|Also known as||X-Tazy (2001–2005)|
|Labels||Edel/EarMusic - VeryCords - Nightmare Records - King Records - Groove Master|
|Members||Malek Ben Arbia |
|Past members||Oualid Issaoui |
Myrath (Arabic: ميراث mīrāth, "Legacy") is a Tunisian progressive metal band formed in 2001 by guitarist Malek Ben Arbia and currently based in France. The band has been noted for its mix of Arabic and Middle Eastern instrumentation with power metal and progressive rock and is considered one of the leading names of oriental metal. The band itself has started to refer to its genre as "blazing desert metal". They are the first band from Tunisia to be signed to a record label outside the country.
The band was first formed as a blues rock act called X-Tazy by 13 year-old guitarist Malek Ben Arbia in 2001. Keyboardist/singer Elyes Bouchoucha joined in 2003; he and Arbia remain with the band to the present day. X-Tazy eventually added progressive elements to their songwriting, and released the album Double Face in Tunisia via USB flash drives in 2005. The album gained some notice in Europe, leading to a contract with France's Bremmis Music. Now known as Myrath, the band became the first Tunisian act to sign with a European label. During this period they met French musician Kevin Codfert, who has been their producer ever since.
Their first album under the name Myrath, produced by Codfert, was Hope in 2007. At this time the band included Arbia and Bouchoucha with bassist Anis Jouini, who became a permanent member, plus drummer Saif Louhibi. Shortly after the release of Hope, singer Zaher Zorgati joined the band and took over lead vocals from Bouchoucha. Zorgati's ability to combine Islamic chants with heavy metal wailing became a key component of Myrath's sound, while the band's lyrics began to focus on Tunisian folklore.
The album Desert Call was released in 2010; this album's sound was compared favorably to that of Orphaned Land. Tales of the Sands followed in 2011. Drummer Morgan Berthet joined the band in 2012, and its lineup has remained consistent ever since. They began to play European summer festivals regularly, and their first American appearance was at the ProgPower USA festival in 2013.
Myrath opened for Symphony X during a high-profile tour of England in 2016. The album Legacy, featuring lyrics contributed by Tunisian poets, was released later in 2016. Myrath then toured around the world consistently for more than two years. During this period they signed an international deal with EarMusic.
In 2017, Myrath performed in their native Tunisia for the first time in three years with a concert at the historic Theatre of Carthage. The show was filmed and released in 2020 as their first live album and DVD, Live in Carthage. They appeared at the Sweden Rock Festival in 2019 as a last-minute replacement for Behemoth; and have been invited to return for future versions of the festival.
In a 2019 interview, when asked if he believed Myrath was a political band, Zorgati replied:
In our home country Tunisia, yes. We have our own ideology and we also express it. Before the revolution we had a metal scene in our country, which unfortunately is no longer the case. Now we have a radical Islamist party in our government that demonizes our music and portrays it as satanic. [...] In fact, increasing independence and freedom of speech was the only good thing the revolution brought with it. Because it also ensured the rise of the radical Islamist party, although a large part of the people in the country is actually against it.
- Double Face (2005) - released only in Tunisia under the name X-Tazy
- Hope (2007)
- Desert Call (2010)
- Tales of the Sands (2011)
- Legacy (2016)
- Shehili (2019)
- Live in Carthage (2020)
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