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CULTÖSAURUS ERECTUS

Blue Öyster Cult

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thellama73
COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars A mixed bag as BÖC adopts the talents of new, more hard rock oriented producer. The band seems to be struggling to balance a variety of influences, from their more traditional sci-fi rockers (the excellent Black Blade) to self referential stadium rock (the equally fine The Marshall Plan) to more jazzy territory (the disappointing Monsters) and even 80's synth-rock (the embarrassing Hungry Boys.) As a result, the album is a schizophrenic experience, divided equally between glorious rockers and utter stinkers. I think the good outweighs the bad, but this is definitely a transitional album, paving the way for their much more accomplished "Fire of Unknown Origin," to be released the following year.

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Send comments to thellama73 (BETA) | Report this review (#118806)
Posted Wednesday, April 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars well.this was my first record of blue oyster cult..and the cover is very nice in my opinion,i dont know if this dinosaur existed...but anyway...is a monster!,this album is rare"",thats the word...rare""very mistical.starts with the songs called black blade...an amazing song really,and in the extraterrestial live album,the play this song like in the studio album...you have to listen this song,because in the ending section this song have a voice so robotical type,and its great...the second one called monsters..this one have an style of rock/jazz,what made this album more complete...and in the end the solo section is incredible...the divine wind,another cool song..that is like a history behind them..a blue section in the begining and is like a pink floyd song,but with eric bloom on vocals... the most rare and strange son on this album and i dont know if in the oyster career...is Deadline...i dont know if is a acoustic guitar what sounds there...but...this song makes me thing in hawaii ,i alredy dont know hawaii,but this song makes me think that..jeje is so espiritual this song.. and the best song on this album in my opinion is unknown tongue the last one on this album....the chorus is excelent,and the music goes on and on..the ending section the screaming vocals of eric bloom makes me cry...and piano section is also good...

good album as well..

keep on the good work..

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Send comments to JgX 5 (BETA) | Report this review (#127537)
Posted Wednesday, July 04, 2007 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After the poppy Mirrors, the band changed completely their direction with the help of a certain Martin Birch on production. The result is a great revirement to their hard roots. This is evident since the very first minute of the opener "Black Blade" which is part of their classic repertoire, reminding me, a little bit, of "7 Screaming Diz-Busters" from Tyranny and Mutation. And generally the comparisons between the two albums can be found in the sound, a little more mature now but also less original.

What really shocks the listener is the unespected proggy nature of some tracks as "Monsters" which features jazzy interludes and fast tempo. Well, very good. Another highlight is "The Mashall Plan" with its live rendition.

The other tracks are more conventional in either structure and metal sound so I couldn't say "Cultosaurus Erectus" is one of my favourite from Blue Oyster Cult. That will come later. For now we have a very good return here.

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Send comments to Andrea Cortese (BETA) | Report this review (#128588)
Posted Sunday, July 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
Raff
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to Raff (BETA) | Report this review (#159200)
Posted Saturday, January 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album keeps calling me it's master, but I feel like it's slave...

After a trio of very commercial albums that each successfully won less and less attention from fans of the band's black and white era Blue Oyster Cult [BOC] decided it was like to stop being what they were expected to be and, ''just be BOC again''. Under the production power of heavy metal master Martin Birch the band here takes the best of what they've managed to make in recent years (slick and intelligent heavy rock) and merge it with their early, heavier and rawer material to create something that is very unique in their discography. Gone is the more friendly leanings of an album like Mirrors and not yet present are the 80s synths which the band would abuse on later albums. Also notable is that this is likely one of BOC's most progressive outings with a lot of experimentation into jazz noodling, longer songs and more tempo changes along the way.

As others have noted, the best three tracks here are the first three. This is slightly unfortunate because the first three set an amazing stage, but to call the rest of the album disappointing would be very far from the truth. It's the first three that see that band at a zenith not unlike an album like their opus Secret Treaties. Intelligent lyrics, allusions and amazing guitar licks that press heavily into the listener's mind make these tracks among the best in the band's discography. The opening Black Blade tells such a tale behind it's heavy metal that it's hard to ignore. The jazzy and incredibly scary Monsters just keeps going on and on (in a good way) as Bloom delivers some killer vocals between an excellent riff and jazzy sax solos. The best part of the song coming, of course, at the spine chilling harmonized scream of ''Monsters!'' that could have been done very tackily but winds up being excellent. Divine Wind ends the stellar trio of opening tracks with a brooding look at human kind and wars - very well done.

The other tracks on the album may not have been to the same caliber, but they're all unfortunately overlooked. Deadline ends off side 1 with a prominent bass while The Marshall Plan opens up side 2 with a mini rock opera that has the energy of a live performance - even a nice Deep Purple reference in there. Hungry Boys is a seemingly thin sounding song thanks to the fact that the high end piano drives the track like a steam engine but it works surprisingly well. Vocals are unusual for the band but work out well. Lips In The Hills is an excellent track with it's pressing chorus and rocking, frantic riff and Unknown Tongue manages to make the best of a more commercial sound by making the track rock but still having it be catchy.

Fallen Angel is astounding. This is a heavy metal masterpiece unfortunately lost in the shrouds of time. The gruff vocals make for a stellar delivery on an unforgettable chorus while the rest of the track simply shakes your speakers to their core. Excellent song.

In the end this is one of the more appealing BOC albums for the prog head. A very strong come back for the band after what was turning into commercial death. Unfortunately they'd soon fall into the trap of the 80s, but for now we have a very solid effort for the band not topped until the end of the 80s on their first ''reunion'' album. Highly recommended, this one gets 4 stars!

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Send comments to Queen By-Tor (BETA) | Report this review (#172125)
Posted Sunday, May 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The least I can say is that the Cult entered into the eighties quite remarkably. While many ''dinosaurs'' changed their style while this decade begun, the Cult got back to where they belonged: a good hard to heavy-rock oriented music.

It is quite a relief after some weak albums (''Spectres'' and ''Mirrors''). Compositions here have a definite harder edge which is to be noticed as soon as the album starts. ''Black Blade'' is a great opener which sets the pace for almost the whole of this effort.

Maybe that the sax part during ''Monsters'' wasn't that all necessary, but the damages aren't that important. Needless to say that I prefer the heavy ''Divine World'' to the pop-rock ''Deadline'' which reminds me more of their previous two albums.

Some wink to the mighty Purple during ''The Marshall Plan'': not only the style but also the short inclusion of the ''Smoke On The Water'' riff is a pleasant tribute to this band. Buck Dharma is again on top form here (but he is mostly on each track from ''Cultösaurus Erectus'').

The hopping ''Hungry Boys'' reminds us that the new wave has passed here as well. Some feel of the hilarious ''Gruppo Sportivo'' (from The Netherlands in '78). It conveys a fun accent to this work.

The last section of the album leans more on a pure hard-rock styled music (''Fallen Angel'', ''Lips In The Hills''). But this is still much better than their prior releases even if not grandiose.

In all, this a good album and a pleasant come back from this band. Three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#198430)
Posted Sunday, January 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
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.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#227831)
Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars A better album than the previos Mirrors, but not up to the standard of the next effort, Fires Of Unknown Origin. Cultosaurus Erectus, is an album of it's time for BOC, 80's rock with a smattering of prog leanings. Black Blade, the starter, is the highlight of this album. Crunching guitars, sci-fi lyrics, cool riffs, everything that is Blue Oyster Cult! This song gets 4 1/2 stars which would have been 5 except I find the ending hokey. Monsters, the second track gets a 3 1/2 star rating(docked for unneeded sax solos). The bluesy Divine Wind leads into 3 less good tracks which all get only 2 stars. Just too much pop in the rock for my taste. The rest of the album is also less well done than the start with Fallen Angel saving them and the awful Lips in the Hills hurting the overall effort. Lips is just too formulaic hevey metal for me. So, overall, in the BOC pantheon of albums, this hits right about in the middle. Average but not great. 3 stars.

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Send comments to mohaveman (BETA) | Report this review (#271547)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars First of all, that Cultasaurus on the cover is one cool looking dinosaur. That's a lot of teeth.

As for the album itself, this album basically brought them out of their doldrums. Apparently they thought they could jump on the Foreigner / Journey bandwagon, and when that didn't work out, they were smart enough to realize that they needed to travel in a new completely direction or they would sputter out. Although that did sort of happen later in their career, it didn't happen in 1980 thanks to this effort.

A much louder beast than their previous efforts, the album kicks off with a killer track in Black Blade with its wonderfully nightmarish lyrics and musical tension. The actual "Black Blade" speaking towards the song's finale was a nice touch. Monsters is one of the band's "proggiest" songs with its jazz breaks, frequent tempo changes and transitions from heavy guitar riffs to softer passages. The lyrics themselves are quite bizarre and add to the overall effect, making this one of their best songs in my opinion. Divine Wind continues the quality run of tracks with its heavy blues base combined with a bit of space rock. Great guitar playing too. Deadline is somewhat of a prelude to what BOC would become in the 80s with its dancy beat, funky bass and atmospheric synths, not necessarily a good thing, but it does work in this case. The Marshall Plan is hilarious, both intentionally and unintentionally, but either way its a fun track. Hungry Boys and Fallen Angel never did much for me...they are interesting I will admit, but their strange take on new-wave and straight arena rock respectively doesn't gel with me for some reason. Lips In The Hills, despite the awkward song title, is a scorcher, with producer Martin Birch fully displaying his NWOBHM sensabilities here. The album ends on a high note with another good track in the creepy Unknown Tongue.

So, as far as BOC albums are concerned, it may not be the most essential of their works, but I find it to be one of their best, maybe their most enjoyable, and an important album in re- establishing BOC as a band to be reckoned with, at least through the early 80s. For prog- heads not convinced the band belongs here, seriously, listen to Monsters. That's some heavy prog-heaven right there.

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Send comments to Prog Sothoth (BETA) | Report this review (#430974)
Posted Monday, April 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars An improvement over the previous three discs, Cultosaurus Erectus finds the band rekindling the murky, mysterious spirit of their early years on some of the songs (Unknown Tongue, Black Blade, Monsters) whilst retaining their radio-friendly AOR sound on others (Hungry Boys, the overlong narrative song The Marshall Plan, or Lips In the Hills for instance). Unknown Tongue, the album closer, seems to prefigure the sound of the better parts of Fire of Unknown Origin, the following album - and indeed both this album and that one were produced by Martin Birch, whose hard rock approach probably helped make this the most hard-edged and credible Cult release since Secret Treaties. It's not on a par with that album, mind, but it's a decent stab at clawing back to those heights.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#565384)
Posted Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars Blue Oyster Cult's "Cultosaurus Erectus" caught my attention because it was inspired by the science fiction author Michael Moorcock, and it sports a mighty artistic cover with a dinosaur with a mouthful of razor teeth. Not knowing what the music would be like was quite a bonus for me as I was delighted when the first heavy chords of 'Black Blade' strike. This is heavy stuff, and it has a great melody and competent clean singing with a spacey echo. The riffs are simple but dynamic and the organ layers are great. It powers along brilliantly with some awesome lead guitar work and an overall solid structure.

'Monsters' is quite proggy with those jazz sax interludes and overall time sig shifts. It really hits home with all the blazing riffs and outbursts of jazz. The heavier side of BOC returns on the blistering rock of 'Divine World' and then it gets into more AOR territory on 'Deadline' though it sounds great and is a nice diversion.

I was quite astonished at the creativity of 'The Marshall Plan' as we hear a live crowd roaring in places and even the Deep Purple monster riff from 'Smoke On The Water' rears it's head. 'Hungry Boys' takes us into a driving rock sound that just hammers along with anthemic chorus and fast paced drumming. 'Fallen Angel' is a hard rock belter and is followed by even heavier guitars on headbanger 'Lips in the Hills'. The last track is a moderate tempo riffing thing called 'Unknown Tongue' that finishes the album off on a fairly strong note, though a very AOR one at that.

In my opinion this is a solid album and one that will please fans of BOC. It is not a perfect album, though it starts with three exceptional songs, but still has enough melodic rock and innovation to make it worth a listen.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#804069)
Posted Monday, August 13, 2012 | Review Permalink

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