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Myrath - Tales of the Sands

Label: Nightmare Records
Format: CD
Released: 2011
Reviewed By: The Goat
Rating: 10/ 10


If you need another fine example of Heavy Metal’s relevance and global impact (and really with all that so-called Metal out there, who doesn’t?), you will definitely need to check out/ listen to Myrath. Myrath hail from Tunis, Tunisia and play Power / Prog Metal. Before you dismiss, let me tell you that their upcoming release, "Tales of the Sands", is by far one of the best well-studied metal albums I have heard all year. Apparently (and this is what stunned and demonstrated to me Metal’s impact globally), Myrath started out as first a Death then a Symphony X cover band.

 

"Tales of the Sands" opens with the galloping anthem, ‘Under Siege’, which evokes the image of some desert warriors astride their horses as they attack some unsuspecting caravan. The song has many dramatic elements – soaring vocals, whirlwind strings, razor sharp guitars, and arabesque keyboard swirls. It is the perfect opening song to set the pace for the rest of the album. ‘Braving The Seas’ follows next and this song showcases the finest blend of melody and aggression. It is an edgy fast paced song where Zaher begins to show how adaptable his voice is. When the combination of percussion, rapid fire drumming, guitars, and keyboards come together towards the end, I dare you to try not to be moved.

The true gem, in my opinion is ‘Merciless Times’. This song captures an almost mystical quality, with its slinky, slithering rhythms. Once again, Zaher’s vocals do things that are rarely heard in Heavy Metal. Yet again, I dare you to try not to get moved and pulled by the last minute of the song when the band hammers down. Malek’s guitarwork is very precise and is well studied, I heard so many influences that it is hard to keep track as he shifts between them. The title track delivers the most exotic and normal sounding offering on the album. The Arabic influence is fully present and it’s authenticity will make all Western attempts pale by comparison. ‘Sour Sigh’ would not be out of place on Queensryche’s "Rage For Order". Zaher sounds like a less falsetto version of Geoff Tate on this song and Elyes’s keyboards out Dream Theater Dream Theater.

I could go on and on. Myrath take all the best things about power prog metal and smash them up in such a way that is truly visionary and inspiring. I am not an avid fan of this subgenre but these guys offer so much in their songs, I consistently hear something new each listen. Don’t even get me started about the Arabic element (it’s not an influence since they are Tunisian – although, I don’t know if they are technically Arabic – it’s confounding) which they have fit seamlessly into their metallic attack. It is fair to say that these guys have delivered one of the best albums of this year.

Best tracks: All. Yup. I can’t decide. Try to prove me wrong.

 
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