Explore the genesis of Mekong Delta's iconic "Music of Erich Zann" 12" Vinyl LP. Emerging from the 1980s German Speed/Thrash metal scene, the band, led by producer and bassist Ralph Hubert (Björn Eklund), drew inspiration from H.P. Lovecraft's tale. The album's complex compositions and thematic depth, showcased on the expansive canvas of vinyl, solidify its status as a genre-defying masterpiece with a lasting influence.


High Resolution Photo #1 MEKONG DELTA Music Erich Zann

Album Description:

In the world of German Speed/Thrash metal, Mekong Delta stands as a formidable presence, pushing the boundaries of the genre with their intricate compositions and unyielding energy. Among their notable works, the third album, "Music of Erich Zann," remains a masterpiece that captivates metal enthusiasts with its compelling fusion of musical prowess and literary inspiration.

The Band's Evolution:

Mekong Delta, known for their technical prowess and avant-garde approach, embarked on a unique musical journey with the creation of "Music of Erich Zann." Formed in the mid-1980s, the band comprised talented musicians including Ralph Hubert, the bassist operating under the alias Björn Eklund, who would also assume the role of producer for this particular album.

Conceptual Roots:

The album draws its inspiration from the short story "The Music of Erich Zann" by renowned American writer H.P. Lovecraft. This literary connection sets the stage for a sonic exploration into the mysterious and the arcane, as Mekong Delta translates Lovecraft's narrative into a musical odyssey.

Studio Alchemy:

Ralph Hubert's dual role as both bassist and producer played a pivotal role in shaping the album's sound. Recorded in the late 1980s, the production process involved a meticulous attention to detail, with Hubert sculpting the compositions to achieve the desired atmospheric and technical qualities. The result was a symphony of chaos and precision, mirroring the band's penchant for pushing the boundaries of conventional metal.

Vinyl LP Format:

The decision to release "Music of Erich Zann" as a 12" vinyl LP reflects not only the era's prevailing format but also a commitment to delivering a tactile and immersive listening experience. The larger canvas of vinyl allowed for the nuances of Mekong Delta's complex arrangements to unfold in a way that CD or cassette formats might not have captured.

Album Art and Lyrics Sleeve:

Beyond the auditory realm, the album's visual elements played a crucial role in enhancing the overall experience. The LP's cover art and accompanying lyrics sleeve, often overlooked in the digital age, served as portals into the thematic depths explored by Mekong Delta. The visual presentation complemented the music, creating a cohesive narrative that transcended the limitations of the purely sonic.

Music Genre: Power Speed Thrash Metal, Progressive Metal
Album  Production information:

The album: "MEKONG DELTA - The Music of Erich Zann" was produced by: Ralph Hubert

Sound engineer: Jörg Stegert


Ralph "Ralf" Hubert

In the world of heavy metal history, certain individuals emerge as true architects of the genre's sonic landscape. One such luminary is Ralph "Ralf" Hubert, a versatile talent whose impact on heavy metal, both as a producer and a musician, remains indelible. Known for his pivotal role in shaping the Teutonic Metal sound of the 1980s, Hubert's multifaceted career spans across production, sound engineering, bass playing, and co-founding a record label.


Ralph Hubert's journey into the realm of heavy metal began as a producer, sound engineer, and sound mixer. His adept skills were employed in crafting the albums of numerous iconic bands, contributing to the vibrant tapestry of the metal scene during the genre's golden era. Bands such as Brainfever, Steeler, Fact , Warlock , and Living Death , among others, bear the imprint of Hubert's production prowess. His influence extended to an extensive roster, including Atlain , Stormwind , Darxon, Hunter, Lions Breed, Metal Sword, Overdose, Breaker, Mad Butcher, Carrie , Invader, Holy Moses , Siren, Target, Kreator, and Sacred Chao.

It was during this era that Hubert's touch became synonymous with the Teutonic Metal sound, a subgenre characterized by its raw intensity, powerful riffing, and uncompromising attitude. As a producer and sound engineer, Hubert played a pivotal role in shaping the sonic identity of the 1980s metal scene, leaving an indelible mark that resonates to this day.

Beyond his contributions behind the mixing console, Ralph Hubert also showcased his musical prowess as a bass player. Under the alias "Björn Eklund," he held down the low end with the influential band "Mekong Delta" from 1985 onwards. This collaboration allowed him to express his musicality and contribute to the band's unique sound. His bass-playing finesse further extended to other projects, including Schwarzarbeit and X-Mas Project, showcasing his versatility as a musician.

Not content with merely influencing the musical landscape, Ralph Hubert ventured into the realm of entrepreneurship. In 1986, he co-founded "Aaarrg Records," a label that played a significant role in amplifying the voices of emerging metal acts. This endeavor solidified Hubert's status as not just a contributor to the metal scene but also as a catalyst for its growth and evolution.

Record Label: AAARRG 11
Packaging: This album "MEKONG DELTA - The Music of Erich Zann" includes the original custom inner sleeve with album details, complete lyrics of all songs by "Mekong Delta"
Record Format: 12" LP Vinyl Stereo Gramophone Record
Total Album (Cover+Record) weight: 210 gram  
Year & Country  1988 Made in Germany
Band Members and Musicians on: MEKONG DELTA - The Music of Erich Zann
    Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • Björn Eklund (real name: Ralph Hubert) - bass
  • Rolf Stein (real name Frank Fricke) - guitar
  • Vincent St. Johns (real name Frank Fricke) - guitar
  • Gordon Perkins (real name: Jörg Michael) - drums
  • Keil (real name Wolfgang Borgmann) - vocals
Track Listing of: "MEKONG DELTA - The Music of Erich Zann"

The Songs/tracks on "MEKONG DELTA - The Music of Erich Zann" are

  1. Age of Agony (3:12)
  2. True Lies (5:34)
  3. Confession of Madness (3:54)
  4. Hatered (3:23)
  5. Interludium (Begging for Mercy) (3:10)
  6. Prophecy (3:53)
  7. Memories of Tomorrow (4:17)
  8. I, King, Will Come (5:08)
  9. The Final Deluge (2:58)
  10. Epilogue (1:46)
Album cover photos of : MEKONG DELTA - The Music of Erich Zann

High Resolution Photo #1 MEKONG DELTA Music Erich Zann

High Resolution Photo #2 MEKONG DELTA Music Erich Zann  

Photo of "MEKONG DELTA - The Music of Erich Zann" 12" LP Record

High Resolution Photo #3 MEKONG DELTA Music Erich Zann

High Resolution Photo #4 MEKONG DELTA Music Erich Zann  

 Note: The images on this page are photos of the actual album. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash. Images can be zoomed in/out ( eg pinch with your fingers on a tablet or smartphone ).

From the Mekong Delta: A Decade of Technical and Progressive Thrash Metal Mastery in the 1980s

Band Information:

  Mekong Delta is a progressive thrash metal band from Germany that formed in 1985. The band's name comes from the Mekong Delta region in Vietnam, which was the site of many battles during the Vietnam War. Mekong Delta's music is known for its technical complexity, intricate arrangements, and use of classical music elements.

The band's founding members were Rolf Stein, a guitarist who had previously played in a number of local bands, and Jörg Michael, a drummer who had played in the German metal band Grave Digger. The two musicians met through a mutual friend and decided to form a new band together. They were soon joined by bassist Peter Sjöberg and keyboardist Reiner Kelch, and the lineup was completed with the addition of vocalist Wolfgang Borgmann.

Mekong Delta's debut album, "Mekong Delta," was released in 1987. The album was well-received by critics and fans, and it established the band's reputation as a technical and musical powerhouse. The band's second album, "The Music of Erich Zann," was released in 1988, and it featured even more complex and ambitious arrangements.

Over the years, Mekong Delta has undergone a number of lineup changes, with Stein and Kelch being the only constant members. The band has released a total of 14 studio albums, as well as several live albums and compilations. Some of their most notable albums include "Dances of Death (and Other Walking Shadows)" (1990), "Visions Fugitives" (1994), and "In a Mirror Darkly" (2014).

Mekong Delta's music is characterized by its use of classical music elements, such as symphonic arrangements and complex time signatures. The band's compositions are often quite long, with multiple sections and intricate instrumental interplay. The band's lyrics are often philosophical or science-fiction inspired, and they deal with topics such as time, perception, and the human condition.

Despite their technical virtuosity and innovative approach, Mekong Delta has never achieved the same level of commercial success as some of their peers in the metal world. However, they have maintained a dedicated fan base over the years, and their influence can be heard in the work of other progressive metal bands.

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Thumbnail Of  MEKONG DELTA - S/T Self-Titled album front cover

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Mekong Delta's self-titled 1987 debut, a German progressive thrash metal masterpiece, fused technical prowess with classical influences, challenging metal norms. Created by Ralph Hubert, Uwe Baltrusch, Peter Haas, and Wolfgang Borgmann, the album's intricate compositions and exotic themes set it apart. With avant-garde flair and precise musicianship, Mekong Delta's innovative sound marked a significant milestone in the evolution of thrash metal, leaving an enduring impact on the genre.

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MEKONG DELTA - Music of Erich Zann 12" LP
Thumbnail Of  MEKONG DELTA - Music of Erich Zann album front cover

 AAARRG 11 , 1988 , Germany

Explore the genesis of Mekong Delta's iconic "Music of Erich Zann" 12" Vinyl LP. Emerging from the 1980s German Speed/Thrash metal scene, the band, led by producer and bassist Ralph Hubert (Björn Eklund), drew inspiration from H.P. Lovecraft's tale. The album's complex compositions and thematic depth, showcased on the expansive canvas of vinyl, solidify its status as a genre-defying masterpiece with a lasting influence.

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Mekong Delta's 1989 "Toccata" 12" vinyl maxi-single, produced by Ralph Hubert, marked a pivotal moment in German Thrash metal. Released on White Label AAARRG 17, it showcased the band's fusion of classical elements with technical precision. The strategic choice of the vinyl format and collaboration with a renowned producer underscored the band's commitment to pushing musical boundaries, solidifying its place in the dynamic metal landscape of the late 1980s.

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"Dances Of Death" (1990), a seminal album by German Speed/Thrash Metal band Mekong Delta, remains a collector's treasure with its 12" vinyl EP and merchandising postcard. The creation history unveils a groundbreaking approach to thrash metal, blending technical prowess with thematic depth. The album's visual and lyrical elements, coupled with its innovative format, solidify its status as a trailblazer in the metal genre, leaving an indelible mark on the evolution of thrash.

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