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Really, the first track on here is something Manowar probably would have put out in their better and earlier days. Great rhythms, majestic atmosphere, a completely over the top and catchy chorus, blistering solo, and wonderous vocals. Then, the next track starts and you're blown into a world of confusion. Prepare for the ballads!
Alright, so the second track isn't the start of the ballad rush on this album, in fact "Unknown Soldier" is a great number on here, and possibly the fastest and heaviest. Yet another song that sounds very similar to early Manowar. You probably won't be able to help but notice the drums instantly sound extremely weird and goofy (double bass mainly). They sounded perfectly fine on the first track, but from track 2 and on they have this weird, yet ever so goofy sound to them that kind of gives this album its utterly goofy image. The next track still isn't quite the start of the downfall, sounds a bit like a ballad early Judas Priest would have put out. But its hardly anything that stands out. The self-titled track "Carthago", I'm not even going to talk about, I can't tell what's going on here at all. Another passable ballad with one of the weirdest structures ever. It just doesn't work. "Desert Kings" is the last good track on here, faster and more metal than anything else. So, three tracks are great here for the first half of this album.
Then its all downhill from there. "Searching On" just makes me want to grab a bunch of peoples hands and start hopping around in a circle with a giant smile on my face! "Trust Your Heart", yes, a ballad combo breaker! "Burning" sweet, hard rock is thrown into here as well. "Choose Your Heart" ends this album with yet, another ballad. And what the heck is this last 30 second instrumental track? Its not everyday you see a band put something like that at the end of an album. Shouldn't that be the intro track, or something? Oh well, it does nothing.
Alright, the one thing that stands out here besides the first two tracks, is the vocalist Harry LiebhÃ¤user. He's got a great voice, but when it comes to the chorus's and ballads this guy sounds like he just got out of a kids circus or something. It might be a weird way to put it, but its like his actual voice and vocals at times, are cheesy. I have no idea who I can compare the guy too, maybe Ralf Scheepers without the Halford similarities and with less aggression. Then again, I have no idea. This vocalist is just goofy, but has his moments.
If you're someone who loves the heck out of the Scorpions, Cinderalla, Def Leppard, and dare I say it, Europe, you'd probably get a huge kick out of these guys. If you worship Manowar, the first track is worth hearing out. I can't stress enough how awesome the first track really is, this album could have been something else if the rest were like it. Other than that, this would only be passable from the bargain bin of a dollar store. Because of the results here, I have put no effort into looking around for their first release. I might have to just to see if its cheesier than this though.
Riders on the Loose!!