Sturm - _Le Prix du Sang et des Larmes_
(War Office Propaganda, 2006)
by: Quentin Kalis (8.5 out of 10)
For a project to call themselves Sturm ("Storm" in English) is to encourage a litany of abuse for choosing such a cliché name, as it's literally the equivalent of a black metal band calling themselves Satan's Blood -- which sadly and predictably does exist. But poorly chosen names are usually forgiven if the band or project is any good (Rotting Christ readily spring to mind), and it appears that _Le Prix du Sang et des Larmes_ is his penance for opting for such a cheesy name.

Sturm delivers a tempestuous feast located at the nexus of martial industrial and neoclassical; a stirring journey not unlike The Protagonist, only with more bombast. Actually, even Wagner may be embarrassed by the degree and extent of bombast present here, and consequently even the most demanding industrial fan will not be disappointed.

No vocals are present, or even any spoken samples, as they would simply and unnecessarily intrude upon the flow of his neoclassical constructions. Although largely synth-driven, some percussion is present in one of two forms: either pounding drums resonating with the imminence of war, or militaristic drum rolls. Not all the effects are equally effective, however; the attempts at horn simulation on "La Volonté d'Unifierare" are barely recognisable as such, and serve merely to highlight the inherent limitations of using artificial sounds to recreate or even attempt to capture such a grandiose vision.

Thankfully, the synth work is much better than what is used on Von Thronstahls's excellent composition, which would be his opus were it not for the extremely dated and cheap sounding keyboards. His work would also be better served by increased use of piano tinkling -- this is at least one instrument that a keyboard can simulate comparatively effectively, and its appearance never fails to enhance the atmosphere. Still, these are minor points and are not serious quibbles.

Contact: http://sturm.smm.free.fr

(article published 24/7/2007)


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