Blue Öyster Cult

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Blue Öyster Cult Heaven Forbid album cover
2.67 | 44 ratings | 8 reviews | 7% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. See You In Black (3:17)
2. Harvest Moon (4:55)
3. Power Underneath Dispair (3:29)
4. X-Ray Eyes (3:49)
5. Hammer Back (3:35)
6. Damaged (4:22)
7. Cold Gray Light Of Dawn (3:53)
8. Real World (5:11)
9. Live For Me (5:19)
10. Still Burnin' (3:37)
11. In Thee (live at Millbrook) (3:40)


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Eric Bloom / guitar, keyboards, vocals
- buck Dharma / guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Allen Lanier / guitar, keyboards
- Danny Miranda / bass, vocals
- Chuck Burgi / drums,d vocals
- Bobby Rondinelli / drums (9)
- Jon Rogers / bass, vocals (10)

Releases information

CD Steamhammer (a division of SPV GmbH; CBH Records) SPV 085-18932

Thanks to MANDRAKEROOT for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Heaven Forbid ratings distribution

(44 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Heaven Forbid reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I have to second Mandy's opinion here. Blus Oyster Cult finally return after a break of ten years but what we have? This is not their music. Classic metal that always failed to catch my attention. I've tried many times to aprreciate this work but I'm sorry, I do prefer Curse of the Hidden Mirror than this one even though it features a live acoustic version of classic radio friendly "In Thee" by Allen Lanier.

This is not Cult. Fortunately there are some sparkling moments as in the opener "I See You in Black". Not much more than that, though.

Clearly only for fans.


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Review by 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.


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Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars At times there are great come backs and at times they would have best been avoided. This album definitely belongs to the latter category.

This work is a sub-par heavy metal promenade: second-hand stuff really (it all starts with the average opener ''See You In Black''.) Was this all relevant after a ten-years break? I guess not! Even if some great beat and wild guitar can be experienced during ''Harvest Moon'' which is my fave by far from this weak album.

At best, some numbers are bearable even if popish like ''X-Ray Eyes'' but the overall mood is not really great (cf. the funky ''Damaged'') and ''Cold Gray Light Of Dawn'' sounds as an average Alice Cooper song, no more. It is shining thanks to some very good guitar work (just like ''Real World'').

Some friendly AOR characteristics for ''Live For Me'' aren't too bad, given the very average of the whole; but it is not what we could have expected from this sort of come back. It is not the last couple of tracks that will save this album, I'm afraid; even if the acoustic ''In Thee'' breaks the metal rock atmosphere.

This album is best avoided IMHHO. Don't even think to get some prog notes out of this (but this hasn't been the major trade mark of the band).


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Latest members reviews

3 stars I see many reviews here not thinking this was a good comeback album after 9 or 10 years off. I would disagree.This album has something about it that keeps me making the occasional listen many years after I bought it.I think the songs are good enough.Iwould have preferred a trip back to the early ... (read more)

Report this review (#1136126) | Posted by Jzrk | Sunday, February 23, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What a comeback album this was! I remember hearing Harvest Moon on the radio and thinking, "Yes, they are back!" And with a vengeance they were, giving us a terrific studio album that is on par with many of their best albums. Hammer Back stands out as the clunker of the bunch, but everything e ... (read more)

Report this review (#802431) | Posted by Biff Tannen | Friday, August 10, 2012 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is NOT one of the better BOC albums. It was 10 years since their last release, and I thought they may have accumulated some really good stuff. Nope. I love about everything they have done, but this release is a mix of boring heavy rock (Damaged, Power Underneath Despair), and softer ... (read more)

Report this review (#280421) | Posted by mohaveman | Monday, May 03, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars with this album again blue oyster cult made a good album, with a lot of hard rock, and sometimes it sounds like a heavy stuff and metal album, but obviusly with the BOC style. Nice vocals, good melody, and good solos by dharma roeser. This album is very dark, very hard, and the the production in t ... (read more)

Report this review (#196924) | Posted by JgX 5 | Friday, January 02, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Three stars for "Progs" but a good Four Stars for rock fans. What a surprise! I had avoided this album on the basis of poor reviews here and elsewhere but having finally bitten the bullet I've been pleasantly surprised by this. Its full of crunching riffs and excellent melodic songs which bl ... (read more)

Report this review (#141654) | Posted by ozzric | Wednesday, October 03, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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