Apr 072022


In the 12 1/2 years this site has been active we have written about a grand total of one metal band (Kashgar) from the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan. Today we double that total.

Obviously, it’s still a rarity, and sent us off to get better educated, especially because the promotional material for Morfer, the band that’s the subject of today’s premiere, makes reference to their origins “among the rocky and snowy ridges, mountainous and hopeless forests of the Scandinavian Tien Shan”. What does that mean?!? Let’s learn together.

For those of us in the ignorant West, Kyrgyzstan is bounded by Kazakhstan on the northwest and north, by China on the east and south, and by Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on the south and west. It was conquered by tsarist Russian forces in the 19th century, later became a republic of the U.S.S.R., and declared its independence from the former Soviet Union on August 31, 1991.

Most of Kyrgyzstan’s borders run along mountain crests, including the Tien Shan, which is one of the great mountain systems of Central Asia (its name is Chinese for “Celestial Mountains”). That range stretches for 1,500 miles (2,500 km) and mainly straddles the border between China and Kyrgyzstan.

There is much more to be learned about the history, cultures, and fascinating geography of Kyrgyzstan, but let’s stop there and now ask again what could have been meant by that reference to “the Scandinavian Tien Shan“? Continue reading »