Mekong Delta
Style: Progressive Metal
Release date: 20 April, 2012
Playing time: 52:01

A band with a name titled ‘Mekong Delta’ would make one wondering about the origin of the band, but let me ease your mind. It’s just “another” prog act from Germany and not from a riverbed in Vietnam as the band name refers to.

The mastermind behind ‘Mekong Delta’ is Ralf Hubert, who never left the group, and still performs his duty on the bass. Rest of the line-up has changed frequently over the years, which included our beloved Uli Kusch “the drum machine” from ‘Helloween’ and ‘Masterplan’, who is now replaced by his kinsman Alex Landenburg from ‘At Vance’. Front man on vocals is now Martin LeMar from “Tomorrow’s Eve”, and the shredders Erik Adam H. Grösch and Benedikt Zimniak are the virtuosos on guitars.

They have been quite productive and released nine full studio albums until this year, beginning with their debut release from 1987 entitled ‘Mekong Delta’ and the latest one from 2010 with the release of ‘Wanderer on the Edge of Time’. On top of that they have managed to squeeze in a couple of live albums and compilations as well, so you can’t claim them to be lacking any kind of musical motivation or?

The newest addition to the discography is called ‘Intersections’ and has 10 tracks included at a total running time of 52 minutes. It’s a compilation of old classic songs from the bands early years between 1987 and 1994. All songs are re-recorded versions with the current line-up that also released the full album in 2010. It’s still well executed thrash, progressive and neo-classical metal, with a lot of technical stuff added to the production. From the aggressive guitars riffs, odd rhythms and fast tight drumming to the versatile vocal performance by Martin, it’s all running like a well-oiled machine. Though majority of the songs are to monotone, and it will never hit you, when the next song in line is played.

If you decide to re-record old classic songs, make sure to actually do the tracks justice by upgrading them to anno 2012 with “fresh air” and innovations. This feels more like stealing money from the listeners, as most other “Best of…” compilations released during Christmas time and left under the Christmas tree.

I don’t get the point, why dig up ten old songs from their graves with a new line-up, that already released one full album in 2010 and proven their place on the prog metal scene. It was a highly acclaimed album, received amazing reviews and recommendations by the prog scene from all over the world. Why not just focus on a new full album release, and bring something new to the table, and let the old songs rest in peace.

For those “die-hard” fans out there worshipping this band, don’t think twice, and go pick up this compilation album. To the first time listeners, keep your money in the pocket, and save them until the next full album release or check out their conceptual masterpiece from 2010.

01. The Cure
02. Shades of Doom
03. Sphere Eclipse
04. The Healer
05. Innocent
06. Memories of Tomorrow
07. Heroes Grief
08. Heartbeat
09. Transgressor
10. Prophecy
Label: Steamhammer/SPV
Distribution: Playground Music (Scandinavia)
Artwork rating: 76/100
Reviewed by: Tommy Skøtt
Date: 8 May, 2012