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Myrath’s Tales of the Sands was preceded by two equally beautiful albums, Hope and Desert Call, all of which share the same formula of oriental/progressive metal fusion. Adding more to the epicness of the album, it was mixed by Frederik Nordstorm (Dimmu Borgir, In Flames) and mastered by Jens Bogren (Symphony X), and this outstanding staff did a stellar job on this album, the clarity; the quality of Tales of the Sands is nothing short of amazing.
If you’ve followed Myrath’s career in the past, you’d probably know how they also sing in Arabic in their songs, though this wasn’t prominent in Hope and not as much in Desert Call, Tales of the Sands introduces more songs with Arabic lyrics, the most notable of which being “Beyond The Stars”. I personally find the use of Arabic poetry along with their equally fitting English lyrics a mix that adds a lot to the album, making it unique to all the other progressive metal acts out there.
The band members are more than capable with their respective instruments, shown throughout the entire album with not one riff similar to the other and are all quite technical, especially the bassist with the small bass interludes present in most songs, most of which, all instruments are turned off with the bass blazing alone prepping you mentally for what will happen next. From personal experience, that was one of the very few “Eargasms” I’ve experienced. The solos are amazingly fitting to the music and the drum work is very nice for the genre, and also with the oriental percussion present in almost all of the songs you won’t feel like the drums should’ve been faster or anything.
One of the songs I really enjoyed in the album was Tales of the Sands: the way it starts, melodically, moving your body to the music with the riffing behind the melody making it necessary that you should headbang! Also, Tales of the Sands is the first song in the album featuring Arabic lyrics that are again nothing short of spectacular.
The album concludes with Time to Grow, which starts off with the keyboards doing a bit of an electronic solo that progresses onto the rest of the song with the rest of the instruments working equally perfect and stay loyal to the original feel of the album, creating a mix that is enticing and captivating. Near the end of the song during the guitar solo, the bass rips off into another solo while the keyboard is still working its magic until the song ends.
In my personal opinion, Tales of the Sands is one of the best oriental progressive metal albums to grace 2011.
(Review Written for: http://pierrejiskandar.wordpress.com/)