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Blue Öyster Cult - Heaven Forbid CD (album) cover


Blue Öyster Cult


Prog Related

2.84 | 61 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars They're back.

1998, ten years after their last album, some one decides to make a Frankenstein version of Blue Oyster Cult [BOC] and unleash it upon humanity. This is nothing like the BOC of old, and while some of it is rather good in terms of modern metal (showing the young 'uns how it's done) this is nothing progressive at all, where their old works at least had a hint of progginess. Most easily compared to the 90s material of Aerosmith with some Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom vocals and some double kick as well as some songs clearly trying to make light of previous success.

Kicking off the album is the heavy-as-hell SEE YOU IN BLACK. Great heavy metal, with some cool lyrics that sound amateurish at times but still manage to keep the audience. This is likely some of the heaviest stuff BOC has done to date. After that we have a complete turnaround on the song HARVEST MOON. This i likely the only track that's even slightly progressive oriented, telling the tale of a land invaded by Spanish from the viewpoint of it's native inhabitants. Buck takes the vocal helm and does so well, making the best of his voice. Coming up after that is the heavy POWER UNDERNEATH DESPAIR (The title of which is misspelled on the back cover). Interesting track that starts off slowly and eventually makes it up to full speed. Again, another good heavy metal song.

After the first three songs we encounter what is referred to as a mixed bag. Songs like X-RAY EYES and LIVE FOR ME are a little bit too soft to fit on the album and while each does get heavy they're just not standouts. X-RAY EYES in particular is fairly weak thanks to it's choice of lyrics that, while interesting, simply can't be repeated as much times as they are. DAMAGED is a song that has an interesting beat and vocal delivery, but prog fans will likely vomit at the sound of it. This is where the comparisons to modern Aerosmith really come in.

What else is there to mention? Well...

COLD GREY LIGHT OF DAWN is a track with some great melodies and backing vocals, this one is actually far too short and could have been extended if they knew how to do it right. REAL WORLD is a track that is really standout, Buck's vocals saying the real world is bizarre enough for me with the guitar over top is really satisfying for the listener. As well, the double kickin' STILL BURNIN' is a really big highlight, even if they are blatantly trying to relate the track to their '81 hit 'Burnin For You'. The acoustic live rendition of IN THEE is another highlight, even if the speed of the song sounds stupidly out of place on the album.


Is this an album for symphonic Prog-Heads? No, you'll hate it. 2 stars -- skip to their next studio album or rewind back to '88. Is this album for metal heads? Yes. In fact, raise the horns and scream I'd like to see you in black! because thats what they're doing here, rocking the house. This may be a surprise to some but this is a great metal album deserving no less than 3.5 stars. Great great great heavy metal, if simple at points.

I recommend this album to the metal heads who love to lose brain cells in head banging (as I still do), but if yo want something progressive, you're in the wrong place. I'll repeat, the PA rating of this album is 2 star. There is nothing even prog-related on this album. Maybe HARVEST MOON will catch a progger's ear, but again I refer you to their 2002 live album A Long Day's Night. To summarize this album in a few words: Not for Prog-Heads.

Queen By-Tor | 2/5 |


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