Excerpts from reviews from around the globe on Myrath's 3rd Album Tales Of Sands released in 2011
Metal Geeks: That is just a sample of what you can expect, lyrics-wise from the album, I personally find the use of Arabic poetry along with their equally fitting English lyrics a mix that adds a lot to the album, making it unique to all the other Progressive Metal acts out there.
The band members are more than capable with their respective instruments, shown throughout the entire album, with not one riff similar to the other, and are all quite technical, especially the bassist with the small bass interludes present in most songs, most of which, all instruments are turned off with the bass blazing alone prepping you mentally for what will happen next, from personal experience, that was one of the very few “Eargasms” I’ve experienced, the solos are amazingly fitting to the music, and the drum work is very nice for the genre, and also with the oriental percussion present in almost all of the songs, you won’t feel like the drums should’ve been faster or anything.
Sputnik Music : Myrath has always been a unique force in progressive metal, and for good reason. You see, they hail from Tunisia, a place not known for its notable metal artists. They have proved to be an exception, however, and have cemented themselves as one of the greater prog metal bands of our time. It isn’t just that their songs are exceptionally well thought out (which they certainly are). Myrath showcase a unique twist on prog (and music in general), by implementing their Tunisian heritage into their music with little abandon. The result is a genre called oriental metal, and the music involved really is as interesting as imaginable. In Tales of the Sands Myrath have opted to continue their exotic sound, and improve it.
This album has a great variety of instruments, including Middle Eastern percussion and strings, and even a guest female vocalist. It truly is a mystical experience, and one that is boosted by the inclusion of their Arabic language. As far as oriental metal goes, this is about as solid as it gets. Rating Excellent .
Metal Underground: It is easy to say that there aren't many bands that hail from Tunisia, and even fewer that have opened a show for rock legend Robert Plant. Myrath's third album, "Tales of the Sands," is a good example of heavy metal as a mighty vehicle for Tunisian culture and storytelling, which is a pretty exclusive specialty.
Similar in feel to that of Nightwish, Myrath favors a large and bright production style, including middle-eastern string sections, hand percussion, acoustics, and extensive attention to background details. There is hand percussion on nearly every song, and the parts are anything but your "hand percussion goes here" by-the-book inserts. They actually play a key part in several songs, like the title track, "Under Siege," "Braving the Seas," and especially "Merciless Times," and often appear in tandem with the rhythm section without getting lost in the mix.
The Metal Observer : Over the past few months, the world's eyes have been set on the Arab world, with breaths held in anticipation of the rapid political changes that are taking place. MYRATH is a Progressive outfit emerging from one of the region's smaller nations, Tunisia. Being the first Metal band in the country to ever reach a wider audience, MYRATH (the Arabic word for “Legend”) have engaged audiences already with two albums of top-tier Progressive Metal, fusing Middle-Eastern traditional musical influences in with their brand of melodic Metal, much as the more established band ORPHANED LAND does. With a unique mixture of sound, excellent songwriting, and great execution, MYRATH's “Tales Of The Sands” is a fantastic album in its own right.
Being someone who was under the impression that exciting melodic Prog Metal died around the turn of the millennium under a blanket of DREAM THEATER clones, it has been a huge refreshment to hear a band that may be doing something similar to the legends of the genre, but are putting a validating new angle on their sound. Before listening to what MYRATH had to offer, I was admittedly fighting a doubt that this could be a run-of-the-mill Power Metal band, using sounds of their homeland as a gimmick to pull in listeners, but as is fairly rare for my experience with Metal music, I was proven wrong. While Progressive Power Metal mixed with Arabic music sounds pretty much as one might expect, the Oriental sounds in the music are infused superbly in with the Metal, not sounding contrived, but instead as a sincere element of the songwriting.
Prog Sphere: It’s blazing off with strong riffs and astounding solos (both guitar and keyboards), excellent vocals and symphonic passages, all the way from the opening Under Siege, down to the closing pieceApostrophe for a Legend. Thanks to bands who harbor such approach to progressive metal, the genre is still showing signs of life. In a year which brought us a completely average (and nothing more) Symphony X album, Myrath is bringing something new to table and embracing all those who once upon a time lost their faith in progressive metal.
Stereo Killer : It's always great when a band unknown to you ends up surpassing any expectations. Myrath did more than that. Being a fan of the prog and power metal genres, it's always nice to hear a band add new twists to it rather than simply aping early Dream Theater releases.
It's not to say the band doesn't draw some influence from Dream Theater. They also draw from Symphony X. It's the oriental rhythms and melodies that really set the band apart from their peers. The band mixes them in seamlessly and never sound forced as if an afterthought.
The musicianship is flawlessly executed. An album such as this needs excellent production and it comes through in aces. The recording is huge sounding with the perfect amount of polish. This is especially true on the drum sounds they obtained. Tales of the Sands left me thoroughly satisfied. The release also left me wondering why this is the first I'm hearing of them. A band this strong deserves a lot more notice
The Metal Report : This is the sound of the sand transcribed into the language of metal. As soon as the first track starts and you hear the melancholic singing of a woman; the synths come and and finally the guitars transport you to a world of traditional power metal combined with Arabian atmosphere. When the rest of the album wraps around you like a dust storm in the desert you are hooked. This album is fun, it's progressive and it's simply good. The best aspects of the album are the way that they integrate traditional Arabic oriental sounds with modern power metal riffs; the sparingly but excellent use of synth's and strings; and the lead singers varied and beautiful vocals. These three aspects really work together in concert to create what makes this band so unique and special.
Rock n World: "Tales of the Sands" imposes a stern balance between fundamental progressive metal rooted deeply in algebraic rhythms and a degree of technicality which shines with substantial similarities to Dream Theater and especially Symphony X (their main influence, and it shows) while incorporating a number of Arabic instruments and melodies at each turn of the sand's tide. The band weaves through a number of standard prog-inspired riffs that have hints of classic, old-school metal and little dabs of progressive rock in the vein of Rush, but keyboards and active percussion are incredibly prominent in their ideology as well; while not original or unusual, the chops are tight, efficient, and well-calculated considering Myrath's texture. One quality that sticks is the unpredictable change of tempos that this band undergoes. Each song moves at its own pace, with some demonstrating a mid-paced, chorus-based frontier, yet others bend and weave through an electric journey of hyper projections which flash Arabic melodies and touches at head-banging velocities.
But you know, the formula they use works wonderfully, as there’s never a dull track that refuses the Arabic zest or musical interiority. Zaher Zorgatti's vocals are aggressive, dramatic, compelling and divine, like Russell Allen if the Symphony X singer fell in love with Arabic influences and made his primary group change gears entirely. Zorgatti is a rare breed, however; he can hit godly notes, and his stability as a vocalist when applying high chimes could shatter the sound barrier.