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Blue Öyster Cult - Curse of the Hidden Mirror CD (album) cover

CURSE OF THE HIDDEN MIRROR

Blue Öyster Cult

 

Prog Related

2.94 | 37 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The old guys return.

After a long and ill-fated career of (evil... and) ups and downs Blue Oyster Cult has arrived at this destination. While it's impossible to say at this point if the band will release another studio effort or not I do have this to say: if they stop here they will have ended on a high note. After a very heavy previous album only 3 years prior (Heaven Forbid), this album turns and looks in the direction that the band had always been more familiar with -- 70s metal. Perhaps lighter in tone than some of their older stuff, this album still has some classic BOC moments on here. This may not be an album with quite the same glory as their black and white days or Imaginos, but it's still a good album none-the-less that brings back fond memories (for me anyways) of their commercial era (Agents through to Mirrors).

Opening with an almost progressive first track, DANCE ON STILTS starts the album very promisingly. A smooth riff from Buck notifies the audience immediately that this is not the ''Heaven Forbid'' era of the band. Catchy and interesting, DANCE ON STILTS is one of the album's biggest highlights. That is slightly unfortunate, however, as the bar is set very high by the first song and the album will never really deliver to it. SHOWTIME is a cool song whose main attraction is the story told behind it -- about a guy who's out for revenge after being betrayed and sent to jail -- unfortunately, the repetition of 'showtime' wears on the nerves and takes down the overall effectiveness of the song, even if it does have a very cool bridge and bass riff. THE OLD GOD RETURN is a track reminiscent of the BOC of old. With evil lyrics and a heavy foundation, this song becomes another standout on the album. If you're into very down to earth lyrics, however, beware... the lyrics here might come of as very cheesy. ONE STEP AHEAD OF THE DEVIL is very much in the same vein, and if you liked 'Old Gods..' then you're sure to love this one. Fast and gritty, this is another track that shows BOC trying to be their old selves. Nearing the end EYE OF THE HURRICANE and GOOD TO FEEL HUNGRY are again tracks that show BOCs old heavy side. Nothing remarkable to state here, but good tracks none the less.

The there's the ups and the downs.

A couple of very good tracks to be had on this album. Ironically, they're the songs where BOC tries to explore new grounds. Songs that sound completely unique to this album are the ones that really make their mark. POCKET, HERE COME THAT FEELING and STONE OF LOVE are the tracks that I'm talking about. Kind of a mixture of Mirrors and Imaginos era BOC, these are a group of songs who are both light hearted and heavy at the same time. Slightly pop-rockish, these songs hooks and catches are good enough to get even the mightiest head-banger.

However, like may of BOC's albums, this one is plagued with a couple sub par tracks. I JUST LIKE TO BE BAD... just likes to be bad. Cheesy lyrics and hooks that miss their mark make this song one of BOCs least exciting tracks. OUT OF THE DARKNESS -- well.... -- there's nothing really wrong with this track, it's actually quite good. Unfortunately, it's hideously out of place on this alum and would likely have better served its life as a b-side.

Low 3 or high 2 for this album. Really, since it's more for the fans, this one gets a two. Quite good but not at all essential for the prog-head. However, there is still a multitude of music to catch your ear here, the best of which is likely the opener as well as a couple others littered throughout the album. This one is really recommended for BOC fans and fans of some good hard rock. A very enjoyable (if flawed) album.

Queen By-Tor | 2/5 |

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