So I hate it when I want to write a blog post but I have no idea what to write about. There's only so much I can say about my own writing before it gets boring, and unlike a lot of writers, I'm not interested in blogging about writing. But thinking of interesting stuff is hard. Then it occurred to me, I like music, so maybe sometimes I should blog about music. And I hate cooking but we gotta eat anyway, so maybe sometimes I should blog about stuff I like to make that's easy, especially on a busy day (like a long day of writing). And some other stuff. So I came up with a list of themes for blogging, Music Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Throwback Thursday (not original with me, of course), Friday Five (which I already do sporadically), Sneak Peek/Snippet Saturday. All alliterative, because alliteration makes everything easier. And author spotlights on Wednesday, but I couldn't think of a way to make that alliterative. So this is just a loose framework, don't look for a post on each of those topics every week, and I reserve the right to post on a different topic on any day when I feel like it. But when I want to write a blog post and have no idea what to write about, this gives me some ideas.
Anyhoo, for the inaugural Music Monday, here's a look at my most recent album purchase (yes, I buy my music by the album, instead of streaming or only buying individual songs. I guess I'm just old-fashioned that way. Though I mainly buy MP3s), Legacy, the brand new album (their 4th, I believe) from Tunisian progressive/symphonic metal band Myrath.
Myrath combines the metal rock, symphonic arrangements, and big, dramatic melodies and lyrics of symphonic metal with the rhythms and melodic hooks of North Africa and the Middle East for a sound that rocks hard and is musically gorgeous and unique at the same time. Along with the usual instruments you'd find in a metal band, they also use traditional instruments. The lead singer's vocal stylings might sound a little unusual and take some getting used to, because again they draw heavily from North African and Middle Eastern musical traditions. The songs on Legacy (really a self-titled album, since "Myrath" means "Legacy") integrate these traditions more heavily than on the previous albums that I've heard (Desert Call and Tales of the Sands), but it's still very listenable. The songwriting and musicianship show a band that is gaining depth and maturity with each album. The lyrics are positive, on subjects like the desert, adventures, facing life's challenges, and a good portion of love songs. With my own love of the desert and of writing fantasy set in the desert, Myrath's songs are a great fit for my books, and of course I always love a good love song. I've used a couple of their songs on playlists for my books, "Silent Cries" (from Desert Call) on the Urdaisunia playlist, and "Silent Cries" (again) and "Madness" (also from Desert Call) on the playlist for The Lost Book of Anggird.
Me being something of a musicology nerd (I got my Master's degree in music history, though I never got into ethnomusicology), I love coming across music that's unique and powerful and draws on long, deep tradition. I see symphonic metal as being one of the latest evolutions of classical music, and the addition of North African/Middle Eastern music traditions to the mix makes Myrath one of the most fascinating bands I've come across. I recommend you give them a try, especially if you like symphonic/progressive metal. Even if you don't, sometimes it's good to take a chance and try something new, anyway :-D
To give you a taste of Myrath's sound, here's the video for "Believer" from Legacy:
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