Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tales of the Sands is the third release from progressive metal act Myrath. I was introduced to them early last year with their sophomore effort Desert Sands, a progressive metal album that caught me and a lot of other people by surprise. I’ve been waiting for this album for a while and I wondered would I have too high of expectations?
No need to fear as Myrath has really come into their own; this album is a tour de force of melodic progressive metal that pulls the listener into a journey of musical delight. Large patches of musical influences from distant lands are woven into this tapestry of sheer musical genius. Tales of the Sands has a strong influx of oriental textures which fill the landscapes throughout.
The songs are all a bit tighter on the length front with nothing clocking in over 6 minutes. Having said that, I find it makes this album more effective and more direct. The progressive time changes are woven seamlessly within some of the most beautiful melodies and arrangements I’ve heard this year.
Zaher Zorguatti provides yet another stellar vocal performance. Almost ethereal in its effect his voice soars throughout this release with ease working seamlessly with the other instruments delivering a tailor made bow which wraps this package. Malek ben Arbia’s guitar heroics which include songwriting not just soloing, is the stitching by which the songs derive their attack. Just check out Beyond the Stars for his most driving riff on this album!
Tales of the Sands is much like a fine painting which you must just sit and observe. The various brush strokes and textures each add another layer that can be dissected, viewed and enjoyed. The bass playing of Anis Jouini is again superior.
So how about some of the specific songs you ask? Well if you’ve caught a hold of the video to the song Merciless Times that is this release in a nutshell. The dreamy songwriting of Under Siege or Braving the Seas with its epic feel moves you to the title track which sounds like it’s sung in a language that is not English. Sour Sigh rocks the house down with it’s staccato like riff and flush oriental sounding keyboard treatments.
A rich and fluid release this album is with solid production and top drawer performances. Kevin Codfert returns as producer once again and again has done a wonderful job. The sound is flush but is able to breathe with each instrument assigned a specific part of the mix and within that part given complete freedom of movement.
Tales of the Sands should open the doors wide for Myrath as this release shows a band who has come into their own. Fans of metal in general should grab this album as it should cross many genre boundaries. I love this album and find its lyrical observations positive and refreshing. Lance Kings Nightmare Records has a major release here, grab this one or be left behind.