Prog-metal band Myrath is gearing up to head back out on the road next month. The band’s upcoming European tour schedule – set to launch Oct. 29 in Oslo, Norway – is in support of the band’s fifth full-length studio recording Shehili. The album is a presentation that is certain to appeal to a wide range of audiences, not the least of which being the band’s own longtime fans. It will appeal just as much to prog-metal fans in general as to Myrath’s own fans. This is evident early on in the form of ‘Born To Survive.’ It will be discussed shortly. ‘Wicked Dice,’ which comes almost halfway through the album’s run is another of the album’s most notable entries that proves the album’s far-reaching appeal. The album’s title track, which is also the album’s finale, is yet another of the most notable additions that serves to show the album’s wide appeal among prog-metal fans. It will also be addressed later. When it is considered alongside the other two songs noted here and the likes of ‘You’ve Lost Yourself,’ ‘Monster in My Closet’ and ‘Mersal,’ that grouping – along with the rest of the album’s offerings – makes the album in whole a work that is one of this year’s most notable new prog-metal offerings.
Myrath’s fifth full-length studio album is one of this year’s top new prog-metal albums. It is a work that will appeal not just to Myath’s longtime fans but prog-metal fans in general who might not be so versed in the band’s catalog. That is proven in part through the album’s first full song, ‘Born To Survive.’ The song’s musical arrangement continues to cross the band’s familiar Middle Eastern musical roots, that have been incorporated into each of its past four albums, with its equally familiar heavy prog-metal sound for a whole that gives the album a solid start. What is most notable about that prog-metal sound is that it can easily be likened to the sounds of some of Dream Theater’s greatest compositions. It is important to note here that while the Dream Theater influence is obvious here, the band does not just rip off Dream Theater’s music and claim it as its own. Rather, the band takes that influence and uses it to create its own equally powerful composition that will keep audiences engaged and entertained throughout its three-and-a-half-minute run time. That heavy arrangement is just one part of what makes the song stand out. Its lyrical content, which seems to focus on the issue of someone overcoming the people who set out to ruin others’ lives, is just as important to its whole.
Front man Zaher Zorgati sings in the song’s lead verse, “I have been deceived/Those I believed/Vultures and thieves/You are just liars/In my eyes/For envy and lust/You broke my soul/Took all of me/I faced betrayal/You evil liars/I stumbled on the way/You’ve rattled all my faith/Now I am whole again/I turn the page today.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “Come bring it on/Give all you’ve got/When we’ll be done/You’ll get to know/I’m stronger than you thought/Way over, I will survive you/Judas outshine you.” Zorgati leaves little doubt here as to the song’s lyrical message, which is a very good thing. This is someone who has dealt far too long with some very bad people, but has not let those people get the better of him/her. That is another aspect that makes this song’s lyrical content so important. Gender is not noted, so it can relate to males and females alike. Sure, it is not the first time that any band/singer has ever crafted a song about overcoming the adversity of such people, but it is still a subject matter that is welcome any time it is presented. That is because every listener can always benefit from such a reminder. When this is all considered alongside the power in the song’s musical arrangement, the whole of the content serves to show why the song is such an important addition to Shehili. While the song by itself goes a long way toward proving the album’s place among this year’s field of new prog rock and metal albums, it is just one of the songs that serves that purpose. ‘Wicked Dice’ is another of the album’s entries that serves that purpose.
‘Wicked Dice’ comes almost halfway through Shehili’s run. The song’s musical arrangement forms its foundation, once again demonstrating the already noted Dream Theater influence. Again, that influence, while there, is just that. The band has taken said influence and used it to create yet another heavy work with its own identity. The use of the strings and Middle Eastern elements creates a symphonic sound that couples with the arrangement’s heavier elements for a whole that makes the song easily comparable to some of the works from the band’s most recent album, Legacy (2016). That comparison is made in the best way possible, too. The arrangement does a lot to make the song widely appealing in its own way to the noted prog-metal audiences, and is just one part of what makes the song stand out. Its lyrical content plays its own part in the the song’s presentation, too.
Zorgati sings in the song’s lead verse, “How can’t I see/The glow in your eyes/Flowing on the shape of your lies/Wake up to be/More than a dream/Fall into my trap/Let us roll the dice/Who knows when we will die/let it be/Let me catch your signs/Holding on, on and on/Faking the silence/Let me see underneath your eyes/Holding on, on and on/I’m breaking your laws.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “I’m breaking your mind/Don’t knock it until you have tried it for a night/You won’t be cast aside/Let us play, yeah.” This one is a little more difficult to decipher than the album’s opener. It would seem this is someone addressing another subject, trying to figure out who that second subject really is. This is inferred as Zorgati sings, “How can’t I see/The glow in your eyes/Flowing on the shape of your lies.” It is almost as if the song’s main subject is saying, ‘why can’t I see the real you?’ That is inferred even more in the song’s chorus as he sings, “Let me catch your signs/Holding on/Faking the silence/Let me see underneath your eyes.” He seems to be saying to the second subject, ‘Let me see who you really are. Let me in.” This, as always, is just this critic’s own interpretation and could be incorrect. Hopefully it is somewhere close to being right if not being right. With that in mind, the song’s lyrical content here would seem to be another situation to which plenty of listeners can relate. That is if in fact, this critic’s interpretation is right. Who has not been in that situation of trying to figure out who someone really is, regardless of the relationship? The tone in the song’s musical arrangement builds on that seeming story, making the song that much more impacting. When that impact is considered along with the impact of ‘Born To Survive,’ the two songs together show even more why Shehili is an important addition to this year’s field of prog-metal offerings. The songs are not the album’s only key additions. The album’s finale/title track also serves, in its own way, to show why Shehili is one of this year’s most notable prog-metal albums.
‘Shehili’ is a fitting finale accent to this record with the intense dynamic changes throughout the course of its nearly four-and-a-half-minute run time. The song opens powerfully with a full-on orchestra/hard rock combination that eventually gives way to the more subdued verse. That subdued sound is offset with the heavier sound of the song’s choruses. The juxtaposition of those moods makes the song’s musical arrangement in whole, engaging and entertaining in its own right. It is just a part of what makes the song stand out, too. The song’s lyrical content is just as important to the song’s whole as its musical arrangement.
This song’s lyrical story seems to come across as a love letter to the band’s homeland. That is inferred from the song’s very title, ‘Shehili,’ which is supposedly a dry, warm Saharan wind. Given, Tunisia is not a Saharan or even sub-Saharan nation (it actually sits along the northern coast of Africa along the Mediterranean Sea), however, what is known as the Saharan Air Layer does cover large portions of North Africa. Research shows the Saharan Air Layer is a collection of sand, dirt and dust that is lifted into the air above the North African desert region. Tunisia is within that region. Keeping all of this in mind, it makes even stronger ,the argument that perhaps this song is a love letter to Myrath’s home nation. This is inferred as Zorgati sings in the song’s lead verse, “Open your sail for me/Like a soul searching to flee/In all that silence, be free/I’d like you to hear my plea/My face in the hot dry wind/On and on/And on and on/I’ll never be/Ever misled again/On my way home.” The mention of the hot, dry wind seems to coincide with the natural phenomenon that is the Saharan Air Layer. The added mention of never being misled again “On my way home” would seem to address that love for the nation. He continues on even stronger, in the song’s second verse, “It’s like a gale to me/Don’t wanna lie to me/Walking alone to the sea/It’s my homeland that I need.” There in itself is even more proof that this song seems to be a love letter to Myrath’s home nation, the very statement, “Walking to the sea/It’s my homeland that I need.” Again, Tunisia is bordered on the north by the Mediterranean Sea. It would seem that is what he is referencing. The song’s chorus continues from here with the mention of the hot, dry wind and being “on my way home.” Considering this and everything else noted, it would seem that lyrically speaking, ‘Shehili’ is really a love letter to Myrath’s home. There is nothing wrong with that. When this seeming message is coupled with the song’s powerful musical arrangement, the whole of those two elements makes the song a strong finish for Shehili and yet another example of why the album is one of this year’s most notable prog-metal albums. The songs, considered along with the likes of ‘You’ve Lost Yourself,’ ‘Monster in My Closet’ and ‘Mersal,’ and the rest of the album’s entries strengthens that argument even more. All things considered, the album proves itself another impressive release for longtime Myrath fans and for prog-metal fans in general.
Myrath’s fifth full-length studio recording Shehili is a strong contender for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new prog-metal albums. It is a presentation that will appeal just as much to Myrath’s established fan base as it will to prog-metal fans in general. That is due to a full grouping of prog-metal arrangements and to lyrical content that is just as powerful as its musical counterparts. All three of the songs noted here, and the rest of the album’s offerings, show that in their own way. All things considered, they make Shehili just as appealing for those who are new to Myrath and its works as it will be to the band’s established fan base. More information on the album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest tour news and more at:
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