Myrath ("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 their country.
Guitarist Malek Ben Arbia (then aged thirteen) formed X-Tazy in 2001 with two of his childhood friends: Fahmi Chakroun (drums) and Walid Issaoui (guitar) who are each fourteen years old. They then recruit Zaher Hamoudia on bass and Tarek Idouani on vocals. For the first two years, they played covers of Blues, Heavy metal and Death metal. In 2003, Elyes Bouchoucha (pianist and lead singer) joined the group as an expert piano player, while Walid Issawi left the group. With this new composition, X-Tazy goes to concerts by doing only covers (very often pieces from Symphony X which is their favorite group).
After several years, they started to create their own music in a Progressive metal style influenced by oriental music. In March 2005, after several changes of members, the group released "Double Face", an Extended play produced by the group itself and which was only released in Tunisia.
From Hope to Legacy (2006–2016)
In August 2006, Myrath recruited Anis Jouini, the former bassist of the group Propaganda. In December, the group released a debut album titled "Hope", Kevin Codfert (Adagio keyboardist, met during a rock festival in Tunisia) takes care of the production following the meeting with Aymen Jaouadi, author of all the texts of the opus. With this album, the group is known abroad especially in France since it is in this country that their last two albums were mixed and mastered, therefore more easily distributed.
In June 2007, Zaher Zorgati joined the group on vocals. Considered the best Tunisian Heavy metal music singer, he participates in the sixth edition of Star Academy in Lebanon. 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.
In 2010, the album Desert Call was released and launched the group to the forefront of the European scene. It is once again produced by Kevin Codfert, the true architect of the group's success, and written by Aymen Jaouadi. The third album, "Tales of the Sands", was released in October 2011. In September 2013, they announced in Rolling Stone the release of a fourth album for early 2014.
After a first teaser of their single, the group launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo; it was successfully funded on 2 January 2016. This fourth album, named Legacy, was finally released on 19 February of the same year. After the album's release, the group went on a promotional tour with Symphony X across Europe, including Paris, Barcelona, Madrid and Munich.
After opening for Megadeth on 13 July 2016 in Bucharest, they announced that they would participate in several festivals in 2017, including Hellfest in Clisson, the Download Festival in Madrid from 22 to 24 June, as well as the Progpower in the United States from 8 to 9 September.
On 14 April 2017, the group performed a concert in the Theatre of Carthage in Tunisia as headliner, The show was filmed and released in 2019 as their first live album and DVD, Live in Carthage. From 12 November to 3 December , the group goes on tour with Epica as the first part, stopping off in cities such as Berlin, Metz and Munich.
Shehili (since 2018)
While recording their fifth album, the group announces that they are going on tour as headliner with Manigance from 8 March 2018, with a first stop in Paris. The tour ends on 30 March in Nantes.
It is on 15 February 2019 that more details are given concerning the album: the latter is called Shehili and released on 3 May under the Verycords labels for France (co-producer of the album), Ward Records for Japan and EarMUSIC for the rest of the world.
They are then the first part of Beast in Black from 29 October 2019, with a first stop in Oslo and passages through cities such as Cologne, Strasbourg, Prague to then end in Munich on 18 November. A few days later, they released their first live DVD recorded in Carthage called 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, Zaher 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.
Myrath is heading back on tour as the headliner as part of The Magical Tour 2020 from 27 February 2020 in Sofia.
They are accompanied by the Swedish symphonic metal band Eleine. They are forced to cut this series of concerts short because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, they canceled their performance in Lille.
In addition they also made their USA concert debut on 8 September 2013 at ProgPower USA XIV in Atlanta. After not performing for three years in Tunisia, on 14 April 2017, Myrath finally held a major concert at the Theatre of Carthage.
Following the show at Swedish Rock, they received invitations to various festivals in 2020 and 2021,
including Wacken Open Air 2019. Wacken Open Air is widely regarded as the biggest heavy-metal festival in the world.
Double Face (2005) - released only in Tunisia under the name X-Tazy
Desert Call (2010)
Tales of the Sands (2011)
Malek Ben Arbia – guitar (2001–present)
Elyes Bouchoucha – keyboards, backing vocals (2003–present)
Anis Jouini – bass guitar (2006–present)
Zaher Zorgati – lead vocals (2007–present)
Morgan Berthet – drums (2012–present)
Kevin Codfert – additional pianos and guitars (2006–present)
Walid Issaoui – guitar (2001–2003)
Fahmi Chakroun – drums (2001–2004)
Saief Louhibi – drums (2004–2011)
Yassine Belgith - bass (2004-2006)
Zaher Hamoudia – bass (2001–2004)
Tarek Idouani – lead vocals (2001–2003)
Piwee Desfray – drums (2011-2012)