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Myrath - 'Shehili' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/e5/ba/40/myrath-shehili-21-1565357427.jpg

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 07, 2019    
 
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This is definitely a Top Five album for 2019.

Described to me as Blazing Desert Metal by the band's singer Zaher Zorgati, Myrath's music does have a sound all of its own. On the surface it has many elements of Prog Metal and Rock but the way the group blend these together with the musical influences from their North African/Tunisian heritage gives their music an ethnic sound which makes them stand out from the multitude of bands lumped into this huge genre of music. On their new release 'Shehili' – named after a North Africa sirocco (desert storm wind) – the group have used more of these ethnic influences than ever before and to great effect too. Helping their sound out wonderfully is the fact the band have used the Tunisian Symphony Orchestra throughout the album, and this gives the music and the songs a real depth and potency that maybe they wouldn't have had if it was just the group playing on their own.

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What I especially love about this record is the way the band tell stories with their lyrics rather than just using the typical throw-away lines found on a lot of tracks these days. Check out the magnificent first single and video (it is well worth watching) 'Dance' which showcases what I mean about storytelling. The song tells the true tale of a Syrian Ballet dancer who faced death threats from ISIS, but she chose to keep on dancing even if it meant dancing through the ruins and ancient tombs of Syria because she wouldn't let anyone tell her she couldn't do so. There is also the captivating 'No Holding Back' where the lyrics and music combine to produce a powerful track about love, defiance and heroism. In fact, as singer Zorgati told me in our interview (elsewhere this issue), each of the eleven full songs on 'Shehili' were written by the group to try to induce happiness and joy in the listener whilst also paying tribute to the many who refuse to fall down or to stop hoping, even in a world filled with hatred and uncertainty.

I've only told you about two tracks on this magnificent release but all the others, and I do mean all, are stunning. They prove that Myrath are one of the best purveyors of the genre around at the moment and with this album they deserve to be recognized as such. This is definitely a Top Five album for 2019!

Ian Johnson

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