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Mekong Delta - Mekong Delta CD (album) cover

MEKONG DELTA

Mekong Delta

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

2.96 | 37 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Mekong Delta" is the self-titled debut full-length studio album by German thrash/progressive metal act Mekong Delta. My introduction to Mekong Delta was through their 2nd album "The Music of Erich Zann (1988)" which is an album I´ve owned for many years. It´s been a dust collector though and it´s only recently that I´ve gotten the curiosity back to seek out the rest of Mekong Delta´s discography.

This debut album by the band has a rather funny history as all musicians have other more international and not German sounding names even though they are all German citizens. This was alledgedly an attempt to disguise the true identities of the musicians involved. The album features many great musicians from the German metal scene though and Mekong Delta have nothing to be ashamed of with this release.

Behind some of the international sounding names we find musicians like drummer Jörg Michael (ex-Rage and later of Stratovarius fame), bassist and main-man behind the band Ralph Hubert (owner of record label Aaarrg and sound engineer for bands such as Warlock, Steeler and Living Death), and a couple of other ex-Rage musicians.

The music is a mix of traditional heavy metal and thrash metal all played in (for the time) great technical style. Strongly accented singing mared many German metal albums in the period but lead vocalist Wolfgang Borgmann does not contribute to that statistic. He is an excellent vocalist with no accents at all. Imagine Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) singing in more traditional heavy metal style and you´re just about there. A great asset to the band. The original LP version included a track called "Black Sabbath" which is a tribute to that band and features Black Sabbath song titles as lyrics. Unfortunately that song is for unknown reasons not included on the remastered Zardoz music CD version which includes the three songs "Toccata", "Black Betty" and "Interludium II" from the "Toccata (1989)" single instead. There are some great metal tracks on the album and I can´t help to bang my head whenever I listen to songs like "Back Home (in Hell)" and "The Cure". Progressive rock fans might find it interesting that Mekong Delta covers Mussorgsky´s "The Hut of Baba Yaga" which another famous progressive band also had tried their luck with about sixteen years earlier (that would of course be Emerson, Lake and Palmer).

The musicianship is excellent and in addition to the powerful vocal performance by Wolfgang Borgmann I also have to mention Jörg Michael´s drumming. He is such a precise and powerful drummer and already back then he sounded so much better than most other drummers on the scene.

The production is pretty good considering that most metal productions from 1987 sounded hollow and thin.

I´m really happy about this album but it has aged a bit and remains firmly stuck in the eighties. For fans of eighties heavy metal/ thrash metal this is a very worthy effort though and it fully deserves 3.5 stars from me.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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