Reviews

MEKONG DELTA – In A Mirror Darkly

Steamhammer/SPV 2014

A good thirty years since their inception, and German Prog Thrashers Mekong Delta continue to be an unknown entity for quite a few Metalheads out there – a state of affairs that surprises and annoys me in equal terms.

While fans like myself are left annoyed by this inconceivable injustice, mastermind and founding member Ralph Hubert continues undeterred to bridge the gap between the two styles of music he loves best: classical and Metal, and in the process has created another album of outstanding vision and immense quality, entitled “In A Mirror Darkly” – the band’s tenth to date.

This historic band has been the breeding ground of many outstanding musicians over the years, however I am sure that many fans will agree with me in saying that it’s since 2008, the year that saw Martin LeMar (vocals), Erik Adam H.Grosch (guitars) and Benedikt Zimniak (guitars) together, that the quintet began to truly flourish.

Consisting of seven compositions which combine top class melodies with highly intricate rhythmical passages, “In A Mirror Darkly” is testament not only to the individual skills of each of the band’s members involved, but also of the great chemistry and collective spirit which characterises Mekong Delta era 2014.

Opening track “Introduction + Ouverture” combines acoustic guitar harmonies with highly intricate Metal riffs and prepares the ground perfectly for the musical onslaught that’s to take place in the remaining thirty seven minutes of the album.

Martin LeMar leads the proceedings almost instantaneously in “The Armageddon Machine” – a composition filled with intelligent lead guitar melodies, which shows how gelled the band’s rhythm section of Hubert/Landenburg really is.

The atmospheric follow up “The Silver In Gods Eye” slows the album’s pace significantly, leaving enough space for LeMar to prove his musical pedigree, while “Janus” offers a truly bombastic riff and harmonic/melodic guitar passages of sheer theatrical value, reminiscent of those employed by the mighty Savatage during their prime.

The six minute instrumental “Inside The Outside Of The Inside” catches the band’s rhythm section at their absolute best, while the Jazz infused Thrash monster “Hindsight Bias” ought to inspire scores of young musicians to practice harder their respective instruments.

How does one conclude an album as impressive as this one? With another seven minutes of flamboyant solos, technically demanding passages and dynamic vocals – the very formula responsible behind the creation of the glorious “Mutant Messiah”.

Thirty years ago bands like Mekong Delta did not stand any chance of making their music available to the masses as the music industry was controlled by a handful of enterprising individuals whose wallets were the driving force behind all decisions.

Now that the power is finally in the hands of music fans rather than PR departments of multinational companies, now it is finally time to address the previously mentioned injustice and embrace a band whose quality and vision are second to none.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mekong Delta – a band which just happened to release one of the best albums so far!  *****



John Stefanis


   

Ultimate Holocaust - Blackmail The Nation

Earthquake Terror Noise
Release: 27 July 2015

Ultimate Holocaust is an Italian Metal Band born in the October 2010, formed by Bianchi (vocals & bass), Tambo (guitars), Floyd (drums).

In the beginning the band offered a tribute to a teutonic legend Sodom. “Blackmail The Nation” is band’ s debut and  is based on a secret agent's story where the special agent U.L.T.I.M.A.T.E. fight the mad terrorist agent H.O.L.O.C.A.U.S.T. Known as Lord of replication (quite genius story).

Reading the above lines is easily to understand that the band is playing Thrash Metal drawing its main influences, mainly from Sodom, and then such German acts like Kreator, Deathrow and Exumer. “Blackmail The Nation” is not a bad album but it’s not also the album will make thrash fans go mad. With a standard tempo/rhythm from the first song to the last one Ultimate Holocaust delivers us a typical thrash album with no exceptional moments and limited fantasy. Although each song is quite powerful and push your head turn banging, I think synthetic is a skin deep album, makes me feel a bit boring after a while.

Not to be misunderstood it’s not a trash album not at all, but it’s not as good as competition requires, in an age with too many options for the listener!

I deeply believe that they have the abilities, as musically are really good musicians, to create some more complicated structures and offer us a more exciting sophomore!

Gerry "The Exumer"


   

SIGH - GRAVEWARD

CANDLELIGHT RECORDS 2015

Release: 13-04-2015
Origin:      Japan
Length:    49:35

Sigh”!!! After almost 50 minutes of dwelling over the graveward, first thing needed is to take a deep breath. After so many exciting and haunting musical experiences I need to come back to life. Like in reality, sometimes life can be (too) overwhelming by all the experiences that are happening at the same time. This counts also for Sigh latest output.

25 Years of musical experience and a wide ranged development from black metal towards avant-garde progressive metal with rock and power influences have led to a grandiose symphony of metal. So many different styles are all together gathered and perfectly combined in an asphyxiating combination, that needs many fresh air to fully understand and realise what all is going on.

At first “worth noticing” are the outstanding vocals of Mirai Kawashima and Dr. Mikannibal. Their vocabulary ranges from black metal to crushing power metal that energises this musical style towards something really special. Combined with their constantly developing process of taking their early black metal days towards a very progressive, avant-garde mixed metal style; you’ll find Arcturus, Solefald and Dodheimsgard, mixed with Nevermore and Blind Guardian and ended up with Dream Theater. All this can give you just a small idea of where the graveward might take you.

It will take many burials to withstand and understand all these musical intentions and different directions; and as mentioned before for some of you it might be (a) way too much!

A grandiose symphony of metal that leaves you breathless… but also asphyxiating cause it’s overwhelming!



BLOODCORPSE


https://www.facebook.com/pages/SIGH-official-page/227550909275

http://sigh.thebase.in/


   

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