Carthagods ‘The Monster In Me’
Album Review By Adam McCann
Darkside Records Europe/Progressive Power Metal
Although the band was formed in 1997, Carthagods have had the best part of 15 years before launching their well-received self-titled debut album 2015. This year has the Tunisian progressive metal band are back with their sophomore album ‘The Monster In Me’.
‘The Monster…’ keeps up the style laid down on the Carthagods debut album of progressive metal with some driving rhythms and it is the drumming of Zack Ben Black that alongside bassist Yessine Timon Belghith which creates a solid, impervious backbone. However, it is the vocals that make this album so damned good; vocalist Mehdi Khema pushes this album into being on a constant rotation. Khema has a voice that belongs to the school of Ronnie James Dio; having all the warm appeal of Russell Allen and Ronnie Romero. Furthermore, ‘The Monster…’ does not forget its roots and tracks such as ‘Whispers from the Wicked’ and ‘The Rebirth II’ have flourishes of those Middle Eastern minor harmonic scales that would draw in fans of Orphaned Land at their peak. Moreover, with ‘The Monster…’, Carthagods have refined the sound from their debut album into something that has become more in line with Symphony X, Lords of Black, The Ferrymen and even Allen/Lande with Khema providing a golden voice that makes this album worth listening to.
What Carthagods have delivered with ‘The Monster…’ is an excellent album of progressive metal that deserves significantly more attention than it will get. Fans of this genre should definitely pick this album up; it is those fans which will be able to fully appreciate every note and melody here and ‘The Monster…’ has a cornucopia to analyse; anyone bored of waiting for a new Symphony X album should check this out.
Rating : 84/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann