Tales of the Sands
Style: Progressive Oriental Metal
Release date: 11 October, 2011
Playing time: 51:06

I was very enthusiastic about their 2010 release 'Desert Call'. The mixture of songs in Symphony X style and oriental influences made quite an impression on me. This band from Tunisia made a lot of friends with that album and I think they will continue making fans with this new one. For me the surprise has gone a little bit, but the songs are again very strong. The vocals have changed a bit compared to their last album. In general Zaher Zorgati sings lower and even more traditional Arabic ("Tales of the Sands", "Beyond the Stars"). Personally I'm not a big fan of that singing style, it reminds me of pop singer Tarkan, and it sometimes sounds like whining to me.

The music is based on oriental rhythms and notes even more than before and for those, who like that, this album will be super. After a few songs I sometimes get a bit overloaded and find it a little bit overdone. They exaggerate in my personal view, using the same trick time after time. The link with Symphony X has gone down a bit; they have changed musically more towards Dream Theater, especially in the serener parts.

Fortunately there are enough heavier, more power metal parts too, together with the ethnic instruments/rhythms and the nice melody lines there are a big variety ("Requiem for a Goodbye"). Sometimes parts remind me of Orphaned Land ("Under Siege"). Bands like Amaseffer and Orphaned Land use Eastern influences in their metal, Myrath gives me the idea to write Eastern songs with metal influences in it. Like I already said, sometimes it is a little bit too much for me, but if you are into these Arabic rhythms and tunes, you will love it very much.

Another step forward in the development of the band and with the production of Kevin Codfert and the great mix done by Frederik Nordstrom the album has a sound that just stepped out of a bandbox. East or West, home is best.


01. Under Siege
Braving the Seas
03. Merciless Times
04. Tales of the Sands
05. Sour Sigh
06. Dawn Within
07. Wide Shut
08. Requiem for a Goodbye
09. Beyond the Stars
10. Time to Grow
11. Apostrophe for a Legend

Label: Nightmare Records
Distribution: Nightmare Records
Reviewed by: Reinier de Vries
Date: 9 October, 2011