Carthagods - The Monster in Me

Carthagods The Monster in Me cover
The Monster in Me
Darkside Records Europe
Carthagods hail from Tunisia and they debuted in 2015 with an album, which despite featuring a number of high profile guests, must have gone largely unheard. Four years later their sophomore effort, “The Monster in Me”, tries to introduce them to a larger crowd. In fact it goes as far as to rework two tracks from their debut that are here provided in more competent forms.
The band is instrumentally capable and relies on dark and heavy guitars that are balanced by melodic keys. Their singer Mehdi Khema has an interesting deep and resonant voice that might not extend too high but definitely has character and fits the darker sound of the band, well enough.
They got the eastern touch, but it’s not as pronounced as in the case of their compatriots Myrath... it’s not doomy either and I’m hard pressed to find a valid enough comparison. They have a tendency to sound like a doomier less oriental Orphaned Land perhaps, that also likes the hard riffing of latter day Symphony X, but is not going head first into the virtuosic showcases of endless solos upon solos.
Overall, they are able to cultivate enough interest with their unique blend of eastern and western sounds and their harder edged prog/power, with more leather lunged vocals. The opener “Whispers from the Wicked”, the monstrously heavy title track and the reworked epic, “Memories of Never Ending Pains” are among the highlights of this album that you might want to check out, if heavy prog power with a healthy dose of exoticism is your cup of tea.