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More - 1982 Blood And Thunder

ALBUM: Blood And Thunder
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: SD 19339
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2005, Wounded Bird, WOU-9339 * 2011, Rock Candy Records, CANDY110


LINEUP: Mick Stratton - vocals * Kenny Cox - guitar * Brian Day - bass * Andy John Burton - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Killer On The Prowl * 02 Blood And Thunder * 03 I Just Can't Believe It * 04 I've Been Waiting * 05 Traitors Gate * 06 Rock And Roll * 07 I Wanna Take You * 08 Go Home * 09 The Eye * 10 Nightmare

One of the most well known NWOBHM acts and one who could have gone on to greater things had it not been for a slew of lineup changes, ill luck with record companies and bad luck in general. More featured a radically different lineup on 1981's debut 'Warhead', with Paul Mario Day (vocals), Laurie Mansworth (guitar) and Frank Darch (drums) all pissing off soon after, causing the hasty recruitment of Stratton and Cox. Prior to their departure More had been a hot property and part of a bidding war between major labels, settling with Atlantic. 'Warhead' was a seminal NWOBHM release (see 'Road Rocket') and a slot at Donnington in 1981 seemed to hint at a bright future. The setback didn't deter More, with 'Blood and Thunder' eclipsing the debut, far heavier and an instant classic of the genre.

The Songs
For a band seemingly in disarray this is is a very strong album, which is well up there with Iron Maiden, Saxon and all the usual tired names. More seem to incorporate smoother melody into their sound, more like a refined Tank. That said the music had already been written before Stratton and Burton joined the band. 'Killer On The Prowl' is a typical title for the NWOBHM era and suitably crushing, armed to the teeth with some brutal riffs. The title track flirts with bursts of speed and even heavier riffs, English metal through and through. The denim and leather clad youth of 1982 must have thrived on this, much like John McVicar did prison food! Leading the charge also is 'I've Been Waiting', galloping like early Maiden, with predictable quieter passages. The fury of 'Rock and Roll' wallops Motorhead believe it or not, aided by some excellent vocals from Stratton. The melodic side of More is evident during 'I Wanna Take You', which suggests they could have been a smooth AOR act by 1985. No chance in '82 however, one blast of 'Go Home' is enough to squash that, but there is still time for a six minute epic, 'Nightmare', which contains some interesting twists, ending rampantly as expected.

In Summary
Nothing even close to a bad track and what a farce More never went on to conquer the metal world. Somehow the band disintegrated shortly after one more single, 'Trickster' and a 1985 'reunion', featuring only Cox from the original lineup, died a quick death. Various members went on to further exploits, all of which aren't really worth mentioning here, although tragically Brian Day died by 'being in the wrong place at the wrong time' according to More's MySpace page and Cox suffered a series of strokes in 2000. As heavy as real metal gets, this is essential and available on Wounded Bird, and as at the end of 2011, now remastered and reissued by Rock Candy, also sporting a different cover.

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#1 | Eric on July 22 2008 00:03:08
Agree Alun, a very good album. I remember buying this with a bunch of NWOBHM import stuff one afternoon back then and this turned out to be the best of the lot!
#2 | Harvey Mettle on July 27 2008 17:28:11
A truly superb album, one of my all tiome favourites, but I don't recognise it from this review at all! Much more blues based than standard NWOBHM and with a strong nod to 70's hard rock in terms of light and shade. It's a real shame that Wounded Bird didn't include the non LP single (Hey Joe & Trickster) from the original sessions on their reissue.

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