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Myrath - Shehili CD (album) cover

SHEHILI

Myrath

 

Progressive Metal

3.26 | 15 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TCat
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.

TCat | 3/5 |

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