In A Mirror Darkly

SKU: 266032
Label:
SPV/Steamhammer
Category:
Thrash Metal
Add to wishlist 

"Of late, my faith and interest in thrash metal has been waning. No matter how many bands I check out, there seems to be no fresh ideas left in this genre, as all the bands just try to recapture the golden thrash days of the 80′s, without trying out anything new. As fun as the genre is, after a while it gets tedious and monotonous. Just when I thought I had heard it all, I saw news of progressive thrash metallers, Mekong Delta releasing a new album. Is this album the one to reignite my interest in thrash metal?

Mekong Delta’s eleventh studio album, titled ‘In a Mirror Darkly’ is definitely a solid release from these veterans. It has good portions of progressiveness, technicality and fair amounts of thrash. For the usual thrash metaller, this might not satisfy the expectations of fast, adrenaline pumping affair. This is more of a carefully constructed monument with elements of thrash metal peppered all over it.

Starting with an extended instumental intro that lasts a little more than 7 minutes, the guitar duo of Ralph Hubert on bass and Erik Adam H. Grösch on lead, showcase their technical prowess on their instruments. Progression is a constant stay in the Mekong Delta palette and the same formula is continued here as well. At times, the music shows a bit of free flowing jazz influence as well. Ralph Hubert has also done a solid  job in playing the classical guitar in the intro and his fellow axeman Erik does a good job in following him.

As mentioned earlier, there is a fair bit of thrash to this album as well, which is showcased well in the track ‘The Armageddon Machine’. The band does a good job in channeling a steady thrash tune, without compromising on the progression or technicality. Alex Landunberg is a very proficient man behind the drum kit as he adapts to every little twist and turn that comes with the progression and his drumming comprises mainly of large amounts of technical beats. Ralph’s bass work can be heard pretty clearly in the mix and he holds down a steady groove as Erik shows off with his technical tweaks.

The band is capable of retaining the listener’s attention, even with slower tracks like ‘The Sliver in God’s Eye’. Martin LeMar has a strong singing voice and he utilizes it well as he retains a melody to his singing, as opposed to the usual gang shouts that thrash metal seems to be filled with these days. The album on a whole has a good consistency, as they keep it mixed in terms of tempo and song structures.

Sure, this is not a very easily accessible album like your everyday run off the mill thrash album. It takes a little getting used to. But once you sink into it, you will see ‘In a Mirror Darkly’ for the near perfect masterpiece it is. It is engaging, intriguing and contains just enough elements to be called a thrash album (minus the monotony ofcourse)." - Axis of Metal

There are no review yet. Be the first!

Product Review

You must login or register to post reviews.
Laser Pic

customers also bought

SEE ALL
  • Tenth album from this prolific German band fronted by English vocalist Philip Griffiths who also is a member of Alias Eye.  PGM's brand of prog is squarely in the melodic vein with elements of neo and symphonic rock.  Flute is a nice addition to the mix and often evokes the feel of early Genesis.  The band is joined by Phil's father - the great Martin Griffiths who you should all know from Beggar's Opera (Time Machine!!!!).  He actually sings on 5 tunes and still has a great voice.
    $14.00
  • Fine german melodic power metal will appeal to fans of Angra, Vanden Plas. 2 CD set combines both Prediction and Golden Voices at a special price.
    $10.00
  • Possessed was the death metal band that featured Larry Lalonde before he went to play with Primus.
    $8.00
  • "In case you’re actually a dog and I don’t know about it, I’m going to begin this endeavor with an explanation of why Leprous is so important. Leprous are a progressive metal band; they are extremely good and their last two albums (Bilateral and Coal) are among this decade’s best prog/avant garde releases. While Bilateral lead us into strange, trumpet-infested Mars Volta territory, Coal took a completely different approach, pairing exceptionally strong melodies with endless drones and subtle drumming that provided counterpoint for Einar Solberg’s unparalleled voice. Coal also bequeathed to the world the best song ever written, “The Cloak.” So The Congregation has some pretty grand expectations around these parts. Thus, contrary to his finite but arbitrarily large wisdom, and as a direct result of his finite but arbitrarily small amounts of spare time, Angry Metal Guy has deigned that I inform you of what you don’t already know, unless you have lived within a few blocks of me in the past few months, which is that The Congregation is pretty damn good.“The Price” introduces a post-Coal Leprous with an even stronger sense of melody but retaining a minimalist core. While Einar’s choruses are impossible not to fruitlessly pantomime, the song retains the measured drama and reductionist sensibilities that made “The Valley” the nine-minute epic that it is. “The Third Law” and “Rewind” retain these traits but are the album’s weakest tracks by far. They’re not boring, but come off as a bit superfluous, especially in an album that’s over an hour long. Luckily, “The Flood” turns things around, preluding a phenomenal mid- and late-album stretch. The song’s extreme repetition of a two-note anti-swing rhythm builds a prog metal lullaby over which measured crooning and burst of exuberant motion play out a complex game of tic-tac-toe.Of course, just like Coal, the centerpiece of The Congregation is its shortest and strongest song. “Within My Fence” gets better and better as it goes along riffing on its syncopated opening bars. Einar’s vocal performance is wincredible here as well, and even more enjoyable because of how perfectly it slides into the synth-heavy, mechanical march of the song. Also of note is Baard Kolstad’s contribution to the album; his drumming, though not quite as distinctive as Tobias Ørnes Andersen’s on Coal, continues in the less-is-more vein that the last album established and is incredibly tight.After “Within My Fence,” the album cools off, but doesn’t perceptibly decrease in quality. It’s still infectious and emotional and cements Einar Solberg’s place as prog’s best vocalist – a well-deserved but easy win, given that Darroh Sudderth doesn’t seem to be active at the moment. My main issue with The Congregation is, unsurprisingly, its length. “Third Law,” “Rewind,” and “Triumphant” could have easily been cut from the album and it would be much better. The songs aren’t bad, but Leprous has a lot more to show off than these lukewarm affairs.While part of me is disappointed with Leprous‘s lack of editing here, the part of me that has listened to the album dozens of times has more sway over my decisions. The Congregation will give you just the scratch behind the ears you need after disappointing half-year of metal, and while it’s certainly not the equal of its predecessors, it wont tarnish the band’s growing legacy. Go fetch it." - Angry Metal Guy
    $13.00
  • Chicago prog-metal stalwarts Ion Vein are back but with a new game plan.  The music is now very much in the power metal vein and even has a groove to it.  New vocalist Scott Featherstone is a definite step in the right direction."ION VEIN's self-titled new album shows the band re-tooled, re-focused and re-energized in a way that captures the essence of their song-oriented and technically-skilled metal intensity. Also, a top notch production drives these pounding, meaty canvases to cut into the very core of your soul, while breathing new life into today's world of music. For fans of Metallica, Dio, Iced Earth and more!""The long awaited follow up to 2003's "Reigning Memories" was once again produced, recorded, and mixed by Neil Kernon (Judas Priest, Nevermore, Redemption) and is the first full length album with vocalist, Scott Featherstone, whom the band first debuted on the IV v1.0 and IV v2.0 three song digital EPs released in September 2011 and December 2012 respectively. Additionally, the six songs from those EPs have been re-mixed/re-mastered for inclusion on the full album."
    $10.00
  • "This is all I have to write and it would be a good review but I have to play the unbiased party. Christian Muenzner, he’s one of the guitarists for OBSCURA and previously worked in NECROPHAGIST having the album, “Epitaph“, under his belt and also has his solo project going for him and several other projects. Not only did he deliver the masterpiece, “Omnivium” in 2011 but also within a month’s time after this magnum opus his solo project’s debut “Timewarp” was released. In 2012 we see the release of SPAWN OF POSSESSION’s “Incurso” and now we have PARADOX’s “Tales Of The Weird”. I really hope he keeps up this stride and as far as the material here goes there’s nothing to worry about him slowing down anytime soon.The title track, “Tales Of The Weird” begins with a stormy night, rain pouring and etching the earth with acoustics pushing the music forward. A wolf howls into the eternal night, calmly but rushingly surging that energy through your spine. The acoustics control your movements, confined into the black night turning towards the eminent dawn. Once the rest of the instruments start to engage you are hypnotized, senselessly trying to bring you back from that beautiful shock you didn’t know you were in. When it comes to the multitude of solos the first one sounds like time shifted into the Egyptian realm trying to resurrect a pharaoh from his decrepit sarcophagus. Well done Muenzner and not only him but the rest of the crew. This is easily one of the best songs on the album.I don’t know what equipment Muenzner used on the album but he sure has a different unique tone. It’s apparent on “Brutalized”. On the first solo you get this new tone and it’s just warming and comfortable to hear. A melodic solo and when it reaches a higher pitch it’s what I’d like to compare as a bee humming a song during the brightest summer. I didn’t hear it upon my first voyage through this album. In fact it took me three times to really notice it. On the second solo it’s like “Screw it! I’m Christian Muenzner and I want to play a full on progressive/technical death metal solo.” It’s called “Brutalized” for a reason and no I don’t think he’s conceited as I make him to be so just follow along and don’t pay too much mind to it. The outro is folk influenced as was “Tales Of The Weird” after the howling of the wolf. Spellbinding and it leads you into the mood of the next song. It’s like reading an ancient book and following along with the unorthodox adventures.I could be wrong but “Fragile Alliance” seemed to be slightly influenced by CHILDREN OF BODOM. Listen to “Cry of the Nihilist”, the riff starting at (1:40). Let that song sink in and come back to this one. It’s about less than a second but it has the same vibe, at least to me. It repeats itself three times on different points of the song. On certain passages Charly Steinhauer sounded like James Hetfield back when his voice had a more melodic and innocent quality to it. Also there’s clapping towards the end or maybe it’s something else but I agree that this album deserves an applause. “Escalation” starts off real thrashy also the riffs prior to the solo have a classical-esque composition quality to them and as a classical music fan I really enjoy combos of the sort. Muhammed Suicmez is quite guilty of this as well, check out the song, “Intestinal Incubation” full of that great majesty of the 18th century. “Slashdead” gets the award for strangest song off the album but hey this is “Tales Of The Weird” so it fits nicely. It’s a straightforward thrash song but it articulates a bit on tangents. Towards the ending it brings back good memories of Pokemon when it says “Slash!”, Sandslash anyone?“Zeitgeist”is personally my favorite song off the album. I actually know the word since it was discussed in my psychology class. If the translation is correct it means “spirit of the times.” It’s the perfect track in describing the obscurity and gentleness of the album. First “Tales Of The Weird” with its trip back to the times of pharaohs and during a period where the sun was deemed as a god and among several other deities. Then “Escalation” with its classical fluidity and now “Zeitgeist”. This song’s where my inception of the idea of the humming bees came from, “Brutalized” further supports the point. The concept of spirit of the times fits great with my perception of the bees which leads to that birds and the bees speech to explain reproduction. It is the beginning of life and exploration. It creates people and with people it creates these atmospheres during a certain period in time, thus spirit of the times or “Zeitgeist”. On “The Downward Spiral” it seemed to be influenced by DEATH’s “The Flesh and the Power It Holds” (around 3:03) on two different points during “The Downward Spiral“. The bass created the illusion that I was going in a spiral. A chaotic stream of an evolving abstract staircase that disappeared within a few moments if one isn’t quick enough to get on the ride.Overall, this is a very impressive album and trust me when I say the more you listen to it the better it gets. There’s a chance you won’t think much of it the first time around as you might be hypnotized by Muenzner’s guitar work that initially the rest seems inferior to it. Alas don’t fear, digest the album well, its replay value is really high. V. Santura did an amazing job on mixing and mastering, definitely giving PARADOX an evolutionary album. Bass had a tendency to be technical in sneaky places but Olly Keller had his own style. The synergy between the bass and guitars reminded me so much of OBSCURA. Only problem I seemed to have is the drums were at times oblivious in the mix. I actually heard the bass more than the drums. I’m sure though with a few more runs with this album I’ll be able to hear it more and better comprehend Daniel Buld’s contributions." - Metal Temple
    $17.00
  • "Don’t let the Appearance Of Nothing distract you from hearing A New Beginning, because, despite such deception, there’s a lot to be enjoyed from one of Switzerland’s few progressive metal bands. I’ve decided to adopt a policy of responding to stupid band names with stupid puns, and I won’t stop until they do. Appearance Of Nothing plays straightforward melodic progressive metal that’s heavy on the melodic. The band has been around for about ten years, and this is their third album. For fans of their first two albums, as well as fans of the more accessible forms of progressive metal, this is a very strong release.Expect synth and guitar heavy music. Every song is carried by crunchy rhythm guitars, and I’m happy to report that the recording and production is spot on to allow them to really shine. As far as distinct strengths of the album: look no further the choruses. Every single one, particularly on the daunting 14 minute title track, is remarkably catchy. This memorability, along with the consistently driving pace of the album, makes it a very easy and enjoyable listen. The lead vocal performance is also pretty great, and the songwriting even manages to accommodate interspersed harsh vocals. Usually throwing harsh vocals into melodic prog is a quick turn-off for me, but I applaud Appearance Of Nothing for pulling it off.Where drawbacks are concerned, I can’t point to any specific “problems”, but there are a few minor disappointments. For a pretty heavy synth presence, strong vocals, and ample songwriting diversity, I was disappointed with the overall atmosphere of the album. While the songs were certainly strong, they lacked a unique identity. This isn’t so much a drawback as it is lost potential for a band that’s got everything else they need to be really, really good.Certainly check out the single “Chains Of History”, as well as the title track. As common to great progressive music, it’s often that the longest song ought to be the best, and that’s certainly true here with the title track. I again applaud solid work from the studio to draw out a powerful performance so that it actually sounds powerful. Where technically proficient progressive metal meets great melodies and an excellent performance, you can’t go wrong." - Black Wind Metal
    $15.00
  • "Nefertiti, the fourth album by Miles Davis' second classic quintet, continues the forward motion of Sorcerer, as the group settles into a low-key, exploratory groove, offering music with recognizable themes -- but themes that were deliberately dissonant, slightly unsettling even as they burrowed their way into the consciousness. In a sense, this is mood music, since, like on much of Sorcerer, the individual parts mesh in unpredictable ways, creating evocative, floating soundscapes. This music anticipates the free-fall, impressionistic work of In a Silent Way, yet it remains rooted in hard bop, particularly when the tempo is a bit sprightly, as on "Hand Jive." Yet even when the instrumentalists and soloists are placed in the foreground -- such as Miles' extended opening solo on "Madness" or Hancock's long solo toward the end of the piece -- this never feels like showcases for virtuosity, the way some showboating hard bop can, though each player shines. What's impressive, like on all of this quintet's sessions, is the interplay, how the musicians follow an unpredictable path as a unit, turning in music that is always searching, always provocative, and never boring. Perhaps Nefertiti's charms are a little more subtle than those of its predecessors, but that makes it intriguing. Besides, this album so clearly points the way to fusion, while remaining acoustic, that it may force listeners on either side of the fence into another direction." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • Expanded reissue of the classic 1994 release arrives as a 2cd set with a bonus DVD. The original album is remastered. The bonus CD features a gig from Dusseldorf, Germany on 2/11/95 plus you get a load of demos and unreleased material. The bonus DVD is the Inside Out material performed at various gigs from 1993 all the way up to 2010 with the bulk of it from around the 1994 period.
    $16.00
  • "Poverty, disease, environmental destruction, deep-rooted corruption – there’s a lot going on in the world to freak out about. 65daysofstatic are out to prove that that even what seems hopeless can be uplifting it catches the light the right way. Paul Wolinski, Joe Shrewsbury, Rob Jones and Simon Wright have been a band just long enough to see the tragic complexity of the new millennium unfold in real time. And what better way to keep tabs on the misfortunes and malaises of our world than to provide soundtracks for them?As you might have surmised without listening, 65daysofstatic’s debut, The Fall of Math, was an album of guitar-driven post-rock. Each successive release has gradually nudged the Sheffield quartet closer to electronica, up to and including 2010’s We Were Exploding Anyway and 2011’s alternate soundtrack to the 1972 sci-fi film, Silent Running. Wild Light is their sixth studio release, and it’s most certainly their most computerized. Taking their body of work as one extensive artistic statement, it is also quite inarguably the zenith of their career.Released in mid-September in the UK and due stateside at the end of the month, Wild Light a towering achievement of vision, ambition and imagination. These lumbering sonic skyscrapers readily substitute the ethereal for the palpable, the fear-inducing for the exalting, seamlessly collating the drivers behind 65daysofstatic’s development as a band. It has a tendency to remind you of other post-rock acts without actually sounding all that much like them. There’s the Promethean grandeur of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the physicality of Battles, and the earthbound patience of Explosions in the Sky or Lanterna.The imagery of Wild Light is nightmarish and audacious, but the thickly mantled compositions are often beautiful, surging towards some unobtainably lofty plane. Only a handful of tracks start out on modest terms. Listening to “Taipei” is like rewinding the tape on glowing embers and watching as they renew themselves into a massive bonfire; piano-focused “The Undertow” unfolds as an interlude, sequenced between two of Wild Light’s more intense offerings, “Prisms” and “Black Spots”.The particulars of what 65daysofstatic try to achieve with their sound are so abundantly realized as to be self-evident. They address their hefty subject matter without uttering a single word, electing instead to express themselves through physical movement. Wild Light is a fully intact listening experience, peppered with sonic leitmotifs that fold back onto themselves once the final chords are drowned out by silence.Along with cyclicality and recursion, 65daysofstatic seem fascinated with the (rather complimentary) concept of time. One of the more plausible theories for how our universe will die is that all of the energy that can be expended will be expended; we will reach maximum entropy and simply fade, which is a bit of a bummer. With its title in mind, the tireless grind of intro “Heat Death Infinity Splitter” illuminates the inevitability of our collective fate. The mechanistic synth lurches and doomed guitar bends that recall Swans track “Lunacy”, and it’s equally as dread-inducing.But if this all sounds a little too morbid, its tempered by the obvious joy and care with which 65daysofstatic approach their art. There are nods to the their past, with tracks like “Blackspots” recalling some of the aggression of their earliest releases. Elsewhere, they’re as mild as they’ve ever been. Sendoff “Safe Passage” features nearly no percussion, instead opting for iridescent washes of noise. “Prisms” begins as an experiment in atonality, smash cutting from black hole drone to ecstatic synth bombast before a pair of plush tremolo guitars take control; one last rave tune before end times.Everything reaches a breathless climax on “Unmake the Wild Light”. Its somber segments topple into one another, each a fluent extension of what came before it to create a magnificent collage of roving bass lines, Rorschach drum patterns and blurry power chords. Although to call it a climax is to downplay the impact found elsewhere. Every moment here is inspired. For anyone who can appreciate emotional breadth that music is capable of conveying, make Wild Light a part of your life. It may be the best instrumental album you hear this year." - Pretty Much Amazing
    $15.00
  • For some reason this live set originally released as a double album in 1975 only came out in Japan. It features the Headhunters lineup and they blow through incendiary version of material from Thrust, Maiden Voyage, Man-Child, and Headhunters. Expensive but worth it.
    $34.00
  • Krush is the sixth album from the organ/bass/drums power trio of John Novello, Billy Sheehan, and Dennis Chambers.  Oddly it finds them now signed to Prosthethic Records, a metal label that is now making a push into the fusion and prog genres.John Novello has really expanded his array of keyboards.  He's not solely focusing on Hammond organ. One of the tunes, "Stormy Sunday", finds him blasting away on synths and organ and the music takes on and ELP dimension.  So while the album still has fusion undercurrents it very much has its foundation set in rock stylings.  Think more in terms of Keith Emerson and Jon Lord as opposed to Joey DeFrancesco.  Nothing needs to be said about Sheehan and Chambers - they are jaw dropping colossal as usual.  Krush lives up to its name.  Highly recommended.
    $13.00
  • Thi is the complete recording of Roberto Cacciapaglia's overlooked but rather ambitious opera recorded in 1986.
    $18.00