Released: 2012, Steamhammer
Mekong Delta have joined the growing ranks of bands that have done a remake album. Generally when we at Metal-Rules review these kinds of CD’s it’s more of a public service announcement to let existing fans know of the album pending release. I tend to avoid a protracted, detailed analysis of these types of albums of re-recorded songs. They have mixed value. If you know the songs, great! You’ll enjoy (or not) hearing the new versions. If you don’t know the band, it’s essentially a ‘Best Of’ because there is no aural frame of reference to the original songs.
Technically, INTERSECTIONS is the bands 10th studio album and 14th release overall. The album cover art thematically matches many of the other album covers, showcasing the bands demonic, mascot-dude. There are 10 songs from the first six albums. Two cuts from MEKONG DELTA (1987), two songs from MUSIC OF ERIC ZAHN (1988), one tune from THE PRINCIPLE OF DOUBT (1989), one track from DANCES OF DEATH (1990), three songs from KALEIDOSCOPE (1992) one song from VISION FUGITIVES (1994). The song selection is obviously a good cross-section of the bands earlier ‘heavier’ era.
Martin LeMar is the bands fourth (or fifth, depending how you count) vocalist and it is good to hear how he handles the vocals of the two more well-known MD singers, Borgmann (first three albums), and Lee (next three albums). His performance is fine, staying faithful to the original performances but adding his own flair. The production is good and the band hopefully has settled into a groove as this is the first time in over 20 years the band has recorded two albums back-to-back with the same lineup. The re-recorded interpretations stay pretty loyal, maybe missing some of the loose, frantic thrash parts of the mid-80’s, but substituting tighter, more well-executed performances from the ‘new’ guys. Some of Hubert’s bass parts stand out a bit more, a bit punchier than 20+ years ago. There are a few subtle sonic differences that an earnest and keen-eared Mekong Delta fan will enjoy discovering.
I’m not sure how necessary this album was. Sure, it showcases the new guys and maybe reintroduces the bands first ‘heavier’ era to new fans, but it comes down to being a ‘Best Of’. Don’t get me wrong, I love INTERSECTIONS but as a guy who already owns every Mekong Delta album I can see look at it a bit more objectively. I do enjoy the bands last few efforts of classically infused, Prog Metal, but I like the earlier avant-garde thrash style better. Hopefully this album is a good omen for the next, hopefully heavier, full-length, studio album of all-new material from this fascinating under-rated band.