Chinese symphonic metal band Li Dao builds their brilliant and ascendent sound by incorporating traditional Chinese instruments like the erhu, guzheng, dizi, xiao, and tengu drums into anthemic, arena-ready structures. Some of these elements will be familiar to those who have already encountered the likes of The Hu and the late Tengger Cavalry, but Li Dao is cutting through the straight and narrow, and playing things a little closer to traditional power metal like Blind Guardian, or for a more recent example, Nightwish.
If you’re like most of our English speaking audience, you probably don’t realize that Li Dao’s name means “Power Blade,” which is the most power metal thing I’ve heard since the invention of the pentatonic chorus solo. If you were worried about their bonifieds, you’re worrying about the wrong things. What you should be thinking about is whether or not your hair has grown out long enough during quarantine to do justice to Li Dao’s epic, sword and sorcery serenades while you’re headbanging.
Li Dao have recently released a single from their forthcoming album Beyond the Great Firewall. It’s called “3000 Tombs” and regales the listener with the story of the village of Li Jing, which is under siege by an evil sorcerer. The village’s only hope of survival is for the story’s heroine to complete her journey to grasp the Power Blade, an artifact of great power and mystery, and which contains the magic to resurrect and command 3000 undead soldiers lying at the bottom of Sword Lake. An army that she hopes that she can lead to victory in battle against the evil sorcerer.
There is more to the story, but you’ll have to wait for the full album to come out to learn more. In the mean time, check out the stream of “3000 Tombs” below:
And hey, if you dig what the band is doing consider throwing a little more than the suggested Bandcamp price their way. Their album Beyond the Great Firewall is clearly self-funded and they could use some help getting it over the finish line.