Review: Carthagods “Carthagods”

Review: Carthagods “Carthagods”

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Carthagods “Carthagods”
Hands of Blue Records

I suppose that the very first connotation after reading the band’s name (which’s also name of an album) was Carthaginian Empire. This civilization thrived on between 9th and middle of 2nd century before Nazarene. Then Roman Republic (which in meantime became militarily strong and quite big country) conquered and destroyed Quart-ḥadašt and build new city on the place which they named Roman Carthage.

And where lays Carthage now? Of course in today Tunisia. Anyway, this city which in meantime became suburb of Tunis has to offer something more than ‘only’ huge number of ancient (and not only) monuments. The truth is that in Carthage living a little more than 20.000 people, but in fact it’s political center of the country. But for us the most important thing is that there since 1997 exists a Metal band – CARTHAGODS. As I know (and I have first hand news) it’s the only one in the city, but as we know much more important is quality than number.

Well, CARTHAGODS is one of veterans of Tunisian Metal scene. Honestly, it’s the oldest existing band in this country. But contrary to what you expect, their discography is extremely modest. I think that the main reason of such situation is the fact that their line-up was very unstable and during these 20 years really huge number of musicians played here – only on guitarist position there were six changes (one of them forced a tragedy in 2011). Anyway, at the moment this is: Mahdi Khema (vocals), Tarak ben Sassi (guitars), Yessine Belghith (bass) and Ayman Benhamed (drums); during gigs second guitarist is Timo Somers. By the way, hope such problems with line-up are finally over!

I know that it’s very hard to believe in, but “Carthagods” is a debut full-length of our Tunisian brothers which they released in 2015 . But when we’re listening to this album we have impression that it just can’t be truth. Well, personally I can’t see anything strange in that since Tarak and Ayman were found the band, Yessine and Mehdi are also there not since yesterday. At the moment, probably at least the most of you are loudly asking “But what the hell they play?” and is close to finish reading right here. But you’ll don’t do it because firstly you’ll never get know what it is if you’ll do it. And secondly I’ll write only two words which will tell you almost everything: Power Metal. And let’s tell this clearly that we have to do here with this rather calmer kind of mentioned sub-genre of our beloved music . It doesn’t mean that Carthaginians don’t know how to heat up or that there aren’t some more or less hearable influences of another sub-genres (and not only)! Anyway, we have here seven (one is in two versions) songs on middle or middle-slow tempo.

Riffs are both heavy and melodic in the same time. They’re also as various as they should be in such music. There are no some unnecessary technical displays. That’s truth that in “A Last Sigh” we have both tin whistles and a solo. In other songs there are also some demonstration of Tarak’s abilities. But that’re rather exceptions which confirm rule. He has other ways to show his good quality’s abilities on this field. Well, it’s hearable not only when it’s about guitar. Also in way of Ayman’s beating and Yessine’s bassing it’s not so hard to notice that Metal isn’t the only genre which inspire them. They play of course variable as well. Ayman use a lot cymbals, makes passages quite often. Mehdi sings with his clean, but a little hoarse voice, and he does it well. His timbre you’ll surely connect with some more well-known vocalist, but in my opinion he offers us something unique (as most of vocalists). I won’t tell that it’s what any of us heard before.

To sum up let’s be honest that we have here good band which all fans of Power Metal will at least like. Guys have very fine ideas and even if this isn’t anything edge-cutting, it’s still fresh and tasty tidbit! Hm… I thought long if I should to tell this, but during few first listening of “Carthagods” I didn’t like a lot second version of “Memories of Never Ending Pain”, but now I just adore this!

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I'm just a Metalhead who's falling in love with Metal since at least 1987 and is active into the underground since 90's. Also I own (with myTHE BEST FRIEND EVER) a label - SEPULCROS PROD. Contact on FB - profile pic is the same as here.

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