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Blue Öyster Cult - Cultösaurus Erectus CD (album) cover


Blue Öyster Cult


Prog Related

3.52 | 160 ratings

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4 stars This is an album which, while much better than its current rating suggests, doesn't quite live up to the promise delivered by its first three tracks. After having veered towards a definitely poppier sound in their previous three albums, which gave them a hit in "Don't Fear the Reaper", but at the same time alienated many of their earlier fans, BOC enlisted the help of legendary hard rock producer Martin Birch - exactly as the same time as Black Sabbath did. The result is an album which is distinctly harder-edged than its predecessors, but also somewhat schizophrenic - torn between songs harking back to the glory days of "Tyranny and Mutation" and "Secret Treaties", and AOR-tinged. radio-friendly compositions.

Anyway, "Cultosaurus Erectus" starts with a bang, with the Michael-Moorcock penned Black Blade, a spacey, dramatic tour-de-force inspired by the saga of Elric of Menilboné and his eponymous sword, Stormbringer, eater of souls. The following track, "Monsters", is probably one of the most progressive things ever written by the band, with its blaring sax interludes, manic riffing and wild, jazzy time signature changes. It's a pity BOC chose to go the easy way, instead of exploring the avenues opened by this brilliant song. The initial triple-whammy closes with the haunting, vaguely sinister "Divine Wind" (incidentally, this is what the Japanese word kamikaze means), which features a superb guitar solo by the one and only Buck Dharma at the end.

The rest of the tracks, as already stated, is not completely on a par with these three. Some, like Hungry Boys, are nondescript filler, while "Lips in the Hills" is somewhat reminiscent of some of the material on the band's first three albums. Album closer "Unknown Tongue" is deceptively easy on the ear, though not as clearly radio-oriented as "The Marshall Plan" - a very well-crafted, catchy song with an intriguing storyline, which also references Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water", and would sound great performed in a crowded stadium.

Even if not as good as its follow-up, the mighty "Fire of Unknown Origin", "Cultosaurus Erectus" is a fine return to form for one of the greatest bands of the Seventies. Definitely prog-related, and warmly recommended to all lovers of classic rock music.

Raff | 4/5 |


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