Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta, Progressive Thrash formed in Germany by members of Living Death. The various line-ups over the years have included many well known German musicians including Peter Haas - drums (Krokus, Poltergeist, Coroner), Jörg Michael - drums (Stratovarius, Rage, Grave Digger), Frank Fricke - guitars (Living Death), Reiner Kelch - guitars (Living Death), Uli Kusch - drums (Helloween), Jochen Schröder - guitar (Rage), Peavy Wagner - bass (Rage).

The Isle of Hydra Mekong Delta - The Music of Erich Zann (Aaarrg) 1988

1. "Age Of Agony" (3:15)
2. "True Lies" (5:37)
3. "Confession Of Madness" (3:57)
4. "Hatred" (3:26)
5. "Interludium (Begging For Mercy)" (3:12)
6. "Prophecy" (3:55)
7. "Memories Of Tomorrow" (4:19)
8. "I, King Will Come" (5:10)
9. "The Final Deluge" (3:00)
10. "Epiloge" (1:48)
11. "The Gnome" (2:55)

The music of Mekong Delta is best described as German thrash metal, with strong progressive and classical tendencies. Guaranteed it will take a few listens for almost anyone to truly get into this CD as the chaotic arrangments will take most people by surprise on the first listen. Since this is the first CD I had ever heard by Makong Delta it is impossible for me to comment on how it compares to other releases by them but according to other reviews I have read, The Music Of Erich Zann is one of their better and most consistent releases.

Principle of Doubt Mekong Delta - The Principle of Doubt (Mystic Empire) 1989

1. "A Question of Trust" (3:27)
2. "The Principle of Doubt" (4:48)
3. "Once I Believed" (4:29)
4. "Ever Since Time Began" (4:25)
5. "Curse of Reality" (4:27)
6. "Twilight Zone" [instrumental] (3:27)
7. "Shades of Doom" (4:04)
8. "The Jester" (5:51)
9. "El Colibri" [instrumental] (1:15)
10. "No Friend of Mine" (3:46)

Odd. Disjointed. Progressive. Chaotic. Experimental. These are all words I would use to describe "The Principle of Doubt". Upon popping this CD into the deck the first time and listening all the way through, I wasn't sure what to think. I almost immediately listened to the disc again to see if I could make some sense of it, and indeed, the more I listened, the more I began to understand and appreciate the progressive tendencies of this album and the intricate song writing. There is really nothing straight forward about this album at all. As a matter of fact, I had a hard time with the 'thrash' label usually given this band while listening to this CD. Mekong Delta go far beyond progressive thrash into what I think would be better described as experimental metal. In other words, Mekong Delta cannot be put into a box. I am sure that band leader Ralph Hubert wears this as a badge of honor. Personally I find the album to be a bit too disjointed to enjoy for anything more than the occasional spin.

Dances of Death Mekong Delta - Dances of Death (and other Walking Shadows) (Zardoz Music) 1990

1. "Dances Of Death" (19:44)
"Introduction" (1:11)
"Eruption" (1:34)
"Beyond the Gates" (4:53)
"Outburst" (1:19)
"Days of Betrayal" (4:14)
"Restless" (:53)
"Sanctuary" (3:01)
"Finale" (2:06)
2. "Transgressor" (3:24)
3. "True Believers" (5:32)
4. "Night on a Bare Mountain" (10:42)
5. "The Gnom" [instrumental] (2:54)

Mekong Delta are a German progressive thrasher band that are relatively unknown for reasons unknown to me. They play technical thrash with strong progressive and classical tendencies that is unlike almost any other band under the thrash moniker. They might actually be better classified as progressive metal, but this label will lead most to believe they are much less heavy than they actually are. Mekong Delta create complex and intricate musical compositions that are at times quirky and chaotic, but never dull. The title track is an eight-piece progressive song that features creative song structures, complex time signatures, fast tempo changes, and a ton of musical integrity. The song starts with a short string-driven instrumental called “Introduction” before bursting into progressive thrash metal. While the song is close to twenty minutes long, I was actually amazed when it was over that it seemed to be much shorted. The epic song is neither boring nor does is suffer from being disconnected. Each movement of the song flows flawlessly into the next. "Transgressor" is a chaotic thrash metal number. "True Believer" is another excellent number but is more mid-paced with some choice riffs. The album finieshed off with a thrash metal arrangement of Modest Mussorgsky's tone poem "Night on Bald Mountain", of which I am completely unfamiliar. To me this song sounds like a Mekong Delta original. The remixed, remastered release also features the unlisted instrumental "The Gnome".

Mekong Delta - Pictures at an Exhibition (IRS) 1997

1. Promenade" (1:24)
2. Gnomus" (2:43)
3. Interludium" (:43)
4. Il Vecchio Castello" (3:55)
5. Interludium" (:28)
6. Tuileries (Dispute d'enfants apres jeux)" (1:54)
7. Bydtlo" (3:02)
8. Interludium" (:40)
9. Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks" (1:22)
10. "Samuel" Goldenberg and "Schmuyle" (2:00)
11. Promenade" (1:23)
12. Limoges: Le Marche (La grande nouvelle)" (3:02)
13. Catacombae (Sepulcrum romanum)" (1:42)
14. Lingua Mortis" (1:58)
15. The Hut on Chicken's Legs" (3:26)
16. The Heroic Gate (in the Old Capital of Kiev)" (5:51)
17. Promenade" (1:22)
18. Gnomus" (2:43)
19. Interludium" (:43)
20. Il Vecchio Castello" (3:55)
21. Interludium" (:28)
22. Tuileries (Dispute d'enfants apres jeux)" (1:53)
23. Bydtlo" (3:02)
24. Interludium" (:40)
25. Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks" (1:22)
26. "Samuel" Goldenberg and "Schmuyle" (2:00)
27. Promenade" (1:26)
28. Limoges: Le Marche (La grande nouvelle)" (3:05)
29. Catacombae (Sepulcrum romanum)" (1:42)
30. Lingua Mortis" (1:58)
31. The Hut on Chicken's Legs" (3:26)
32. The Heroic Gate (in the Old Capital of Kiev)" (5:47)

I have no words to describe this disc. It's simply one of the most interesting, unique metal (?) CDs ever recorded. A friend of mine described Mekong Delta as "just weird". That may also be a good description. Imagine a metal band, who usually incorporates vocals and is usually catagorized as thrash metal, putting out an all instrumental interpretation of a 1874 composition by Modest Mussorgski. That is exactly what this disc is; a 'weird' metal interpretation of a classical composition. It's actually quite impossible to put a label on this disc, or to compare it to any other artist. It's just that unique. Perhaps it could best be labeled as neo-classical metal, in the truest sense. I was really quite blown away by this disc. However, having said that, this is certainly not a disc I would pull out for a daily listen. It's 'mood' music. If I am in the right mood, this is the most incredible disc ever recorded. If I am not in the mood for it, I find it to be boring. Go figure! The disc actually contains the entire album twice. Tracks 1-16 are the band's interpretation of the music, tracks 17-32 are the band with a complete symphony orchestra. I personally like the straight band version best, but the other is quite intersting as well, but sounds a bit more 'classical'. Of course Emerson, Lake and Palmer also recorded their own version of Mussorgsky composition.

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