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Mekong Delta - Mekong Delta CD (album) cover


Mekong Delta


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.03 | 46 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
3 stars Mekong Delta are one of those bands that perpetually fly under the radar, pumping out releases pertaining to their own peculiar style while other trends in the metal and prog scene rise and fall. They were always too "thrashy" for a lot of proggers and even fans of the progressive metal circuit, and yet were too oddball and adventurous for straight-up metalheads to bang their heads to, and not 'brutal' enough for a reasonable amount of extreme fans. Yet, like Voivod, they persevere, but without even the cyberpunk cool angle Voivod encapsules. Mekong Delta are just what they are.

1987 was a busy year for German thrash, and as a debut, Mekong Delta announce right away that they weren't about slowing things down as "Without Honour" proudly displays. A full-on speedy thrashfest with little room to experiment, much like their vicious brethren such as Kreator, Sodom & friends, albeit with a vocalist who can actually sing. By track three, though, the unique aspects of the band are kicking in with "The Hut of Baba Yaga" eschewing fury for progressive flair and some classical influences, while "Heroes Grief" goes for outright gloom, enhanced with a bit of unobtrusive keyboards. There's also the tune "Black Sabbath" that's a pretty amusing ode to the band with the numerous name-checks to Sabbath tunes in the lyrics.

The overall sound is heavy yet murky, which heightens atmosphere at the expense of clarity for some of the faster riffs, but in this case it was probably the wiser choice since at this early stage the band were really just thrashing out much of the time in bullet-belt donning fashion, and the bit of haze gives the album a bit of a horror vibe that works in its favor. The band would opt for much more progressive and technical workouts concerning later output, but as a full- fledged thrash release in the 80's, it remains one of the more interesting ones, certainly concerning the year of its release.

Prog Sothoth | 3/5 |


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