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On disc: Mekong Delta

- Lurking Fear - Claudia Ehrhardt - 6 stars

Lurking Fear

Lurking Fear
(AFM Records - 2007)

When Mekong Delta started back in the mid-80's the band was a mystery. The band members used aliases, coz they all were involved in other bands had not allowed by their labels to join another band or project. With their self-titled debut they stepped into the spotlight in 1987, but with the follow-up The Music Of Eric Zann they became known in the metal world. Many line-up changes took place and so it was probably quite smart keep aliases and stay mysterious. Anyway, their progressive thrash with citations of classic compositions was outstanding. About ten years after their debut they released the instrumental album Pictures At An Exhibition and now another 10 years later they are back with Lurking Fear.
The prog thrashers open up with a progressive frenzy, but Society In Dissolution is a guitar-driven tune. The vocals of Leo Szpigiel seems strange at the beginning, but when you get more used to it, they fit well to the complex sound. Breaks and tempo changes, unusual pattern and guitar shred attacks are what Mekong Delta was known for - and that's what they still offer. But also the band always used citations of classic compositions - and with Pictures At An Exhibition they pushed genre limits - and so they show this here with tracks like Allegro Furioso and Moderato.
With Immortal Hate they have an almost catchy song, but the breaks and patters won't make it easy. At a slower part it gets catchy, but a moment later they work with distorted vocals which fits good to the song. Perhaps the best song to check out Mekong Delta 2007.... Another song I can recommend is Rules Of Corruption which shows then complex and almost catchy. Even if some parts sound a bit disharmonious... But that's part of the game.
Mekong Delta always been Ralph Hubert's band and so it is til today. This time he got joined by Leo Szpigiel (vocals), Peter Lake (guitars) and Uli Kusch (Ride The Sky, ex-Masterplan, ex-Helloween) on drums. Fans of Mekong Delta will be pleased with Lurking Fear, even if this isn't their masterpiece. But due to the extremely complex music many will find it exhausting to listen to and some might even give up after a few moments. The album - as all Mekong Delta albums - needs time to develop and it needs several spins to get an idea about it at all! Again an album which will offer surprises even after a 100 spins.

6 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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