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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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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!

Queen By-Tor | 4/5 |


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