on 16 May 2011
A really good album, this!! Ok a couple of fillers - but the good stuff justifies it!
Very much of it's time (1980) and marrying hard rock/metal to melodic sensibilities. This was my first BOC album to acquire, having only previously heard Don't Fear The Reaper & Astronomy (incl the excellent Metallica cover version)and I have enjoyed it enough to set about buying more.
Fav tracks are Black Blade which is fun with it's sword & sorcery lyrics and epic arrangements, Monsters which manages be heavy & urgent and yet at the same time has these amazing jazz breaks complete with saxophone too, Deadline which is very melodic & dark at the same time and has a bassline to die for(Have to say all the musicianship is superb on the album but the bass work REALLY stands out). Closing track Unknown Tongue is brilliant, coupling sinister & somewhat erotic lyrics with a theatrical approach and some particularly outstanding keyboards - love the singing on the fadeout as Eric Bloom repeats "Reveal To Me" over and over in an almost black metal style rasp!
Heaviest track is perhaps Lips In The Hills which gallops along with some blazin' guitar and sounds like it might have inspired Steve Harris of Iron Maiden?
Divine Wind is a track that I have to be in the mood for; it has very relaxed pace but does also have a sinister undertone. The other tracks haven't really grown on me and I have to say I found The Marshall Plan hideous and totally cringeworthy.
Production/sound quality is excellent for a 30 year old album too.
Slightly dissapointed that no lyrics but there you are; at least the internet solves that.
Ok, so not a perfect album by any means..but well worth acquiring none the less :-)
Of all the Blue Oyster Cult discs i own this one annoys the most,its not that its a bad album,rather the adulation that is given to it,the over the top praise as if it was a return to form,it wasnt.
Opening with a rather lame,typical heavy rock dungeons and dragons type nonsense 'Black Blade' co written with Hawkwind collaborator Micheal Moorcock,it just jars,you could see Ronnie James Dio gettin his teeth into the lyrics not these boys.Next up a couple of classics firstly 'Monsters' with its alternating riff then jazzy interlude(funny how those that hate 'Mirrors' can appreciate this)followed by the albums highlight the laid back 'Divine Wind' which immediately transports me back to 'The Last days Of May',then the poppy 'Deadline' hooks itself in your head,another which could quite easily have sat on the Mirrors album.
Side 2 of the original disc opened with the frankly average 'The Marshall Plan' although it nevers ceases to raise a smile with the little 'Smoke on the Water' cameo,next up the awful 'Hungry Boys,one of the worst Cult tracks ever commited to tape.Thankfully another pop nugget 'Fallen Angel' raises the bar,the last two tracks highlight the problem this disc has,the heavy metal by numbers 'Lips In The Hills' and the sublime pop rock of 'Unknown Tongue' with its typical off the wall Cult Lyrics.
Ultimately an album that for me falls between two stools,several tracks could easily have fitted the Mirrors/Spectres soundscape,the rest average plodding uninspired heavy rock which was not on a par with the class of the Cults previous history.Still people believe what they read,the press lapped this up,Martin Birch was the preeminent Heavy Rock producer so the Cult must be back,you listen, decide for your self.3.5 stars
PS this edition is the SBM mastering edition,absoulutely superb sound quality.
on 18 March 2000
Absolutely faultless BOC mix of in-your-face heavy rock combined with satirical overtones & knowing wit. Black Blade is a bit naff in a Michael Moorcock sort of way but the rest of the CD is excellent. From the quasi-jazz `Monsters',the `Last days of May'-ish Divine Wind,the `Reaper-ish' Deadline through to the hard rock of Lips in the Hills & Unknown Tongue this is BOC at their stylish best. In the early 70's there was no better band to come out of the US. An absolute essential in your BOC collection.
on 5 March 2012
The fallout from BOC's Mirrors (1979) album left the group in need of making the right decisions with their 1980 release - personally I like most of the tracks on the Mirrors disc but it has never sat right as a BOC product (especially given the classic albums that surround it) & more importantly to Columbia it didn't sell that well.
Although subsequent sales for Cultosaurus Erectus were also below par the choice of Martin Birch as producer led to mostly fan appeasement & critical acclaim - it also directly led the way to the commercial success of the next year.
The band (especially Albert) wanted to return to a more Heavy Metal approach to try & re-ignite their fortunes - the results reveal a group that are clearly far more comfortable with the material & producer - the album cover & Cultosaurus concept was the first to be overtly tongue in cheek but it fitted the bill nicely.
The music kicks off with an impressive sci-fi number from Bloom who draws on the work of Michael Moorcock for inspiration with his "Black Blade" - I'm more of a RE Howard (Conan) fan but I think this relates to Elric's soul devouring sword -strong lyrics from Eric around who is the real master between the man & his weapon - varied "prog rock" musical sections shine throughout the track as well.
The sci-fi theme continues with "Monsters" (of the mind or ID) a nifty composition from the Bouchards - the lyrics detail the status quo of a spaceship being restored after the only woman aboard is gunned down by one of the crew - instantly halting any jealousy or distractions amongst the men as they seek survival in outer space - the music contributes to one of the band's most fascinating songs & the inclusion of Jazz Hall / Sax sections works surprisingly well.
"Divine Wind" is a song very much of that year - nice laid back guitar from Buck with vocals to match from Bloom - it grooves along & builds to a finish with Iran's main man being welcomed to a fiery end.
"Deadline" is the third & final track that relates to the murder of an agent that the band knew in their early days - an avid card player who went looking for a debt that he was owed - smooth vocal from Buck with a stunning bass line (from either Joe or Buck I think) - nice "Countdown" finale as well.
"The Marshall Plan" probably divides opinion amongst BOC fans - the band "ape" an upcoming (bland, mass market) rock star (selling "6 million albums in 2 short years") - & the result predictably is no more interesting than many of the (big selling) acts of that time (the like of which the Cult could artistically beat hands down if not in album sale results! - indeed Cultosaurus only sold about 200,000+ copies!).
Hungry Boys is an unusually unproductive, synth laden Bouchard number whilst the following track "Fallen Angel" is more listenable if still unremarkable.
The band save two quality tracks to close the album - "Lips In The Hills" was the type of number that Albert was looking for - butt kicking, breakneck & quite metallic in nature - as a nod to older fans.
The album closes in sublime style with the excellent "Unknown Tongue" - expertly written & executed - relating to a slice of a young girl's daily "routine" that is creepy & disturbing but lyrically & musically irresistible.
To conclude this was a return to form for the boys, a re-alignment with their core fans & it paved the way to 1981's Fire of Unknown Origin (also with Birch).
This album sees BOC return to the hard riffing of their earlier albums with a vengeance & they would shortly embark on a tour with a Dio fronted Black Sabbath that further reinforced their heavy rock credentials.The Satanic venom of "Divine Wind" & synth
rock of Satan inspired "Fallen Idol",shouldn't fool you into thinking this album is for Devil worshippers,far from it.As usual BOC demonstrate their customary humour on "Monsters" & "Lips In the Hills", as well as teaming up with sci-fi/fantasy author Michael Moorcock for the blistering "Black Blade",which some Cult fans find a bit stodgy,but if you're a fan of Moorcock's Elric novels-like me- you'll relish this track especially on Stormbringer's synthed-out refrain "My Master is my slave.."which Eric Bloom delivers with demonic glee.A truly great BOC album full of wit,stories,a dash of evil & fantastic guitar from the incomparable Donald Roeser.
on 5 March 2013
This album is amazing, i don't know if it is their best but probably, in my opinion one of their.
The album is so enjoyable with amazing songs, any rock n' roll fan will enjoy this kind of music.
The album can be repeat again and again, great tracks like: 'Divine Wind', 'Hungry Boys', 'Lips in the Hills' and more.
Highly recommended for any rock n' roll fan. Enjoy!