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Myrath - Desert Call CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.82 | 142 ratings

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4 stars The eyes of the world are on the Maghreb country of Tunisia just now because of the current turmoil. While I'm relatively ignorant of the politics of the situation I'm hopeful the popular uprising won't adversely affect the fast growth of the country's underground music scene. At the forefront of that scene is Myrath, a group of young musicians whose 2010 album ''Desert Call'' blends progressive metal with elements of traditional North African music.

The band's forte, and certainly the main attraction for me at least, is that fusion of heavy riffs with folkloric rhythms, scales and harmonies. The first half of the album is excellent, and this is where the ethnic influences are strongest with additional strings and darbouka hand drums adding to the Arabic flavour. My interest starts to wane towards the end of the album with Myrath seemingly going for the jugular with the last four tracks consisting of some overwhelmingly heavy, although technically proficient, material. One of those four songs, ''Ironic Destiny'', features a guitar solo by Stephan Forté of French prog-metal band Adagio, whose Kevin Codfert also produced ''Desert Call''.

Highlights on the album include ''Forever And A Day'', arguably the best track here and the only one to include some Arabic vocals (more of these in future please guys!), ''Madness'' which contains wonderful percussion and strings, and the near 11-minute ''Silent Cries''. By the way, the remainder of the album's lyrics are in English. I'm a virtual prog-metal noob but for my money this was one of the subgenre's top releases of the past year, and as an added bonus the CD booklet contains lyrics to all songs and beautiful artwork.

seventhsojourn | 4/5 |


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