Ever since the incredible documentary " Heavy Metal in Baghdad " was released, more and more metal fans have become aware of an increasingly vibrant Heavy Metal scene flourishing in the traditionally conservative Islamic world. And let me tell you, there are many, many more bands out there yet to be discovered!
Myrath (Legacy in English) is a great place to start if you aren't familiar with some of the incredible music coming out of North Africa and the Middle East.
"Tales Of The Sands" is Myrath's third release after 2007's "Hope" and 2010's outstanding "Desert Call" ; it is one of the finest examples of prog Metal this year. Hailing from Tunisia, Myrath brings elements which can be traced throughout the history of Metal; strong NWOBHM Vocals, Sunset Strip lead guitars, Power Metal chords, and even a bit of Thrash which are combined with the traditional music of their culture to produce an outstanding piece that is as mystical as it is powerful.
You have tracks such as "Under Siege" which begin with a hauntingly beautiful female voice that leads us into some heavy power chords and a drum beat which speaks of an army on the march and devastation. All the while, backed by delicate keyboards and Arabic melodies. The lead vocalist, Zaher Zorgati sings with incredible clarity and tells us a tale of destruction and survival.
"Braving the Seas" is another of note; the group comes together and exhibits each of their talents, it's a song which tells you these guys are gonna take you on a musical journey. The changes are masterful, Piwee Desfray's drumming is impeccable and for those of you who think effective keyboard work died long ago or is simply distracting, then you haven't heard Elyes Bouchoucha play!
Though applying Arabic influences to music is nothing new, this is authentic, this is the music these guys were brought up on, they are transferring the passion and soul of their culture into a common language which is easily understood by everyone on the planet.
The title track of "Tales of the Sands", begins with a soft, wordless vocal and an acoustic guitar transitions into the deep bass of Anis Jouini. Almost hypnotizing in its mystery, it conjures dreams of Moorish nights on the Iberian peninsula or mirages of cool water under the swaying Date Palms of an Oasis. And, since I am not familiar with Arabic, I can only let the music elevate my imagination to flight.
The closing track "Apostrophe for a Legend", opens with a pure 80's style keyboard and vocals, the rhythm is evocative of classic 80's metal anthem "New Jersey" style and guitarist Malek Ben Arbia, really lays it down with some awesome solos.
Just the titles of the various songs, like "Merciless Times", "Sour Sigh", "Dawn Within", "Requiem for a Goodbye" and "Time to Grow" immediately convey to the listener that they are going to be listening to something special long before they even hear the first note.
Power, Beauty, Passion it's all here...just one of the many bands playing the soundtrack for the "Arab Spring"!
تحيا المعادن الثقيلة!
I've included a track from this album as well as a track from their album "Desert Call"