I discovered this exotic band from Tunisia with a song from their second album last year on a sampler included in the normally pretty weak British Metal Hammer magazine but I forgot to check them out. With the release of their new third record, I remembered this talented band and decided to take my time and check their discography out. Obviously, I started with the band's first strike called "Hope". The five young men from Tunisia didn't disappoint me indeed and deliver a strong first record somewhere between progressive metal, power metal, thrash metal and some folk influences.
The only negative thing I could see is that some instrumental sections are sometimes too long and pointless. I must also admit that the albums has a little down with the mediocre half ballad "Fade Away" and "All my Fears" that gets lost in overwhelming instrumental wankery.
The rest of the album is of the grandest kind and in the end one of the most convincing progressive metal releases of the year 2007. A great introduction with a gracious folk mood leads perfectly to the true opener which is "Confession". I must confess that this is an amazing opener that varies from a great thrash riff in the beginning to some power metal or even neoclassical metal and shred passages in the middle parts to a more and more elaborated progressive style with haunting melodies, some citations of the classic music genre and a couple of orchestral Maghreb folk influences. There are so many influences and details in this song that I could listen to it over and over again and still discover something new each time I do so. This is not just amazing, it is perfect because the song still sounds coherent and logical within a running time of six and a half minutes.
The next songs are all amazing but not perfect. The only reason for this statement is that Myrath sometimes sound too much like their American influences Dream Theater or Symphony X. The title track "Hope" still convinces with some unusual riffs and a few exotic folk vibes but the middle part sounds too traditional. The epic "Seven Sins" has the same problem. If someone has told me that this was a song from some old Symphony X record of the nineties, I would have believed this without a doubt. Still, the song itself is great and features some amazing piano melodies. What I really like about the song is the fact that all instruments have an important role and get their time to shine. The amazing album closer "My Inner War" has the same approach but it pleases more to me because it sounds more coherent and focussed.
An exceptional track might be "Last Breath" that convinces with stunning drum patterns and orchestral folk sounds with a fresh breath of thrashing heaviness. This track reminds me a little bit of "Acrassicauda" from Iraq and this track here could have been an excellent single choice.
After all, this debut album is very promising and the band already has a perfect song on this album plus many great moments. The only thing I feel they need to improve is to find their own style and have the courage to get away from the American progressive and thrash sounds and European power metal sounds. If they ever succeed to do so, they might become the leaders of a wave of African metal in the world, maybe with the help of their colleagues from Arkan who are living in France but mostly come from Maghreb countries or even Threatening from Ouganda which would be really interesting. Anyway, give this album a couple of spins if you like well made diversified progressive metal. Meanwhile, I will check out the band's next two records pretty soon.