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Myrath: Desert Call

Myrath's debut Hope from 2006, is one of those release I've been meaning to track down for quite a while, especially after sampling some snippets of their music. Release number two from Myrath, titled Desert Call, confirms my earlier first impression of this progressive metal band, as this is one seriously good CD, and a must have for fans of quality metal. It's great to see a band this good coming on the scene, and keeping the old guard on their toes. This would have to be the best progressive metal CD I have had the pleasure of reviewing for Sea Of Tranquility.

Myrath are from Tunisia, the northern most country of Africa, their influences shine through in Myrath's music, combining with their adeptly executed technical metal, Desert Call makes for a thoroughly fulfilling listening experience.

Desert Call had me mesmerized from the commencement of "Forever And A Day", as Myrath's colorful music come to life; can these guys perform or what, like taking the heavy complexity of say the legendary bands Symphony X and Dream Theater and then combine a fantastic Arabic sound which really complements Myrath's music. But that doesn't do their songs justice, you really have to hear this band, they bring something that is fresh and exciting to the progressive metal genre. Myrath's material is so very well composed, take track five, "Silent Cries" for instance, which is a great example of how to write a lenghty song with a catchy chorus that just leaps out at you, not to mention fantastic intricate instrumental passages.

The guitar, bass and keyboard work on Desert Call is top notch, and the vocals, well, they are equally as good. Add a splendid rhythm section to the equation (yes their drummer does kick ass), and how can they go wrong? If you want constant quality this album has it, there are no weak spots, just powerful engaging metal.

Some may say Myrath have the makings to be included alongside progressive metal's top tier of bands. Myself, I think they are already there, because you know the music's good when it lifts your spirits and Desert Call had mine floating. Excuse the language but I fucking love the eleven tracks on this release, and I can't keep the smile off my face each time I hear it.

Track Listing
1. Forever And A Day
2. Tempests Of Sorrows
3. Desert Call
4. Madness
5. Silent Cries
6. Memories
7. Ironic Destiny
8. No Turning Back
9. Empty World
10. Shockwave Master
11. Hard Times

Added: August 18th 2010
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 5471
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Myrath: Desert Call
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-08-18 14:15:38
My Score:

I can't remember the last time I heard progressive metal this steeped in ethnic influences...probably way back when Angra came out with Holy Land in the late 1990's, and a more recent equivalent, though in a more extreme way, would be Israel's Orphaned Land. Myrath are from Tunisia, and while you can tell the band has been influenced by Dream Theater and Symphony X, there are so many Arabic & Middle Eastern flavors running throughout their music, that their whole presentation becomes instantly intoxicating from the opening notes of "Forever and a Day", the first track of Desert Call.

From start to finish, Desert Call has it all; soaring vocals, wild guitar & keyboard solo exchanges, bone crunching riffs, complex passages, tight rhythms, and instantly memorable melodies. Throw the myriad of ethnic elements into the mix and you have one impossible CD to get out of your head, long after the album has stopped playing.

Drummers will love the intricate work from Saifeddine Louhibi, an incredible player who lays down a wide assortment of fills and busy percussion work. I'm not much to follow the drums usually, but this guy caught my ear immediately. The rest of the band absolutely excel at their instruments as well, and vocalist Zaher Zoegati has quite a set of pipes, delivering a powerful metal statement when needed or a poignant passage dripping with emotion as well.

Gorgeous, powerful, kick ass, progressive, melodic, complex, dynamic, you name it, these are all ways to describe this wonderful album from Myrath. Something tells me I'm going to have to go out and get a hold of their debut now.

Myrath: Desert Call
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-07-28 18:02:12
My Score:

I know that Desert Call was released at the start of the year; however I only managed to finally grab a listen to this, the second album from Tunisian prog metal outfit Myrath a few weeks ago. In the time since I first heard the eleven tracks presented here, I have been compelled to revisit this album on countless occasions, not because I needed to delve deeper to decide on the quality of the music, or to give the tracks the opportunity to "sink in". In fact right from the first listen it is impossible to deny the quality of the musicianship and compositional skills of this five piece whose name translates into legacy. While I haven't heard the band's 2007 debut Hope, I can safely say that if Myrath can continue to release albums to the standard of Desert Call, then they will build a hugely impressive legacy for themselves.

Many bands attempt to infuse the basic prog metal framework with influences that have been borrowed from more unusual sources; however when a band actually manage to blend a style that they obviously fully understand with the more obvious Dream Theater or Symphony X references, then the results can be quite stunning. In the case of Myrath, the Arabic music that this band must be surrounded by on a daily basis merges perfectly with a familiar batch of prog metal motifs in a way that sounds completely organic and natural. Each of the five members of the band are accomplished players who know where to embellish and where to be more reserved, which allows songs like the beautiful string laden, yet bass pumping "Memories" to flow with a wonderfully simple arrangement, before a slow determined build brings the song to an intense, yet under stated peak of the sort that Iron Maiden would kill for. Just as you are getting comfortable, "Ironic Destiny" then gives you a hefty kick of double bass drum blasts and frenetic riffage that jolts the band back into full speed. This ability to turn about face at the drop of a hat, without ever losing the listener is a tremendous skill that many more established prog metal acts would do well to learn from. Guitarist Malek, bassist Anis and keyboard player Elyes are so damn tight, that I doubt you'd prize them apart if your life depended on it and when they are backed by the excellent drumming of Saief, then they become a mighty force to reckoned with.

Vocalist Zaher easily covers the ground between aggressive metal singer and impassioned crooner; however he also adds another dimension that is almost like a call to prayer during some of the more Arabic flavoured moments that adds authenticity to an already convincing musical outlook. As the album winds its way through the many twists and turns that Myrath have concocted, it is hard not to be totally submerged in the journey they create and interesting use of strings, flutes and ethnic instruments only heightens the effect.

All eleven tracks are an absolute joy and if you are in any way interested in progressive metal that is not satisfied with retreading the over worn prog metal stereotypes, then you can't afford to be without this album.

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