orchestration, and Tev Tegri (Brandon Knott) on lyrics/vocals.
After having come together to practice and give the songs their final shape, the band recorded the album with Diego Fernandez at Oracle Studios. There final touches were added, such as banjo tracks, gang vocals, harmonies, etc. Fernandez is also responsible for the mixing of the album, which was afterwards sent to Lasse Lammert at LSD-Studios for mastering. The band was also lucky enough to work with Dusty Peterson, who created artwork that expresses the album perfectly.