Myrath
Hope


4.5
superb

Review

by jybt USER (24 Reviews)
June 22nd, 2010 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Unique music always leaves greater impressions than generic music. Myrath are unique in their ability to conjure mystique from a land that is not normally known for metal, and to connect with the listener on a personal level - through prog-metal!

It is inevitable that a progressive metal band from Tunisia will not start out being known very well. Even after sophomore release Desert Call was promoted by Nightmare Records, Myrath are still a quite unknown name in the prog-metal community. However, people coming from complete obscurity and living in a country such as Tunisia, with a rich cultural, culinary and religious background, and surrounded by the Sahara, are almost certain to pull off something unique. This Myrath have done: to listen to Hope is like a journey into the band’s desert house in its sense of ability to connect with the listener.

The words Symphony X clone are most frequently used against bands such as Adagio (closely related) and Myrath themselves - albeit, of course, with an Arabic twist. This could not be further from the truth. Very soon into the record, despite the frequent trappings of progressive metal, it is clear that the Tunisians do not have a shred of pretension. Although Russell Allen and company can get away with it, there is no denying that Symphony X is extremely pretentious. The most obvious proof of the bands' different personalities is in Myrath's lyrics booklet: this text is personal, positive, and quite spiritual in nature. Over the eight songs, the character of Hope repents of the seven deadly sins and begins anew. Such is the way of the desert.

The whole 52 minutes contains the atmosphere of the Tunisian sand dunes, and the album itself is built on creating this mood. Elyes Bouchoucha shines as one of the most unexpected stars in the genre, utilizing a similar style to Russell Allen but applied in a different manner. His voice frequently has a rough edge, but like Gojira's Joe Duplantier and Twinspirits' Goran Nystrom, all but the harshest shouts contain a sense of melody. Those harshest shouts are practically death growls: the instrumental section of the nine-minute title track contains quite unexpected, wordless growled vocals. The use of harsher vocals than typical for prog-metal accentuates the struggle of the album’s narrator, while their melodic quality creates a dualism between light and dark.

Malek Ben Arbia's riffage and lead work are two other large components of the album’s sound. His taste is one of the most sublime in the genre: the riffs are typically simple chords, grooves and chugs, there to create atmosphere more than anything else. The double-tracked chug with both tracks in different meters that opens the song Last Breath pulsates helplessly, almost out of breath. Often the chugging locks in with drummer Saif Ouhibi in a rhythmic battery that displays the influence of Circus Maximus – though slower-paced, as is the norm for Myrath’s music. Arabic and African music is highly rhythmic, and accordingly Saif makes use of various beats, complex fills and occasionally ethnic percussion.

The biggest treasure of Hope, oddly enough, is its mellower moments. Bassist Anis Jouini is usually heard here, and his playing and Malek’s solos draw clear influence from blues and jazz. In addition to Symphony X covers, Myrath’s early years as Xtazy included a lot of blues covers. My Inner War even launches into jazzy blues territory during its first half! Malek Ben Arbia makes liberal use of fast melodic scales and slow leads that blaze with light, either supporting the dualism or taking over the mood of the piece. Elyes also plays the keyboards, and they largely take on two different styles: the symphonic, baroque style that Adagio would use, or a more Dream Theater-like rhythmic role that mimics a traditional Tunisian flute. Even when used during the heavier sections, Elyes’ keys stay melodic and tasteful and surround Hope with the atmosphere that could only come from Tunisia.

Like all the best bands, Myrath succeed because of that reason: their music could only come from one place. The best bands that depend on the “bag of influences” method of composition still sound like only one band, rather than all their influences at once. Myrath did both of those here. Their journey of a thousand miles to the throne of progressive metal now begins...with this one small step.


(Originally written for the Encyclopedia Metallum.)



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user ratings (42)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
coneren
June 22nd 2010


11111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is awesome, Last Breath is my favorite

jybt
June 22nd 2010


346 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't know exactly which song is my favorite...but All My Fears is definitely the weakest song. It's quite repetitive overall without much development of the main idea. I lose some of the impact of My Inner War as a result.

And at least I got ONE comment...heh, heh...

pizzamachine
February 8th 2011


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Solid review, I've only heard their other album. Will check this out!

Itwasthatwas
February 8th 2011


772 Comments


never heard these guys, guess I gotta check it out

MO
February 9th 2011


18998 Comments


Just checking this out now. Not bad.

Cipieron
December 6th 2011


3508 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

just bought Tales of the Sands, need to find this one next

jybt
December 6th 2011


346 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Buy it. I like it ten times better than the new one.

coneren
December 6th 2011


11111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So good

pizzamachine
December 6th 2011


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Love this band, they can do no wrong.

coneren
December 6th 2011


11111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just like you!

pizzamachine
December 6th 2011


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

aww :]

coneren
December 6th 2011


11111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm here to support you

Cipieron
December 6th 2011


3508 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you guys are cute

pizzamachine
December 6th 2011


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

cute contributor
cute coneren
cute cipieron

coneren
December 6th 2011


11111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh hell yeah

Jethro42
April 25th 2012


12547 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love what I'm hearing.
edit; great review.

Dimor
April 25th 2012


1832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes, this is pretty good actually. I was really dissapointed with their latest album though

BlazeWilson
October 8th 2012


68 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just listened to this a month or two after downloading it and it's pretty great

CosmicPie
April 28th 2013


1078 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pretty great indeed. Even with the cheesy keyboard solos.

Keyblade
April 28th 2013


15234 Comments


one of my favorite bands which is odd because their discog is a solid 4 and nothing more.

Digging: Insides - Euphoria



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