Myrath - Desert Call
XIII bis
Progressive Metal
10 songs (1:05:02)
Release year: 2010
Myrath, XIII bis
Reviewed by Goat

Those taken to the East on wings of Prog Metal glory by Orphaned Land’s new opus will be overjoyed with Myrath, a Tunisian band that plays a similar-yet-different form of uplifting ethnic-tinged music. There have been great steps forwards since the band’s impressive debut, better incorporation of the ethnic elements and much improved songwriting first and foremost. Opening track Forever And A Day mixes percussion and Arabic vocals with proggy keyboard flourishes and Dream Theater-esque riffage to make exactly the sort of metal you wish you’d hear more often. There’s more Power Metal in the mix than Orphaned Land, Myrath often crossing into Classical territory but never leaving the Prog or the Metal behind.

It’s hard not to enjoy Desert Call fully. Ever wondered what Avantasia would sound like if Tobi wanted to create the perfect Eastern anthem? Look no further than Tempests Of Sorrow, a mid-paced pounder that uses vocalist Zaher Zorgatti to his full, impressive range and isn’t afraid to ensnare the listener in its catchy rhythms and melodies. Madness bursts out like a muscled-up Muse before switching to Hard Rock heaven, an absolutely killer chorus and unbelievably infectious instrumentation combining wonderfully. Yet Myrath are about more than the hooks, as the lengthy likes of the title track and the ten-minute Silent Cries prove, the gang-shouts and bass-opening instrumental section of the former and the opening complex clatter and building grandiosity of the latter prove. There’s even Memories, the sort of Proggy ballad that I thought had gone out of fashion since the early days of King Crimson, back in mind-melding unison with Power Metal cheese. It says a lot for Myrath that it’s as listenable and plain fun as the rest of the album.

As mentioned, it’s amazing how much the songwriting has improved since Hope. The chuggalicious Ironic Destiny is as well-thought-out as any other moment, dipping into Nevermore territory with style and ability. No Turning Back is probably the most Power Metal track on show, but is a great one, the backing Eastern orchestration creating a subtly exotic atmosphere for the upfront melodies. If the album has a fault, it’s that it’s still a bit too in love with the typical Prog-Power template, where a bit more experimentation could reap great rewards. I can’t really criticise the band for this, however, considering that this is only their second full-length in just four years of existence and there are plenty of proggy flourishes to discover for yourself. There’s hardly a weak track present, making for a memorable, replayable and, most importantly, a very enjoyable album that fans of the more melodic side of metal will no doubt love. Given their performance to date, Myrath have even better to come, yet Desert Call is a cry that you’d be well advised to answer.

MySpace
Killing Songs :
Forever And A Day, Madness, Silent Cries, Ironic Destiny, No Turning Back, Empty World, Shockwave
Goat quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Myrath that we have reviewed:
Myrath - Legacy reviewed by Alex and quoted 95 / 100
Myrath - Tales of the Sands reviewed by Alex and quoted 87 / 100
Myrath - Hope reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
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