Power of Metal.dk Review

Style: Epic Power Metal
Release date: 19 June, 2015
Playing time: 52:00

I’m not playing with words but there’s really a palpable element of catharsis in this album. Carthagods were formed about 20 years ago in the old Tunisian city of Carthage and only now is the band releasing its debut full-length. The symbolic element of this release is strong, therefore. But how do its musical qualities fare?

The first thing that struck me is the album’s strong inclination towards U.S. Power Metal bands, such as Cirith Ungol and Virgin Steele in addition to other bands such as Blind Guardian and sometimes even Slayer. So, clearly, the album evokes some very epic vibes, something Carthagods seem quite adept at.

Having been written and recorded over a relatively long space of time, I got the feeling that “Carthagods” is organically inconsistent and its mixing isn’t always effective (e.g. the rhythm guitars sometimes get placed too far back). Other than all that, the songwriting is excellent, the melodies are powerful and the music is generally intense.

It’s worth spending a few more words on the songwriting dynamics as this is one of the album’s strongest points and to do this I’ll pick a couple of songs. ‘Eater Of Sin’ starts off very melodramatically but the song soon takes a more aggressive, Thrash-leaning path. On the other hand, ‘A Last Sigh’ is a Doom Metal number with catchy melodies and some Death Metal growls. The song features Epica’s Mark Jansen as guest vocalist. Even when Carthagods are playing some particularly aggressive Metal, there’s always an underlying sense of melancholy in the music.

A surprise inclusion is a cover of Yngwie Malmsteen’s ‘I Am A Viking’ – Carthagods’ rendition isn’t particularly noteworthy but I can easily see parallels between Jeff Scot Soto and Mehdi Khema, Carthagods’ singer. Khema has a semi-raspy voice that seems to fit in very well with the band’s music.

The album ends with an acoustic version of ‘Memories Of Neverending Pain’ to which Zuberoa Aznarez (from Diabolus In Musica) lends her singing talents. Occasionally the song meanders a bit but I liked the inclusion of hand percussions, amongst other things.

Despite this being a good album, I’ve an inkling that the best is yet to come. I just hope we wouldn’t have to wait another 20 years for that.


01. My Favourite Disguise (4:23)
02. A Last Sigh (7:22)
03. My Revenge (7:01)
04. Memories Of Neverending Pain (8:29)
05. Shadows (6:20)
06. I Am A Viking (5:23)
07. Eater Of Sin (5:51)
08. Memories Of Never Ending Pain
(acoustic version, bonus track) (7:11)

Label: Hands Of Blue Records
Distribution: Hands Of Blue Records
Reviewed by: Chris Galea
Date: 27 April, 2015
Website: www.facebook.com/CARTHAGODS