Year : 2011
Genre : Aladdin in my Happy Meal Metal, Progressive Metal Power Metal
Label : XIII Bis Records
Origin : Tunesia
Rating : 6.9 / 10
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Myrath's Tales of the Sands is a record with velvet-pop metal-magazine appeals, declaring its (desperate wish for an) identity by throwing shameless winks to the "Beefy Preset Collection Tips!" column inherent to the magazine in question so rampantly that you have difficulty to decide if the release already is underway, or just having a series of strokes exhibiting all its OH!, so DEAR! intents while starting out. Glamorous, beefy, harmless toy metal fun for you, and it is out hunting your head down with a plastic scimitar. About 35 minutes of this 50 minutes affair is radio friendly platitude pop metal soaked into a pink-crimson Aladdin theme with an obese exotic chick laying her hideous bellydance for you on the top, while the remaining program time - about 15 minutes - is devoted to the deliverance of accessible, tame, risk free progression with power metal tendencies. Read on to find out more about this flamboyantly lopsided and lopsidedly flamboyant release.
The main attraction of the initial-, bigger segment of this LP is nothing else or more than the constant trafficking of bloated lead synths and restrained vocal declarations along middle eastern scale patterns, inviting you to become the beholder to their collision with the epitome of Yours, Truly, Cybernetic Rhythm Guitars of Glamorous Grit. Don't count on too elaborate spell levels, not for the most part : the stimuli you are served out with is nothing all that serious, - except for the chello and the synth solos, but their presence is sorrowfully scarce - as the delivery is quite content with the act of giving you the calculatedly played notes in the proper order to command the middle eastern vibe to hint at its own meta-message and surface up, - it takes four notes to reveal it, three if you are allowed to bend, none if you are a beautiful middle eastern woman - but the arch-face that is revealed, gets no further compliments. I wouldn't claim that these tracks sound to be capable to do proper justice to the relentless feeling hiding in those scales. The release satisfies with the first step being taken, and comes to a stall on that particular spot.
The Myrath middle eastern attraction is not one that gives you reasons to scratch your head over, not for a minute. For a second, maybe, if you are polite. The middle eastern vocal motives that sound more convincing than alibi-ambient, are not frequent, in my opinion. The Aladdin factor of chorus of track number 3, "Merciless Times", is quite cool and relevant. The next track, titular one, "Tales of the Sands" doubtlessly has this nice, mid-tempo tale in the desert pacing that eventually turns me into a camel with an evil shah on my hide. Track number 7 and 8 have solid instrumental segments with nice middle eastern violin (?) solo on top. But I can't pick any other exceptional middle eastern moment on this LP that I remember as another one I'd like to revisit, - especially hard to do when considering the vocalized regions - and, if that is the case, then why. should. I. even. bother.
The shameless exploitation of instantaneous middle eastern mood positions is not the only directive of this spin. The band, for a 35-40% of this album, seeks to operate on threshold-level progressive metal / power metal terms, and, though the content is presented in the spirit of the glamorous but gritty production (template) standards you already had the chance to bore yourself to death and beyond with courtesy of numerous recent records that sound exactly the same as this one, - Nightwish's latest sounds like this, too, it's all about the beefy cybernetic rhythm guitar, folks - the songwriting herein is not on pair yet with robust counter-releases like Anubis Gate's latest or Symphony X's Iconoclast, or Odd Logic's Over the Underworld. And yes, one could go on naming recent releases that sound to be more ripe and focused sonic entities, regardless how they reign free of the need to hold unto a pawn, as this release holds the middle eastern mood as a hostage.
If you did not catch the drift yet, then let me tell you this : the songwriting herein is bombastically presented acceptable mediocrity, - which is the Worst of Them All, needless to say - and, whenever the band is out of "ideas" - which happens fast / song - then comes the Jaffarrian Cornucopia of All Middle Eastern Sonic Platitudes to reveal its toy-attractions again, begging for your appreciation without any reminiscence to dignity and/or notable intent to legitimately entertain. To topple this with another oddity of charming semi-annoyance, a bloated metronome sits on the top of the mix, most of the time. It's not as bad as it would be a pneumatic driller, buuuut, almost.
The record, as suggested, is heavily fixated on its self-indulgent grandeur mentality and exclusive super-propensity to harness the inherent instant feeling of the middle eastern scales without asking for their magic with the irreplaceable cunning that could get it in the mood to reveal its true meaning and relevance for the mere fun of it, at the first place. The chello and the synth solos - very short ones, unfortunately - are the only things I can take serious on this release as ripe and magical aladdinian components, the other middle eastern elements on it are shameless fleemarket discount commodities that are BLAMING the character of middle eastern music, and not serving it. Other than that, the more freely positioned parts of brave, but tame progressive power metal tendencies pack more focused fun, and danger is not invited. You have to decide for yourself if this is a good thing or not.
Rating : 6.9 / 10
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