Whose bright idea was it to use that photo for the album cover? I mean, even if the album completely sucks, the easiest thing to do is make a kick-ass heavy metal album cover. I don’t know how many times the album cover alone has made me take interest in an album. To waste that opportunity on a dumb photo like this is just ridiculous, right? Put a devil, a dragon, or a naked chick on the cover! Not Kenny Cox! The man tears it up on guitar, that’s for sure, but that doesn’t mean he needs to be on the cover looking like this guy! (If you don’t know who “this guy” is, you need to watch Bloodsport!)
Okay, I’m just having a little fun at Kenny’s expense, but the man has more talent in his beard than I ever will, so I need to shut the hell up and show the man some respect.
Blood And Thunder was this British band’s second album. Their debut was 1981’s Warhead (reviewed here). Both LPs were released by Atlantic Records. Only guitarist Kenny Cox (the centerpiece of More) and bassist Brian Day remained from the Warhead lineup. Mick Stratton was brought in to replace Paul Mario Day on vocals. Day left More during the recording of Blood And Thunder to form his own band, Wildfire. Stratton came in at the eleventh hour, scrapped Day’s lyrics, wrote his own lyrics, and recorded new vocal tracks for Blood And Thunder. Furthermore, a new drummer (and Anthony Michael Hall lookalike – see the back cover photo) was brought on board (A.J. Burton).
My Worthless Opinion: Blood And Thunder was recorded “virtually live”, according to Kenny Cox. Indeed, this album seems much more energetic than More’s rather stale debut Warhead. The production on Blood And Thunder is superb. More were one of the few New Wave Of British Heavy Metal bands to appear on a major label, and therefore one of the few to be afforded the luxury of top-shelf production (see also Fist’s Turn The Hell On and Quartz’s Stand Up And Fight).
Across the board, Blood And Thunder is a marked improvement over Warhead. Burton provides a spark on drums and Stratton’s vocal performance outshines Paul Mario Day’s work on Warhead. Stratton has a muscular hard rock voice. He oscillates between a throaty wail and clean melodic singing style. But it is Kenny Cox who really keeps things smoking with his potent axe work. With his Mississippi mudflaps flailing in the breeze, he blazes a path towards a righteous headbang.
My two favorite tracks on Blood And Thunder happen to be the two cuts that open the album, Killer On The Prowl and Blood And Thunder. These are two nasty riff rockers, and Stratton sounds great. Now, if I would lodge one complaint against Blood And Thunder it would be that most of the songs lack a truly beefed up, or memorable, chorus refrain. While all parties are letting it rip on their respective instruments, the songs seem just a tad underdeveloped to me.
Unfortunately, Blood And Thunder was not a success for More or Atlantic Records, and More were given their walking papers soon thereafter. That’s the nature of the beast. Just another one lost in the shuffle. If your interested in More, I suggest you start with Blood And Thunder as opposed to Warhead. My score: B