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Mekong Delta - Lurking Fear (CD)

Mekong Delta
Lurking Fear
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 26 August 2007, 7:25 PM

I was pretty much surprised when the promo CD reached my hands; I mean, a new release from MEKONG DELTA? The German band remained silent like a tomb for almost 10 years after the release of Pictures At The Exhibition in 1996. Actually, MEKONG DELTA were so silent that there were rumors circulating saying that the founding member Ralph Hubert had already passed away! Fortunately, those rumors were confuted by the fact that Ralph had set up a brand new lineup to record another insane album.
The story of MEKONG DELTA started in 1985 as an idea of forming a project band with German artists (already active in other acts) hidden behind pseudonyms. It's worth mentioning that the very first lineup featured Peavy Wagner on the bass guitar who became known with AVENGER that after a while were renamed as RAGE. The music of this band is as strange as the aforementioned story about the musicians' names; their debut and homonymous release was bearing the trademark German Thrash sound with some almost chaotic arrangements that some of them comprised classical music influences. Their best and most influential album was their second one, The Music Of  Erich Zann, that was based on the homonymous short story by the master of horror H. P. Lovecraft.
So, let me try to describe what will happen if you push the play button on your CD player with Lurking Fear upon the tray. The first track society In Dissolution literally caught me off-guard, since MEKONG DELTA sounds pretty much the same as they did in Dance Of Death back in the early 90s. The strange guitar riffs and leads, the dominating drum work (courtesy of Uli Kusch) and the high pitched vocals have definitely awakened some very good memories. The album definitely needs additional spins if you want to really sink your teeth in it. Purification is less complicated and follows the well known German Thrash path while the faster Immortal Hate kicks in with a killer guitar riff. The melodic break somewhere in the middle discovers some new territories in this techno-Thrash sound.
Alegro Furioso and Moderato come to prove for one more time what happens if Classical Music and Metal join forces; the two tracks are bombastic and atmospheric compositions that will definitely blow you away! This album definitely deserved a better production since it most of the times sounds over-high pitched while the guitar riffs and bass guitar rhythm can be characterized as buried.  The vocal performance of Leo Szpigiel deserves additional credit for his impressive work on the almost melodic and catchy at times Ratters and his theatrical approach in Symphony Of Agony. The album closes with the excellent instrumental Allegro that outlines the band's strong Classical foundations.
I must admit that I am totally impressed by this comeback that forced me to re-check the band's discography. MEKONG DELTA can still pave their own way in the Metal scene by giving the exact meaning to the word progressive. Currently, I am keeping my fingers crossed that the original version of the album will have a much better sound that the promo one.   

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Society In Dissolution
Purification
Immortal Hate (Accepting Prayers Of Supremacy)
Allegro Furioso
Rules Of Corruption
Ratters (Among The Dead)
Moderato
Defenders Of The Faith
Symphony Of Agony
Allegro
Lineup:
Ralf Hubert - Bass
Uli Kuch - Drums
Peter Lake - Guitar
Leo Szpigiel - Vocals
Record Label: AFM Records
     


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