Well, this is a first for me, as Myrath, formerly known as X-Tazy, is a heavy metal band from Tunisia. Yup, my first Tunisian metal band. Nice to see that there are still some things waiting out there for me, after all this time.
They first formed in back 2001, and are operating twixt the worlds of progressive and power metal. Now that's a busy field, so you've got to something a wee bit different to offer, and I'm pleased to say that Myrath to have some bits and bobs of their own to offer, in amongst the usual mix of Dream Theater, Symphony X and early Angra.
The first bit of good news for all concerned is that Myrath know how to write a good tune, something that too many widdly metal bands forgot about, as they set about planning how many parradiddles they can get away with every eight bars. But, no, Myrath have done the sensible thing, and come up with some excellent metal tunes. But it's the arrangements that really make things stand out around here.
They haven't shied away from their Arabic background and, a bit like Israel's Orphaned Land, it's their non-Western approach to music that lifts some of the material into a new place. They've also got a secret weapon in the shape of singer Zaher Zorgatti who is simply outstanding. Add in some killer riffing from Malek BenArbia and some excellent use of atmospherics, and you're left with a rare treat.
The highlights are many, but my particular favourites were the string driven 'Tempests Of Sorrow', the powerhouse heavy metal of 'Ironic Destiny' and 'No Turning Back', and the out an out power metal of 'Shockwave'. They've even got a killer power ballad in the shape of 'Silent Cries'. But you can drop a needle into virtually any groove and find yourself a diamond of a tune. I missed out on their earlier releases, but will be looking to rectify that very soon. This is North African progressive power metal that utterly shreds.
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