After almost 2 decades of building a reputation, numerous line-up changes and playing countless shows […]
By Saxon Davids
September 30, 2015

After almost 2 decades of building a reputation, numerous line-up changes and playing countless shows (with quite a few guest performers by their side for a lot of them), CARTHAGODS have finally released their self-titled debut album this June! Hailing from Tunisia, it's clear that CARTHAGODS know the world of Heavy Metal and all its sub-genre tangents inside and out, and know exactly what makes a great debut album: "Carthagods" is one of the most diverse metal albums I have heard for quite some time now, It's fair to say that this album touches base with almost every style of heavy metal out there!

The album opens with a kick-you-in-the-teeth power/thrash riff right from the beginning, followed by a mighty power metal roar, and to my instant surprise and amazement I hear Tim "Ripper" Owens' voice! Tim (Ex JUDAS PRIEST, Ex ICED EARTH) has made a guest appearance with the band live before and lends his vocal talents to the guys on most of this track. As an opening song, "My Favourite Disguise" was perfect; a fast paced belter of a heavy metal song leaving my eager to hear what these guys could do next! "Shadows" then completely switches the mood with calming clean guitar and bass, before changing pace with a heavy build up reminiscent of late SYMPHONY X material, and keeps the heavy and pounding attitude throughout, leaving you uncontrollably headbanging or tapping a 1 or 2 limbs along with it; regardless which, you won't be able to keep still with this song! "A Last Sigh" is of a fairly similar feel to the previous track, but this time round it is slightly heavier and has growling vocals thrown in to the mix neck in neck with Khema's clean vocals for added oomph and might for the choruses!

"Memories of Never Ending Pains" is the ballad of the album, and closes in at 8 and a half minutes long, the longest song on the album and at the same time one of the best! The emotions flowing through this song are powerful and well-displayed by the band. I really have to give credit for the guitar solo at the end; the way that it is written and executed with such feeling, power and technicality is breath taking, I feel like Artak takes a lot of influence from John Petrucci with the way he plays this solo; Its well written, very well played, and is dead on that fine line of technicality that is acceptable before it becomes flashy nonsense. The same can be said for the guitar solos in "My Revenge"; I couldn't believe what I was hearing during that solo section! "My Revenge" is one of my favourite songs on the album; with a doomy intro, it soon takes a twist with an AMON AMARTH type riff, captivating verse and a great sing-along chorus.

"Eater of Sin" start off slow and beautiful with loads of emotion bleeding out from the vocals, but past the minute and a half point, turns into a thrashterpiece; double peddle drumming, fast alternate picked riffs and more melodic intense vocals. "I Am a Viking" is your straight up mid-tempo Power Metal song and is another one of my favourite songs from the album, this song is full of catchy and intricate guitar work and has some of the best vocals this album has to offer.

"Carthagods" finished with an acoustic version of "Memories of Never Ending Pain", this isn't your normal every day acoustic metal song however; the guitar work is mostly the same but played on an acoustic however the atmosphere is completely changed due to the percussion. I'm not sure exactly what instruments are being used, but it is very similar to what Bill Ward uses on BLACK SABBATH's "Planet Caravan". This version of the song is also accompanied by a female singer which adds another new and intriguing flavour to the song and closes the album leaving my extremely satisfied.

I believe that anyone who is a fan of any sort of Heavy Metal will find this release an asset to their collection and I urge everyone to check out this band and this album. Almost 20 years in the making and CARTHAGODS do not disappoint one bit... good things do come to those who wait it seems!

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

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"Carthagods" Track-listing:

1. My Favourite Disguise
2. Shadows
3. A Last Sigh
4. Memories of Never Ending Pains
5. My Revenge
6. Eater of Sin
7. I Am A Viking
8. Memories of Never Ending Pains (Acoustic)

Carthagods Lineup:

Khema.M - Lead & Backing Vocals
Artak - Lead Guitar
Timon - Bass
Tabbela - Drums

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