Myrath – Tales of the Sands

There is an established opinion that progressive metal has become a sterilized product for about ten years, so looking for some interesting progressive outfit nowadays is not a job worthy wasting time. But sometimes, in the ocean of boredom, a spark flashes. Interestingly in recent years, very few bands could do it. I say interestingly, because two of these bands are rather similar at their base. The first one is the Israeli Amaseffer, whose second album is eagerly expected (allegedly it’s announced for late 2011) and the second one is the subject of this review, a Tunisian prog metal act Myrath. Tales of the Sands is the third album of these Tunisians and after starting Hope (2007) and Desert Call (2010) is a significant shift in the band’s presentation of oriental progressive metal.

Myrath serves a beautiful blend of oriental prog metal influences through its 50 minutes long opus, Tales of the Sands. Progressive metal with arabic flavored parts which won’t even leave even all those pro western bigots indifferent. Many fans of similar motifs will judge this record and compare it with Orphaned Land, who are by many the godfathers of “that“ sound, but Myrath’s approach is a bit different, they are far more straight to the mix of metal with arabic/mid-eastern legacy, while OL relies more on experimentation and multilayering. Speaking of Orphaned Land, Myrath will be one of the supporting acts on the upcoming tour in November/December.

Tales of the Sands was mixed by Fredrik Nordstrom (Dimmu Borgir, In Flames, At The Gates…) in Fredman Studios and mastered by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Symphony X…) at Fascination Street Studios. With all these big names it is clear that this is by far the band’s most mature release to this date. If Hope was a certain homage to Symphony X and Desert Call to Therion/Orphaned Land, then Tales of the Sands is released of any pressure to be like any other. There is a short sudden break at the beginning of Dawn Within that reminds of The Dillinger Escape Plan, but beside that there are no any other tremendously homologous moments on the album.

It’s blazing off with strong riffs and astounding solos (both guitar and keyboards), excellent vocals and symphonic passages, all the way from the opening Under Siege, down to the closing piece Apostrophe for a Legend. Thanks to bands who harbor such approach to progressive metal, the genre is still showing signs of life. In a year which brought us a completely average (and nothing more) Symphony X album, Myrath is bringing something new to table and embracing all those who once upon a time lost their faith in progressive metal.

Tracklist:

1. Under Siege (4:28)
2. Braving The Seas (4:20)
3. Merciless Times (3:28)
4. Tales of the Sands (5:19)
5. Sour Sigh (4:58)
6. Dawn Within (3:31)
7. Wide Shut (5:25)
8. Requiem for a Goodbye (4:23)
9. Beyond the Stars (5:15)
10. Time to Grow (4:02)

Line-up:

* Malek Ben Arbia – guitar
* Zaher Zorgati – lead vocals
* Elyes Bouchoucha – keyboards
* Anis Jouini – bass
* Saif Ouhibi – drums

Links:

http://www.myrath.com/

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Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.

2 Comments

  1. andrew b

    August 19, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    FYI: There has been a drummer change for this album, it hasn’t been publicized much.

  2. Harrag / Melodica Management

    August 20, 2011 at 9:25 am

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