Myrath - Tales Of The Sands (2011)
(symphonic metal / power metal / arabian folk music)
With the beginning riff of Under Siege, devastating as the fall of Carthage, bringing forth the album with the strength of a thousand mercenaries, you're left standing in the sandstorm. Captivated, intrigued, desperate to hear more. Tales Of The Sands, the third release by Myrath, takes you a step further into the desert of modern day North African music, which rarely sees daylight. Their combination of symphonic power metal and arabian folk music is a mature take on infusing ethinicity with sounds - and one can only sit down on the top of the widest dune, feel the wind blowing grains of sand against the barren valleys of your face and wait for the battle to brew.
With the general focus residing within the ethnic touch of arabian music - supporting, even dominating, the song structures - Myrath have ruthlessly abandoned the traditional lines of their genre. Carefully balancing between the walls of overdone and amazing, the oriental touch casts you into a dance with bedouin swords.
Epic lyrics of warmongery and waging great battles, the pitfall of many power metal bands, is something I can enjoy here, though. Zorgati's vocals draw the interest rather into the sound of them than the actual message; to emphasize this even more the Arabic vocal sections in songs such as the title track make you forget about the reality of words. Whereas the excessively done keyboard spikes want you to hear less of instruments and more of vocals.
The frailty of the album lies within repetition, which was quite expected when you see the track listing consisting of 11 songs with their lengths bound from their ankles to the five-minute fence of mediocrity. The powerful effect of short tracks gets lost somewhere between the third and the fifth track, which is a shame because the rest of the album provides outstanding riffs and razing drum lines in songs like Beyond The Stars.
Standing on the brink of greatness, Myrath showed an oasis at the end of a three album march. Their sound leaves a craving ring into your ears and you're left on the same dune, wanting to descend into the battle with your shashka pointing towards the clear blue skies. Tales Of The Sands is not the city of Carthage in its peak of glory but makes the morning sun rise in the East for a new day in power metal.