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Blue Oyster Cult - 2001 - "Curse of the Hidden Mirror"

(51:01; Frontiers Music [2020 Edition])


Three years on from ‘Heaven Forbid’ and the band were back with their 13th studio release – unlucky for some, it performed so poorly they were dropped from their label and have not released a studio album since then although that will be corrected later this year. In many ways it is the sequel to the previous release as it still features Roeser, Bloom, Lanier, and Miranda along with Bobby Rondinelli now a full member (he played on one song on ‘Heaven Forbid’). In addition, they again worked with science fiction author John Shirley, and looked backwards in that the album title is taken from a song from the 1970 unreleased album by the Stalk-Forrest Group; "Out Of The Darkness" was originally featured in the 1992 film ‘Bad Channels’, while "Showtime" was originally written and recorded for ‘Cultosaurus Erectus’ but didn’t make the release. I must confess I believe Blue Oyster Cult produced an album here which is very similar to what they had released previously, so it seems somewhat unfair they stopped recording at this point. It is solid, and while there are few in the way of standouts, numbers such as “The Old Gods Return” are classic in so many ways. I personally would not have released “Pocket” as the single back in the day (“One Step Ahead of the Devil” would have been a much better choice), as Roeser is obviously struggling on some of the higher notes. On this album he provides lead vocals on four songs, with Bloom all the others, so although there are plenty of harmony vocals this is one element which had sadly changed over the years. I have always enjoyed Rondinelli’s drumming (I saw him behind the kit back in 1981 with Rainbow, grief I feel old), and here he yet again shows why he is still an in-demand drummer to this day (he has been with Axel Rudi Pell since 2013). He hits the drums really hard, with loads of fills. Apparently, this album has been unavailable for some years, and it has never previously been released on vinyl, something Frontiers Music has now corrected and all power to them for doing so. I have certainly enjoyed playing it and am sure many more will now discover this for the first time.

Progtector: August 2020

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