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Mekong Delta - Kaleidoscope CD (album) cover

KALEIDOSCOPE

Mekong Delta

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.36 | 23 ratings

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FruMp
Prog Reviewer
4 stars MEKONG DELTA move further down the progressive thrash trail.

The progressiveness of MEKONG DELTA's music had steadily increased up to this point reaching the climax on their previous album 'Dances of Death' with a 19 minute tech thrash epic and a 10 minute long arrangement of Mussorgsky's 'Night on Bare Mountain', on Kaleidoscope we see another extrapolation of the progressive thrash sound that the band is renowned for.

The instrumentation is a lot more furious on this album and it seems to have a lot more cohesion instrumentally than previous efforts with Uwe Baltrusch busting out some schizophrenic technical riffs and some shredding solos. Peter Haas' drums are the best that the band has ever had, very technical and syncopated, there is never a dull moment or the opportunity for variations or a fill that passes by. Mysteriously though the leader of the band Ralph Hubert who plays bass and produces the band's records is at times noticeably absent from the mixing which is especially odd considering he was the one who probably mixed it, but he does come to the fore with his concert guitar playing which contributes some of the best moments on the album. The vocals don't really impact on the music too much they actually remind me a lot of Geddy Lee now that I think about it and they play more of a supportive role in the music.

Sphere Eclipse is an early highlight on the album, it's a great mid paced technical thrash song with paranoid technological lyrics a la VOIVOD. Dance on a Volcano (yes you read that right, a GENESIS cover from a technical thrash band) came as a great surprise to me, it's a very interesting translation into the thrash metal format and the results are outstanding (although I'm sure a lot of GENESIS fans would be far from impressed), easily one of the best songs on the album. Dreaming is a fantastic classical composition for the acoustic guitar with some great supportive work from the drums. Heartbeat sees us going back to the mid-paced brooding techno-thrash format in fine fashion with a great moody bass intro (one of the few times you really hear it). Shadow walker is another fantastic techno-trhash highlight with a great extended solos, and some blistering drum work, it shares a lot of similarities to early VOIVOD. Sabre-Dance is a translation of Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian's work with some great harmonised guitars, it's not as dynamic or emotive as many of their other classical-thrash hybrids but it's a fantastic rendition none the less.

Kaleidoscope is another gem from MEKONG DELTA's golden period although maybe not as fast and furious as the bands previous outputs the creativity and progressiveness is very strong. Highly recommended to fans of technical thrash like VOIVOD, WATCHTOWER and CORONER.

FruMp | 4/5 |

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