Album review – Myrath

Myrath “Tales of the Sands”
review: by Erika War

A couple of months ago I met a fellow prog metal fan. We seemed to like a lot of the same bands, so I asked him if he could recommend anyone new for me. He gave me a list of about seven bands. Myrath, who originate from from Tunisia, was the first one, so I went to YouTube to check them out. I clicked on their video “Merciless Times” and proceeded to watch it.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I immediately went to amazon and ordered a copy of their third and latest album, “Tales of the Sands”, which was released in 2011. With each listen this album just gets better and better.

Myrath was formed by guitarist Malik Ben Arbia at age 13, originally as a cover band. Myrath, which means Legacy, has dubbed their music as being “Oriental Metal”. The sound is unique; progressive metal with a Middle Eastern feel, with distinctive harmonies and rhythms. Myrath’s first album “Hope” was released in 2007, and their second album “Desert Call” was released in 2010. Besides Malik BenArbia on guitar, the lineup now includes Elyes Bouchoucha on keyboards and backing vocals, Anis Jouini on bass, Morgan Berthet on drums and the handsome Zaher Zorgati on vocals. Right off the bat, from the very first song “Under Siege”, you are treated to this one-of-a-kind prog metal which follows through beautifully throughout the entire album. Their songs run a full range of topics, from love to war, pain and pirates of the seas. For example, “Under Siege” is a song about the cruelties of war. “War has come, bringing death, lust and pain soiling our home. Mourns and cries kindle hate, taint our hearts, corrupt our souls.”

The blending of the metal with the oriental and middle eastern background meshes seamlessly and provides a feel of being in the desert, warm sand at your feet and blue sky with the burning sun blazing in the background. The heaviest song on the album is “Merciless Times”, which is also the band’s only official video. Myrath has become a highly popular prog-metal band and have performed in many festivals. They will be making their first trip to the United States to appear at ProgPower USA in Atlanta, Georgia, this September. Although this is happening 950 miles from my home in New York, I am making the trip solely to see Myrath. I know it will be worth it.

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