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Mekong Delta: Intersections

Prog metallers’ back catalogue gets a good thrashing.

The prog metal stalwarts’ last studio effort Wanderer On The Edge Of Time was magnificently intricate and deep, so the decision to exploit the current line-up’s ferocious chemistry by re-recording old classics makes perfect sense. There was nothing much wrong with the original versions, but thanks to a powerful production and dextrous performances, Intersections bats away any notions of this being a redundant exercise.

The Germans’ roots in thrash metal’s cerebral wing are writ large across the clattering fury of The Cure and Shades Of Doom, but it’s in the more exploratory and dramatic Sphere Eclipse, The Healer and Heartbeat that their progressive credentials are brought into sharp focus.

Surrounded by virtuosos, vocalist Martin Lemar could easily be rendered incidental but his authoritative wailing ensures that, in contrast to many of their peers, Mekong Delta retain a sense of stirring physicality and organic heft.

What comes across most powerfully is that these songs sound more vital and relevant than ever before. This is the sound of a legendary, kick-arse metal band thrilled by their own artistry.