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Mekong Delta - Visions Fugitives CD (album) cover

VISIONS FUGITIVES

Mekong Delta

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.21 | 62 ratings

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aapatsos
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
5 stars Visions' creators

The 6th studio release of the pioneers of tech/prog-thrash metal has been acclaimed as their finest effort and been hailed by the metal world as one of the most innovative and influential albums in heavy music in general. Without a doubt, the questions set in Visions Fugitives seem like unsolvable math problems. Having this cd in my collection for approximately 10 years, I have never appreciated it as much as it deserves.

The album consists of roughly 2 aspects: the tech-thrash and the classical. Prog thrash can be found in the first 2 and last 2 compositions, while a 6-piece suite - of the most obscure classical music you have ever heard in metal - intervenes in the middle of the record.

The prog metal aspect: It does not take more than a few seconds for the listener to comprehend the musical approach followed here; acute and sophisticated power-thrash riffs fill the sound in the opening Them. The (virtually) metal fusion rhythm section completes the puzzle of brilliant musicianship and the 'ghostly', bizarre vocals (ala PSYCHOTIC WALTZ) provide the sense of the characteristic eccentricity of the band. Imagination just confirms the musical excellence with high tempos, constant rhythm bass and guitars in the vein of WATCHTOWER and breaks that resemble to early SIEGES EVEN. The Healer that follows the Suite is a more sophisticated version of the above, with slower tempos and slightly less weird vocals. More clean-guitar breaks and more melodic heavy/power riffs in the refrain show a different perspective of the band. Guitarwork constantly reminds of the Bay Area thrashers (Anthrax, Testament) rather than the German thrash scene. Similarly, Days of Sorrow show the more heavy/power aspect of the band with mid-tempo, ala 80's era FATES WARNING riffs and short acoustic guitar intervals, with all these built among various odd timings and frequent thrash passages.

The classical aspect: The 6-piece Suite for Group and Orchestra is one of the finest examples of classical music played by a metal band. After a beautiful short classical guitar piece, Preludium introduces dark, slow and torturous symphonic passages followed by agonising violin sounds in the background; almost a perfect soundtrack for a horror film. WATCHTOWER meets Mussorgsky in the heaviest track of the album Allegro; the result of mixing thrash metal with sheer classical music has to be heard to be believed... Throughout the whole Suite, the atmosphere and execution of classical passages is deliberately obscure and chaotic; Dance follows a 'creeping' avant-garde tempo that has certainly influenced ARCTURUS, ULVER, THE KOVENANT and other acts of the extreme sound. A - not so conventional - Fugue complies with the above, while (as implied by the track name) involving the most complex structures of the entire Suite. Postludium, contrary to the rest, ends the 6-piece in a relatively cheerful and optimistic manner, with classic guitars played slightly more joyfully this time...

Struggling to find words to describe this extravagant piece of music, I am obliged to recommend it to any fan of extreme prog and classical music. Apart from the eccentric and exceptionally-executed tech-metal tracks, the Suite for Group and Orchestra is just something unconceivable for a typical metal band. Visions Fugitives along with Pictures at an Exhibition have rightfully established MEKONG DELTA in the pioneers of the genre.

aapatsos | 5/5 |

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