No self-respecting fan wants a band to re-record their old songs. It smacks of desperation and a lack of ideas and is just a bad idea all round. Also, they invariably miss out a couple of your favourites and include one or two you could quite happily live without.
However, as I’m not familiar with Mekong Delta, a German metal band who have been going for 25 years, I’m going to put aside my scepticism and look upon this as an excellent chance to catch up on them.
These ten tracks are taken from the band’s first few albums released in the mid-80s to mid-90s period.
After my first run through the obvious thing to hit me is quite how I have never heard of them. They must have well and truly kept themselves under the radar.
Which is crazy because they are a really good band.
Having started in the 80s you’d say Mekong Delta are at heart a thrash band but there is plenty more things going on to keep your interest. The guitars are mostly furious chainsaws but on track four “The Healer”, for example, there is almost a Rush feel, which is unexpected and highly agreeable. Vocalist Martin LeMar is very Bruce Dickinson-like but there’s no shame in sounding like one of the most prominent metal vocalists ever. I read that LeMar only joined in 2008 so I have no idea how he compares with previous vocalists.
As well as the aforementioned reference points the other band I hear at various points throughout “Intersections” is Voivod, one of the most interesting, intriguing and enormously under-rated bands to come out of the thrash period. I hope Mekong Delta don’t mind that comparison.
Throughout the album there are great moments; moments where you go, what about that bit where…
“Shades of Doom” has a great solo section, “Sphere Eclipse” has a fantastic fast riff that refuses to lie down, and final track “Prophecy” is the most heavenly thrash-fest.
Ultimately, this album introduces me to a band I’d never heard of – which baffles me, but I guess I can’t listen to every metal band that has ever existed – and makes me want to check out all their stuff.
On those terms I’d say “Intersections” is mission accomplished.