The global outbreak of COVID-19 has all but decimated the live music this year. Stages the world over have gone dark and silent out of an overabundance of caution among promoters and bands alike. As a result, audiences have been scrambling, looking for live content anywhere they can find it, whether online or otherwise. Progressive metal outfit Myrath, ironically, released its debut live recording Live in Carthage right around the time that the outbreak really started impacting the United States. The band’s first live offering is a presentation that fans of the noted genre will appreciate whether waiting for the return of live music on stage or just in general. That is due in part to the concert’s set list, which will be addressed shortly. The performance of that set list by the band adds to the recording’s presentation and will be addressed a little later. The concert’s production and mixing put the finishing touch to its presentation. Each item noted is important in its own way to the recording’s whole. All things considered, they make Live in Carthage an impressive live debut from Myrath and a work that is one of this year’s top new live recordings.
Myrath’s debut live recording Live in Carthage is a strong offering from the progressive metal outfit. That is proven in part through the recording’s set list. The 17-song set runs just over 90-minutes in length. While not a career-defining performance, the record still is deserving of its own credit. It pulls largely from the band’s 2016 album Legacy – a total of seven songs from that album (more than half the album) are featured in the set list) – while four songs from the band’s then forthcoming album Shehili are featured in the set. The band does not limit its set to those two albums. Its 2011 album Tales of the Sands is also represented here with five songs from that record. That is approximately half of that record. Given, the band’s first three albums – Double Face, Hope, and Desert Call – are not represented here, but considering that at the time of the concert – held allegedly in 2018 at a hometown show of sorts at the Ancient Roman Theater in Carthage, Tunisia – the band was touring mainly in support of Legacy and Shehili, the group can be forgiven for not including nods to those aforementioned records. Hopefully the band will present a much deeper dive into its catalog in its next live recording, keeping this in mind. This aside, the fact that audiences get more than half of one of the band’s albums, almost half of another and even a small sampling of yet another ,that in itself is a good start and in itself, makes the recording worth experiencing. This element is just one of the notable aspects of Myrath’s debut live recording. The band’s performance of the set list adds to its engagement and enjoyment.
Myrath’s performance of its concert at the Ancient Roman Theater in Carthage, Tunisia is important to note because of the energy in the performance. As noted, the set list is not career-defining, but at the same time, the songs chosen for the concert are all very high-energy compositions. Even in the brief moments when the energy does pull back, in the opening bars of some of the featured songs, that pullback is short-lived. The band members’ performances add to the energy even more, as is evidenced in part by front man Zaher Zorgati’s commanding presence as he makes his way across the stage. He engages the audience throughout, getting the most out of the crowd. Meanwhile drummer Morgan Berthet seems so laid back even as he works through each song with such precision and power. That contrast of his seeming so relaxed while he performed makes for its own statement. Meanwhile, the nonstop energy exuded by keyboardist Elyes Bouchoucha, guitarist Malek Ben Arbia and bassist Anis Jouini adds its own impact to the performance. The group’s performance does the talking for the group, as Zorgati uses only the briefest moments between songs to talk with the audience and introduce most of the set’s songs. This is where the band’s performance presents its only negative. Zorgati speaks wholly in French in those moments, in which he, his band mates and the audience collect their breath. Now we, as Americans get an idea of how overseas fans of our American bands must feel when they experience their shows across the Atlantic and Pacific. The thing is that Zorgati sings the songs in English, so why sing in one language and speak in another? That aside, the band’s performance ensures audiences’ engagement and enjoyment from beginning to end of this performance by keeping the energy high and by not wasting too much time between songs on banter. Instead the band lets the music and performance do the talking. Keeping all of this in mind, the performance put on by the members of Myrath really serves as the foundation for this recording’s presentation. Together with the set list, the recording’s appeal becomes even more so. To that end, audiences see even more why Live in Carthage may not be a perfect live debut for Myrath, but at the same time, why it is still a good first live outing for the group.
As much as the set list featured in Live in Carthage and the performance thereof does for this recording’s presentation, they are just two of its most notable items. The concert’s collective production and mixing put the finishing touch to the recording’s presentation. The footage itself adds so much to the viewing experience, as the angles, shots and transitions play right alongside with the energy of each composition and performance. The shots last just long enough and present angles that heighten and translate well, the energy and emotion in each song. The audio production and mix are deserving of their own share of credit, too. Zorgati’s vocals are well-balanced with the work of his fellow band mates. Their own work is well-balanced among themselves, too. The whole of the group’s sound creates a powerful impact all its own for the concert. Together with the video production and mixing (and post production editing), the overall experience that audiences get in viewing this concert becomes that much more engaging and entertaining. Taking all of this into account, the production, mixing and editing that went into the final product puts the finishing touch to this presentation and makes it that much more appealing. When this aspect of Live in Carthage is considered along with the recording’s overall content, the whole of the concert becomes a presentation that is a good live start for Myrath that leaves room for growth in the band’s next live recording.
Myrath’s debut live recording Live in Carthage is a good first effort from the band, in terms of live recordings. That is thanks in part to its set list, which despite focusing more on the band’s more recent albums, still gives audiences a rich picture of those records. The band’s performance of said set list adds more strength to the recording’s presentation. The recording’s collective production, mixing and editing put the final touch to the presentation. Each item noted is key in its own way to the whole of this recording. All things considered, they make Live in Carthage a good way to get one’s live fix while we all wait for a vaccine to be found for COVID-19 and concerts to return. It is also a good first effort from the band that shows hope for growth on the band’s next live recording. Live in Carthage is available now on CD/DVD combo pack. More information on the recording is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
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