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CD REVIEW: Matthias Sturm - Blood and Thunder
By Cyrus Rhodes - 03/07/2012 - 05:32 PM EST

Artist: Matthias Sturm
Album: Blood and Thunder
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Alternative Pop/Rock
Sounds Like: Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd, Beatles, Peter Gabriel
Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 7/10
Best Songs: Blood and Thunder, Home Sick, Peace on Earth
Weakness: Lack of Syncopation, Sloppy Timing
CD Review:

East German born, French based Singer/Songwriter Matthias Sturm just releases his long awaited debut CD entitled Blood and Thunder” in 2011. Sturn is not stranger to the recording Industry having been nominated for the 10th Independent Music Awards (IMAs) in the Short Form Music Video for the title track Blood and Thunder. These latest recording were recorded in Los Angeles at Blind Melon’s former studio with producer David Hillis, best known for his work with Pearl Jam, Afghan Wigs and James Blunt behind the glass.

The CD gently takes to flight with soothing intro piece “Mister D”. This song methodically serves up delicate acoustic guitar ambiance against driving rock rhythms, impressive harmonies and vocal flair from Sturm. Track 2 “Blood and Thunder” shifts gears a bit with slow flowing rock rhythm against impressive guitar accents, vocal harmonies and compelling vocal melody from Sturm. Track 3 “What a Day” serves up a hooky methodical groove complete with clever lyrical content, impressive musical build that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the EP slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of classic Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, The Doors, Sparklehorse and even The Beatles. This CD makes a pretty solid first impression. Right from the start you will notice psychedelic musical textures overflowing everywhere, full of variety, and mystery. I would classify this music as Alternative Rock with a slight aftertaste of Punk, Folk and Classic Rock. The songs themselves are addictive, and thought provoking complete with passionate thought provoking subject matter. Turing our attention to singer Matthias Strurm – let me go on record to say he reminds me allot of John Lennon vocally and is one artists that remains true to himself with respect to his musical expression. Sturm’s voice works well across the board and fills the sonic space peacefully and unobtrusively. From upbeat “Home Sick” to trippy “Baxter Galloway meets Mr. Handsome” to grooving “Heart on a String” to hypnotic “Pierrot” and foreboding “L’ Heure” this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone.  The CD ends with “Crow Food” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.  

On several pieces the timing seems to be very loosely knit and a bit sloppy. Perhaps this is by design – but regardless many of the rhythms and beats lack syncopation when compared to other instruments. The band just sounds out of synch with each other. As a result it’s hard to “lock in” to some of the rhythms and grooves.

The debut CD by Matthias Sturm is a brilliant musical snapshot from start to finish. The music is deep, trippy and dark with messages full of mystery and thought provoking subject matter. At the end of the day Sturm's music is highly original and captivating. It’s strong suit – a fascinating snapshot of an artist whot knows no musical boundaries. No doubt the true meanings of some of these song is buried deep within the lyrical content. I mght add the music is not so easyly pinned down during the first listen, CD is coparable to an onnion with many layers. Every now and then it’s an absolute pleasure to get a brilliant musical perspective from an artist that let’s us get a sneak peak beneath his veil of vanity. This CD remains one of the most interesting and trippiest musical statements I’ve heard in quite some time. Sturm possesses enough musical talent and songwriting prowess to be dangerous. One would be wise to keep a watchful eye on him - wherver he may wonder.

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