In A Mirror Darkly
"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