It is rare to hear such a narrative-heavy album. Hints of Donovan, Phil Ochs, and Simon & Garfunkel can all be heard in Blood and Thunder’s first track, Mister D. The instrumentation on the track has a similar gravity to it. Strum takes an interesting tack during this album; rather than having the instrumental arrangements continually red-line a listener’s speakers, there is a careful consideration for how each part fits into the track.
The titular track, second in Blood and Thunder’s lineup, is perhaps the most mind-expanding track that I have heard this year. There is a heaviness present here that is furthered by all sides of Sturm’s output. Whether it be the vocals, the guitars, or the drums, each point furthers this brooding and intense track. When Sturm decides to pull the trigger, all is washed away in this heavy and hard-hitting effort. Baxter Galloway Meets Mr Handsome has a hint of The Beatles and Jethro Tull playing at the bottom of the cut; I feel that Sturm is able to include more of himself than merely aping styles that preceded him. Listeners need to listen to each of Blood and Thunder’s 10 tracks, as the tracks unite to inform listeners about the eclectic performer that is Matthias Sturm.
L’Heure is an interesting look into where Sturm may go for subsequent recordings. The atmosphere that is created during this track, coupled with Sturm’s singing in the French language, makes for a haunting effort that will undoubtedly stick with listeners long after they put up this CD. Sturm hits it out of the park with Blood and Thunder; there is only strength to be had when one experiences this release.
Top Tracks: Heart On A String, Baxter Galloway Meets Mr Handsome
Matthias Sturm – Blood and Thunder (CD) / 2012 Self / 10 Tracks / http://www.facebook.com/pages/MATTHIAS-STURM/182224888491205