Myrath – Tales of the Sands

Adding a folk flair to progressive metal, Myrath journeys through captivating melodies on Tales of the Sands.

Myrath is a Tunisian outfit, and throughout the album, the band tastefully infuses an Arabic feel throughout their songs. Tales of the Sands begins to dispense a few extraordinary tunes with the start of the third track, “Merciless Times”; it has expressive vocals soaring atop powerful guitars. Letting folksy drumming and clean singing take hold, “Tales of the Sands” is well-crafted and gives an outstanding musical performance. “Beyond the Stars” intensely vibes and throws in a rich string section.

Myrath - Tales of the Sands

Tales of the Sands album artwork/Metal-archives

Tales of the Sands is largely remarkable, from the rhythms of “Tales of the Sands” to the fervor of “Beyond the Stars.” It freshens the progressive metal take with an Arabic direction. The only low point is, during the middle of the record, songs begin to lose their individual personalities, appearing as duplicates; though, it’s apparent that each song relays the passion and pure talent of Myrath; the band is skilled at presentation and delivery. Overall, Tales of the Sands is an excellent demonstration of Myrath’s potential. 

“Merciless Times”/YouTube
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Ihsahn – Das Seelenbrechen

Das Seelenbrechen continues Ihsahn’s exploratory ventures into extreme progressive music. Das Seelenbrechen roughly translates from German to “The Soul Breaking”; the record lyrically tosses hints at fragmentation and remains shrouded in mystery through its free-form nature.

“Hilber”  morphs from grandness to agitation with a threatening yet introspective atmosphere. With horns and choral arrangements, “Regen” relies on a dramatic approach. The airy instrumentation of “NaCl” calls lighter, progressive music to mind. While “Pulse” is subdued, it carries a memorable, dark melody. The imbalanced percussion of “Tacit 2” meets the more coherent appeal of “Tacit.”

From a differing angle, “Rec” is a bit more suspenseful. On “M,” a soulful guitar solo appears through hazy instrumentation. The beginning of “Sub Alter”  is ambiguous but builds in intensity. With an ultimate abstract quality, “See” searches for a disturbing end.

Das Seelenbrechen

Das Seelenbrechen artwork. Image: Nuclearblast.de

Das Seelenbrechen trades formulaic heaviness for inner-directed darkness and substitutes predictable composition for artistic breadth; the album should be deciphered as an experimental effort, which keeps listeners attentive and guessing. Extreme metal traditions are upheld with fiery guitar work and harsh vocals that nicely complement  “Hilber.” Giving another perspective, the melancholic drone of “Pulse” and the bleakness of “Sub Alter,” allow the album to shine. Ihsahn seems to employ sporadic percussion to convey the concept of fracture, as implied on “Tacit 2.” The greatest value of Das Seelenbrechen, though, is the openness for one to interpret the songs however they choose.

*Thanks go to Heavy Metal Overload for voting for this artist.