Carthagods are a long-standing metal band from Tunisia. The band’s newest release is The Monster in Me, a thrashy eight-song album with bits of death and power metal thrown in throughout. Carthagods have been a band since the mid-90s and it really sounds like it. The band are great at what they do, but this album just feels stale.
There’s no point in sugar-coating anything, I really did not like The Monster in Me. Carthagods are great at what they do; the problem I have is that I just can’t stand what they do. To my ears, the album is over-produced and cheesy as all hell. The colour-by-number instrumental in songs like “Whispers from the Wicked” is hard for me to give a pass to. I’ve heard the Judas Priest-style dual riffing and heavy chugging guitars way too many times to want to hear it again. The vocals were another point of conflict for me. There are some decent screams throughout The Monster in Me, but M. Kehma’s nu-metal, Disturbed-esque clean vocals on songs like “The Devil’s Doll” and “A Last Sigh” don’t do anything for me. When you consider that nearly half of these songs are seven minutes and over, the album is a real drag to get through.
The Monster in Me is not a bad album, Carthagods have been at it for over twenty years and that definitely shows. The band has a solid metal foundation and, if you’re into that polished sound, The Monster in Me is probably worth the listen. But at the end of the day, the cheese factor is just too much for me. I found the instrumentation pedestrian and the vocals a big miss. While I wish I had nicer things to say about this album, it’s simply not my style.
Written by Justin Bruce
*edited by Mike Milito