Pumpehuset, Copenhagen - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Myrath from Tunisia was the third and final support-band for Orphaned Land on their Tour To Or-Shalem; before them first Artweg then Arkan had played, Artweg delivering a metalcore sounding performance whereas I would place Arkan more into the melodeath folder. As Myrath was closer to a clean progressive metal sound, you can see that we were spanning a wide musical area this evening, although with the common thread of Middle Eastern mystery involved (well, not audibly in Artweg, but still).

Possibly due to the kinder musical direction of this quintet, the crowd did not show signs of the same kind of energy that Arkan had pulled out of them when they played moments before. That is not to say that Myrath was not appreciated though, the band got a lot of applause and shouts between songs which implied that their music was well liked by the Danish metal crowd.
My own knowledge of the band was far smaller than that for Arkan, but I had heard a single song or two prior to the show, so the musicianship did not surprise me, but I dare say that the change of venue did, out of the three that had played so far, this band especially justice as the sound at Pumpehuset was far superior to anything that The Rock ever delivered; in fact it was superior to many of the venues I have visited, so of course such a musical act such as this fared well on it.
Just as with Arkan, Myrath did not appear to have any problems with the small stage either; the impressive frontline consisting of Zaher Zorgati (vocals), Malek Ben Arbia (guitars), Anis Jouini (bass) and Elyes Bouchoucha (keyboards, vocals) was both vital and energetic to watch. Only the latest branch on this tree, Pierre-Emmanuel ’Piwee’ Desfray (drums), sometimes seemed to sit in a world of his own, but I guess as long as he can keep the beat to the music he can be anywhere he feels like.

The good energy of the band proved contagious, and the crowd got more and more into the gig as the songs and time passed on, clearly noticeable by the headbanging that began to pop up around the place after a while and the louder shouts and applause.
Apparently Myrath was better known around these parts than I had expected, or at least that’s the conclusion I made after the crowd managed to help Zorgati remember a certain song by calling out the title, Madness, to him. But with Myrath, it wasn’t a one way street; just as much as their fans cared about them, the band also cared about its fans, and thus a certain Lars in the audience got a special greeting from the sage for travelling here all the way from Norway. Not quite as long as the band had travelled, but still a very cool move.
Yes, the crowd got louder throughout, just as the bands performance became more and more playful; for one thing Zorgati played a little joke on Ben Arbia by getting the whole audience to shush down as the guitarist was tuning his instrument between songs. Later Zorgati would also help out said instrumentalist by stomping around on his effect-board during one of the solo’s...
None was louder than Uri Zelcha (Orphaned Land) though, who at some point had joined in the crowd and was now cheerfully cheering the band on. This was clearly appreciated by Myrath who decided to dedicate their final song of the evening to him, a song fittingly renamed for this event – Beyond The Stars Of Copenhagen...

I was not as impressed by Myrath as I had been by Arkan, but I will write this down to two main reasons; one, I was more acquainted with the music of Arkan, and two, Myrath’s chosen genre does not speak as much to me as the other bands.
I will say though, that this should in no way be interpreted as I did not like Myrath; they delivered a great performance, and their music is top quality all the way. For metal fans in general, and fans of the progressive style in particular, I would like to send a sincere recommendation to check this band out if you haven’t already.

Setlist (incomplete):

Merciless Times
Under Siege
Wide Shut
Tales Of The Sands
Beyond The Stars


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