MYRATH is the first Tunisian Metal band ever to be signed to a label and “Desert Call” is their second record. They are a clear proof that Metal is spreading through the world from its traditional strongholds of Europe and North America. Furthermore, they are part of an interesting new wave of Metal music that incorporates other folk music than the Northern European kind into the Metal. I would describe MYRATH as a Progressive/Folk Metal band, with Oriental folk music roots. In this way, MYRATH resemble ORPHANED LAND, who can be placed in roughly the same genre intersection. When listening to “Desert Call” though, I am clearly reminded of SYMPHONY X. The main sound and the song structures resemble those of the famous Americans. DREAM THEATER is of course also a possible influence and in MYRATH’s more straight-forward moments, they sound a bit like “Grime VS Grandeur”-period FALCONER.
The music is a bit too progressive rhythmically, for my taste, but MYRATH keep the melodies flowing and going forward most of the time. My main problem with Progressive Metal is when the melodies are ignored for advanced but boring chugging. The music consists of rather advanced rhythmical patterns constructed with drums, bass and rhythm guitar. Over that, the lead guitar has a very clean sound to it and is allowed places for solos and other creative stuff. In my opinion, however, the big star of the band is vocalist Zaher Zorgatti. He is a very able Heavy/Power/Progressive Metal singer, covering a large spectrum and mixing this Metal technique with softer singing and traditional Arabic singing. His voice reminds me of several able Metal singers, including Jonny Lindqvist from NOCTURNAL RITES, Kristoffer Göbel (ex-FALCONER) and Russel Allen (SYMPHONY X). His voice grabs my attention and lifts the grade of this record higher.
Still, my final impression is “good, but not outstanding." The ten songs are more than an hour together and the material is not varied enough for that length, in my opinion. Now you might wonder: “No variation, on a Progressive Metal record?” Well, often I feel that constant change of rhythm and speed gives an album a more monotonous and less varied sound, but it might be that I often want some form of catchiness on a record. Most of the choruses are good and songs such as “Forever And A Day," “Silent Cries” and the title track are solid songs throughout, but for a higher grade from me, the album would have needed a clearer melodious coherence. Regardless of that, fans of SYMPHONY X and ORPHANED LAND and other bands close to their respective sounds should definitely think about checking MYRATH out.
(Online July 31, 2011)