|Review: Mekong Delta - Lurking Fear|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2007
Genre: Progressive Thrash
Review online: March 18, 2008
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Rated 3.89/5 (77.78%) (9 Votes)
Mekong Delta have been around for over 20 years now, but this is the only the second time I'd ever given them a proper listen. Having heard a fair bit about them here and there, I only recently picked up their debut album (of which, I wasn't overly impressed to be honest). However, I didn't give up on them as a lost cause, checking out this, their most recent effort too. It turned out I did actually prefer this to their debut, but not by much. Anyhow, for those who aren't acquainted with the band, Mekong Delta play a super-technical brand of Thrash Metal which flails, twists and turns more than a captured cobra (without quite so much venom).
From the very start, it's easy to see why many compare the band with the likes of Watchtower, with some of the manic guitar histrionics comparable to Ron Jarzombek's finest work. The forward thinking nature to the riffs always keeps you on your toes, sporadically adding in strange rhythm signatures and plentiful time changes at will, which generally still manage to maintain your interest without completely cooking your brain. This is all layered atop the progressive bass lines and frenetic drumming, which work together as closely as a singular unit, such is the dazzling display of technical musicianship. Leszek "Leo" Szpigiel's clean, powerful vocal delivery proves he can wail with the best of them without being too over the top, reminding me of Spiral Architect vocalist Oyvind Haegeland at times. Also worth a mention is the blatant steal of 'The Imperial March' from the Star Wars soundtrack in the track 'Moderato' — not to mention certain other 'interpretations' of well known classical pieces.
However, the main problem with this, as well as the bands debut, is the fact that it can get a bit too much at times. I'd only really recommend this for the metallers out there who don't mind dicing with super technicality and experimentation. Not bad, but not exactly mind blowingly impressive.
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