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Myrath Shehili album cover
3.12 | 35 ratings | 4 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Asl (1:09)
2. Born to Survive (3:34)
3. You've Lost Yourself (4:53)
4. Dance (3:47)
5. Wicked Dice (4:11)
6. Monster in My Closet (4:49)
7. Lili Twil (3:47)
8. No Holding Back (4:43)
9. Stardust (4:02)
10. Mersal (3:43)
11. Darkness Arise (4:33)
12. Shehili (4:21)

Total Time 47:32

Line-up / Musicians

- Zaher Zorgatti / lead & backing vocals
- Malek Ben Arbia / guitar
- Elyes Bouchoucha / keyboards, backing vocals, arranger
- Kevin Codfert / piano, guitar, backing vocals, arranger & producer
- Anis Jouini / bass
- Morgan Berthet / drums

- Mehdi Ayachi / vocals (1)
- Lotfi Bouchnak / duet lead vocals (10)
- Pierre Danel / acoustic guitar
- Skander Ben Abid / clarinet
- Koutaiba Rahali / nay, gasba
- Bechir Gharbi / violin
- Hamza Obda / violin
- Mohamed Gharbi / violin
- Riadh Ben Amor / violin
- Samir Sghaier / viola
- Mohamed Lassoued / viola

Releases information

Artwork: Laura & Paul Thureau

CD Ear Music ‎- 0212813EMU (2019, US)

LP Ear Music ‎- 0213932EMU (2019, US)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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MYRATH Shehili ratings distribution

(35 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

MYRATH Shehili reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars "Myrath" is a progressive metal band from Tunisia (it has been said that they are the original heavy metal band from Tunisia) formed in 2001 by guitarist Malek Ben Arbia. At first, the band traveled around doing live shows, mostly as a cover band for heavy metal songs, but eventually, after replacing many members of the band, Malek went to Music Academy International to learn music theory and improve his guitar skills. In 2006, the band recorded their first album which was released in 2007 and have since released 5 albums.

In May of 2019, they released their 5th album called "Shehili". Except for the drummer, the entire band-line up remains the same as it was for their debut album: Zaher Zorgatti on lead vocals; Malek Ben Arbia on guitars; Elyes Bouchoucha on keyboards; Anis Jouini on bass; and Morgan Berthet on drums. The album consists of 12 tracks with a run time of 47 minutes. None of the tracks reach the 5 minute mark and, except for 1 short introductory track, all of them are between 3 and 4 minutes long.

The music on this album is a heavy metal style with many aspects of the traditional Arabic sound interspersed in the metal sound. The band is not afraid of their musical roots and use every opportunity to include them in their heavy music. The musicians are definitely talented, from the excellent lead vocals, the heaviness of Malek's guitar work, the excellent keyboards that take the music to a symphonic sound at times, always leaning heavily on the traditional sounds of their country and of course the rhythm section that provide a solid backing to the music. However, most of the tracks are sung in English.

So the music is great, especially for lovers of straightforward heavy metal that don't mind the addition of the Arabic sound. This aspect definitely gives some great personality to the music and make it exciting to listen to. The problem here is the music is not very progressive, but that doesn't mean it is bad, this album just doesn't deliver on the progressive side of the assigned genre, but it does deliver on the metal side of it. The tracks, being kept around the convenient times of 3 to 4 minutes only allow the music to become predictable, and thus the sense of being progressive is lost. Each song has an edge of symphonic metal with the excellent addition of traditional element, but the sense of adventure and experimentation with their sound doesn't rise above the standard sound of Arabic Metal. Since "Orphaned Land" is an obvious reference to Progressive Metal with an Arabic edge, it makes since to make the comparison to them, and Orphaned Land does it much better especially from a progressive stand point. Those hungering for that sound would do a better job at filling that need. If you don't mind the fact that there isn't much progressiveness in the music, that Myrath would still be a great choice.

So, the tracks tend to sound a lot alike because they all share the same traits, especially on the first half of the album. One standout track is "Lili Twil" which is based on a Moroccan song. The song is mostly sung in the original languge. This song still has a heavy edge to it, but leans more on the keyboards to provide the more traditional orchestral sound. "Stardust" is a piano-led ballad, but still straightforward. It shows off a softer side of the band, but still has a bit of heaviness boiling underneath it. The rest of the tracks pretty much follow the similar formula of heaviness with a symphonic edge and undertones of Arabic music. It is a decent album, but could use more variance between the tracks and is lacking in the progressive department, so for the sake of Prog Archives, it gets 3 stars. For heavy metal lovers, it is worth 4 stars.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars MYRATH return from its North African hideaway with the fifth album SHEHILI thus proving that this Tunisian band that has made a career out of mixing Middle Eastern folk music with metal is in no danger of going away any time soon. In fact this quintet plus session musicians has only become more famous internationally since its 2006 formation however despite the band's exotic flair that has caught the rest of the world's attention, these guys still don't resonate very much in their native lands. It's been three years since MYRATH released "Legacy" which found the band taking a softer less progressive approach than on the preceding "Hope," "Desert Call" and "Tales of the Sands." SHEHILI emulates "Legacy" with lush symphonically embellished power metal inspired metal tracks that wrap themselves around the classic Arab sounds of the Sahara.

Unlike MYRATH's earliest albums which focused on the metal aspects of the band's idiosyncratic fusion, SHEHILI continues the thick atmospheric cloud covers of "Legacy" and crafts more accessible pop hooks that take a blatant dip into the mainstream with catchy sing-songy melodic hooks with simpler compositional constructs that add some power metal heft but focus a lot of attention on more AOR flavors that demonstrates that the band is clearly going for the mainstream breakthrough jugular which is what makes this album a little weak compared to the earliest powerful displays of metal music that has now been tamed into one trick camel races all the way to the top of the charts.

On the positive side of things, vocalist Zaher Zorgati still delivers a powerful vocal charm and is perfect for the type of music that MYRATH has conjured up. The other winner is the strong symphonic string section that includes the usual menagerie of instruments such as the violin, viola and the new which is a Persian flute that is prominent in most forms of traditional Middle Eastern music. Also included are traces of lute and elegant piano arrangements that add touches of Western classical teased into the Eastern sounds. The symphonic touches overall are what define SHEHILI much more than the rather subordinate heavy rock aspects that barely even qualify for metal any longer. The production is also perfect as it allows each little sound to find its own space without intruding on the others.

Ah, i loved early MYRATH. The five-piece metal band from the far flung non-metal lands of Tunisia who dared conjure up metal mirages with local flavors. The early albums were powerful and delivered all the goods while weaving it all together in highly progressive ways. Most of those complexities have been replaced at this point with easy on the ears flavorings that keep most of the tracks sounding rather similar in approach. The formula is rather simple. Recycle the same Eastern musical scales, add a bit of guitar heft with the only occasional solo along with a rather subordinate bass and drum rhythm section. While Zorgati is clearly the star of the show with his passionate and intricately designed vocal style, the rest of the music falls rather flat compared to the earliest offerings.

MYRATH have obviously fallen into the trap that many bands do as they flirt with commercial success and by that they lose the passion that was generated in the beginning when the music was intended as a statement rather than a means of economic opportunity. While many bands find a way to balance these two acts by having a few more commercial tracks and some more sophisticated experimental and progressive ones, MYRATH have chosen to create a rather monotonic album's worth of 12 tracks where the overall feel of the individual songs doesn't really advance. It all sounds like a series of reshuffling with a few minor bursts of bombast for a little contrast. It's clear form the videos that this band is aiming for the mainstream and that involves healthy amounts of cheese to pull it off. While the sound of the band is clearly intact, there's just not enough going on on this new album to get me really excited. Personally i want the old MYRATH back. This just feels shallow. Not bad but not great either.

3.5 rounded down

Latest members reviews

3 stars 3rd April: Myrath - Shehili (alternative folk metal, 2019) Myrath have never blown me away, but I'm impressed with the longevity of their gimmick, because often bands that rely this heavily on a very specific sound tend to fizzle out. Even the leaders of so-called "oriental" metal, Orphaned L ... (read more)

Report this review (#2690300) | Posted by Gallifrey | Monday, February 7, 2022 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Shehili sounds like the work of an average bunch of musicians when, undoubtedly, these guys are capable of exceptional tunes. With Desert Call, Myrath blew me away with a sublime mix of hard-hitting progressive metal with deeply woven arabic vocals/ intstrumentation that created a unique feeling ... (read more)

Report this review (#2580652) | Posted by sv_godspeed | Wednesday, July 21, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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