Mekong Delta – “In A Mirror Darkly” (Steamhammer / SPV)
Well, mediocre’s anything that I’d describe Mekong Delta as! For almost thirty years, Mekong Delta have enjoyed an excellent reputation as an independent and exceptionally creative band playing complex progressive thrash, which incidentally was founding mastermind, producer and bassist Ralf Hubert’s goal right from their outset in 1985, and this is a technically advanced album from the outset owing more to the lengthy concertos of Yes or ELP than anything more contemporary. There is very little true thrash on this album but rather the band have increased the intensity of their metal to such a degree so as to keep up with their technicality that it comes across as thrash! From Martin LeMar’s operatic vocals the rest of the band produce what I’d describe as pure musical expressionism on intense, mind blowing songs like ‘The Armageddon Machine‘, ‘The Silver In Gods Eye‘ and the instrumental ‘Inside The Outside Of The Inside’. The continuation of the “Wanderer On The Edge Of Time” theme with each piece clocking in between five to seven minutes and very closely interlinked with few interludes, be prepared for an onslaught of some of the most cerebrally and technically challenging material you’ll ever hear played – if you can keep up!