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Mekong delta (band)

The meaning of «mekong delta (band)»

Mekong Delta is a German thrash metal band, formed in 1985.

The band was founded by a group of German metal musicians with the goal to 'musically outshine' all then-current, independent releases. The line-up and the history of the group was to be "the best kept secret in the world". The project participants decided to keep everything about the band a secret, assuming German musicians would not be accepted internationally. The initial name "Zardoz" was rejected, followed by the acceptance of the name "Mekong Delta", named after a riverbed in Vietnam. The entire project was started by Ralf Hubert, sound-engineer for Warlock, Steeler and Living Death, and owner of the record label Aaarrg Music.

The first demos were recorded with the following line-up:

Jochen Schroeder did not fit in and was soon replaced by Living Death guitarists Reiner Kelch and Frank Fricke. When Wagner later left the project, Hubert overtook the bass guitar duties. Since the band was deliberately shrouded in mystery, all participants assumed artist names and the line-up of the debut album looked like this:

The debut album Mekong Delta was released in 1987, produced by Ralf Hubert. Due to touring duties with his current band, Jörg Michael was replaced by Uli Kusch (using the name Patrick Duval) for the shortly thereafter following picture disc EP The Gnome.

Mekong Delta returned to the studio around new year 1987–1988, and recorded the concept album The Music of Erich Zann, with the same line-up, again produced by Hubert. Due to, or because of, the chosen obfuscated identities the band's big breakthrough did not happen. The album's title was taken from the story of the same name, The Music of Erich Zann by horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. Ralf Hubert has always been a big fan of Lovecraft's writings.[1]

Reiner Kelch was replaced by Uwe Baltrusch, who used the name Mark Kaye, and at the end of 1988 Mekong Delta released the 12-inch EP Toccata, and in the spring of 1989 The Principle of Doubt was released. Fricke then left the band to focus on other musical styles, and the group decided not to replace him, as Baltrusch was able to play all guitar parts himself.

During this period the band composed "Rondo for Rockgroup", ultimately released as the suite "Dances of Death". While recording the album, Wolfgang Borgmann left the band because he could not identify himself with the material of this album. He was replaced by the American Doug Lee, former singer of the band Siren. This line-up finished recording the album Dances of Death (and Other Walking Shadows). The album included an arrangement of Modest Mussorgsky's tone poem Night on Bald Mountain. After recording this album, Jörg Michael left the band and was replaced by Swiss drummer Peter Haas.

Around this time, the self-imposed mystery surrounding the project was fading and in October 1991 they started touring parts of Europe, including the Netherlands and Germany. The CD Live at an Exhibition was recorded on the 13 October 1991 in Germany. Guitarist Georg Syrmbos was hired to be able to perform the songs live.

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