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Blue Öyster Cult - Cultösaurus Erectus CD (album) cover


Blue Öyster Cult


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3.52 | 160 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

After the ground-grinding Mirrors in 79, the group took quite a bit of time to reassess themselves and it would not be until 81 and a whole musical scene that BOC came back with the much much much-improved Cultosaurus Erectus. While the group retained its line- )up, they got rid of long-time collab Pearlman and asked Martin Birch (of Deep Purple fame a.o.) to produce what should be called a comeback album, , since their last worthy album Spectres dated from 77. This proved not only salutary, but that BOC had brains and will to survive. Indeed Birch was the man of the situation, since he was responsible of Iron Maiden's reign over the NWOBHMB after producing that groups second and third album, giving them a Purple sound that helped launch the movement. Now don't get me wrong, I didn't say that BOC would now be called Purple Oyster Cult, or even Black Oyster Cult (since Birch also assisted Black Sabbath's resurrection the previous year with Heaven And Hell.

He result of Birch's taking over the control booth is clearly seen on the album's first side where the brilliant Black Blade (with lyrics penned again by Moorcock) gave them a much deserved exposition over the airwaves, then the awesome jazz-inflected Monsters with its poly-rhythms and plenty of sax madness; and the dark and haunting Divine Wind would make an implausible excellent first, if it wasn't for the weaker Deadline and its killer bass line, but reminiscent of Agents or Mirrors.. Obviously this fine return to form is partly due to producer martin birch and starting the flipside, Marshall Plan obvious' wink at Purple (and therefore Martin) in the middle of a very "strange" track where multi-vocals bound. But after that, the album (or group) seems to run out of steam. Hungry Boys and Unknown Tongues are definitely reminding of the later 70's BOC and everything bad it implies and have written filler all over them, while Lips On The Hill heads back to their first two albums, but only half- convincingly, leaving Fallen Angel (not KC or UH) as the only relatively strong track in the album's closing third part.

Clearly Cultosaurus Erectus was a fine return to form, mainly due to Martin Birch and BOC opened the 80's as America's answer to the British second wave of metal groups (although that included Sabbath and Priest); CE might be one of the Cult's proggier album with Treaties, but it's schizophrenic personality hurts its cohesiveness. Split between heavy metal (both their early stuff and the 80's version) and the "radio-friendly" AOR of the later 70's. Fortunately the latter trait is in a minority and we're left with quite a good album and certainly of of BOC's top three.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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