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Blue Öyster Cult - Secret Treaties CD (album) cover


Blue Öyster Cult


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4.16 | 345 ratings

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3 stars 3.5; Another reason to hate the middle rating! Definitely above average, the best three I've ever given.

Secret Treaties seems to be Blue Oyster Cult's most credited album, especially among more progressive minded people. It is indeed a quite enjoyable album, but nothing to get that excited about (except the last two songs). This is the first album for me to really listen to by the band. I had of course heard their more commercial hits Don't Fear the Reaper and Burnin' for You, and I think I found more enjoyment in this in an intellectual sense. Influences are pretty clear, another derivative of Deep Purple with the whole hard rock with Hammond organ combination, maybe even some influence from Steppenwolf and Uriah Heep. I suppose I expected to like this album more than I did considering my classic hard rock background. In some ways I love it, in some I get a bit irritated. I can't say I'm too fond of the vocalist, either the actual vocal lines or his voice in general, or even the vocal harmonies, and I guess that's the main reason for the rating, as well as the fact that some parts of the album that I just can't stand overall, especially in the middle. But it's definitely a worthwhile album.

It's basically good classic rock, with a good use of repetition; something you'd very much expect from the early seventies in hard rock terms, with some interesting artistic quirks that apparently account for their inclusion in this site. It's the standard guitar riff intro, vocals layered on top for verse 1, a slight change for verse two, a relatively catchy chorus, a solo here and there, and the songs over without much else to say (again, except the last two, which make the album really worth buying). The transitions between songs are great too, each one flowing very nicely to the next.

This album, in my mind, can be divided in three parts. Songs 1-3, which were all pretty decent and enjoyable, especially Career of Evil. The vocal lines are less annoying, the riffs are very decent all around, and the choruses are quite fun and catchy. Dominance - Submission - Radios appear, all in different voices! The middle section, songs 4-6, I found less enjoyable. I especially could not stand Cagey Cretins, it's one of those songs the skip button was made for. The coolest part in this section is the instrumental section of Harvester of Eyes, and the bell transition into our third section, songs 7-8, which are both excellent! The keyboard work is incredible! Everything about it is great, definitely the proggiest and best written song on the album, maybe in the band's discography (though I have yet to find that out). We even have a Moog solo, like something out of Wish You Were Here, it's just great! Astronomy is almost as great, though quite a bit softer, probably the closest thing to a ballad on the album. Those last two songs are the main reason to get this album.

I highly recommend this album to people with a strong taste in classic hard rock bands such as Deep Purple and Uriah Heep, maybe even Rush or Pink Floyd. There is some great stuff here, and some not so great, but more of the former. You just might really love it, especially considering how highly rated this album is. It's a Flaming Telepath!

Draith | 3/5 |


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