MEKONG DELTA — In a Mirror Darkly

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MEKONG DELTA - In a Mirror Darkly cover
4.06 | 9 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2014

Tracklist


1. Introduction + Ouverture (7:18) (instrumental)
2. The Armageddon Machine (6:39)
3. The Sliver in Gods Eye (5:34)
4. Janus (6:43)
5. Inside the Outside of the Inside (6:02) (instrumental)
6. Hindsight Bias (5:26)
7. Mutant Messiah (7:14)

Total Time 44:56

Line-up/Musicians


- Ralph Hubert / bass
- Benedikt Zimniak / guitars
- Erik Adam H. / guitars
- Alex Landenburg / drums
- Martin LeMar / vocals

About this release

Released April 23rd, 2014 on Steamhammer.

Release dates:
April 23 - Scandinavia
April 25 - Germany
April 28 - rest of Europe
April 29 - the USA

Available as CD, double gatefold LP with colored vinyl plus a CD in a cardboard sleeve and as a digital download

Thanks to Bosh66 for the addition and UMUR, adg211288 for the updates

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MEKONG DELTA IN A MIRROR DARKLY reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"In a Mirror Darkly" is the 10th full-length studio album by German technical/progressive metal act Mekong Delta. The album was released through Steamhammer Records in April 2014. "In a Mirror Darkly" features the same lineup who recorded the band´s preceeding studio album "Intersections (2012)". It´s actually been a stable lineup since "Wanderer on the Edge of Time (2010)", which is not exactly business as usual for Mekong Delta.

The music style on "In a Mirror Darkly" is a technical type of progressive metal with strong thrash metal leanings. Mekong Delta are relatively distinct sounding but if I have to mention some references it would be artists like Psychotic Waltz and Fates Warning at their heaviest. Lead vocalist Martin LeMar (who at times has a pretty thick German accent) is more of a US power metal type singer though. Pretty powerful and raw sounding but also capable of singing more melodic clean vocals.

The material on the album are generally very well written and at times quite intriguing. Just from listening to the opening trio of tracks, the classical tinged acoustic nylon string guitar intro, the instrumental "Ouverture", and the heavy, thrashy, and aggressive "The Armageddon Machine", it is pretty clear that this is a varied and very cleverly composed release, but the whole album is full of great challenging tracks and high level musicianship. The sound production is also well sounding and suits the music perfectly.

So all in all another quality release by one of the veterans of the genre, who are still actively pushing boundaries and inspiring other aspiring artists in the process. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
Time Signature
The armageddon machine...

Genre: progressive metal

Mekong Delta are truly an underrated progressive metal band, who deserve much ore attention than they usually get. For one, their music is very original and seamlessly go back and forth between power metal, thrash metal, symphonic metal and progressive metal. Secondly, their music is at all times challenging to the listener. Thirdly, Mekong Delta is invariably associated with top notch musicianship regardless who's in the line-up at any given time.

On their latest album, "In A Mirror Darkly", they remind us of their excellence over the course of eight tight, yet totally mind-boggling, tracks (on some versions of the release, the two first tracks are conflated into one).

After a mellow, classically oriented introduction, the listener is treated to a challenging instrumental in the form of "Ouverture" and its relentless onslaught of notes, beats, and harmonies. In typical Mekong Delta fashion, the following track 'Armageddon Machine" offers a flurry of riffs and parts, all delivered in the same onslaught manner, with Martin LeMar's vocals floating on top of the instrumentation. 'The Silver in Gods Eye' is a slightly more amorphous affair, which also has a bit of a symphonic feel to it, albeit one that aims at generating atmosphere rather than grandiosity. While 'Janus', 'Mutant Messiah', and 'Hindsight Bias' enter into progressive thrash metal territory, 'Inside the Outside of the Inside' is a driving instrumental fulls of twists, turns and challenging quirks.

Needless to say, the performance is tight and the musicianship impeccable, and Martin LeMar's voice suits the seemingly chaotic, yet stringently ordered, instrumentation perfectly. The production is characterized by a compactness that suits the complex music very well, allowing you to hear every detail. It still has the sort of mechanical edge, which is typical of Mekong Delta (and which is a good thing with this kind of music). Still, it is much more listener-friendly than, say, the production of "Lurking Fear" (which is a magnificent album, too, by the way).

Fans of progressive metal in general, and progressive thrash metal in particular should definitely check out this album. With its relentless onslaught of twists and turns and quirks lurking around every corner, "In a Mirror Darkly" truly challenges the listener in a most welcome way.

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