earMUSIC [Release date 29.04.16]
As a fan of multi-cultural bands, in particular within the metal world, anything that is even remotely ethnic sounding is going to get a good word from me. So few bands will dare wear their roots on their sleeve not just in regards to the bands they grew up loving but also the music of their own cultural that it is almost shocking when a band does it so blatantly. I remember in the 90’s when a band like Sepultura came to prominence and a major part of their appeal was the use of Brazilian and South American musical influences.
A band that has been carving it’s way through the last two decades is doing the same for their roots is Tunisia’s very own Myrath. I’ve been following these guys for a few years now, and have been absolutely captivated by their distinct sound, but with their new album may have achieved the perfection they have been striving for.
Their new opus entitled Legacy is a brilliant spectacle morphing melodic progressive metal with stunning Arabic keyboard swaths and vocal melodies that hearken to the sounds of the Orient.
From the album’s opening “Jasmin” the listener is swept away by this grand, majestic sound that transports one to a different world. Myrath are one of the few bands that can legitimately create an authentic sound without sounding as if they’re trying to be anything other than themselves.
With the brilliant guitar of original member Malek Ben Arbia soaring over the cinematic keyboard sounds of Elyes Bouchoucha, to the propulsive bass of Anis Jouini syncopating with the brilliant drums of Morgan Berthet; musically the band is not only totally unique within the songs but amazingly skilled as well.
When you add the beautiful and emotional vocals of Zaher Zorgati whose voice goes from singing straight vocal lines to complex bits totally caps what makes Myrath one of the best bands you have not heard. On tracks like “Nobody’s Lives,” “Believer,” “Endure the Silence,” and “The Needle” the listener is whisked away on a journey that bands only wish they could do with their music.
The ability to take a style that at times can be redundant despite the progressive label and make it not only new, but also make it authentic, emotional, and amazing is no easy feat.
It is pretty clear listening to not just their past catalogue but their stunning new album Legacy that Myrath have something very important to add to the musical landscape, and have created a collection of songs that are the very best of their career and quite possibly could be album of the year. It’s possible this isn’t your cup of tea, but I honestly can’t imagine how it can’t be. *****
Review by Chris Martin
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