Blue Oyster Cult
Tyranny And Mutation


4.5
superb

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (156 Reviews)
June 5th, 2012 | 25 replies


Release Date: 1973 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The second of such a significant trio of albums by one of the world's best 70's hard rock bands, 'Tyranny and Mutation' should find itself in every Hard Rock lover's collection.

Anybody who's ever listened to the first three Blue Oyster Cult albums will surely tell you that the band themselves sound so fresh and alive. And that's a fully supported fact. Fully supported by the band's extremely blues-influenced self-titled d├ębut, the more mysterious yet much faster follow up, and the almost progressive ( In comparison to the previous two albums, certainly) 'Secret Treaties'. It is with the second of these three aforementioned records, 'Tyranny and Mutation', that the band came fully into their own, and produced some truly impressive tunes. Of course, if, like me, you're slightly bemused by the album cover (which wouldn't seem out of place on an Escher painting!), you'll probably be 'expecting the unexpected' anyway.

Even though the band began writing the songs for 'Tyranny...' midway through the tour of their first album, it wasn't actually released until the tour had ended. In a year where Alice Cooper was recording their last album as an actual band, Black Sabbath was still making astoundingly heavy music, and Pink Floyd was making arguably the defining album of their entire career, it's no surprise that Blue Oyster Cult's intelligently written music was overshadowed. Certainly the band had more than just a pinch of Blues incorporated into their brand of Hard Rock, as evident on the first album, but just over six months later they were getting heavier, faster and even a little bit 'creepier'. Read the lyrics and it won't take much convincing to realise why I used that superlative.

It's obvious from the opening guitar rumble of 'The Red and the Black' (basically another version of 'I'm on the Lamb but I ain't no Sheep' from the band's first album) that the band waste no time in making their innovative music known to the world. Within mere seconds the band seem even more alive than on their predecessor, and it's not just the guitar work that seems to play its part well: The bass, drums and well rehearsed vocal talents of each member of the band. Wait a minute, every member of the band is taking part in singing each song? Yes, they certainly are. That's just how original BOC was in the 70's.

The album continues in fine fashion, of course, and most notably on the swirling, mesmerizing '7 screaming Dizbusters', with its spiralling keyboard melodies and groovy guitar solos literally dominating the song wherever they can. It's true that the band had not one, not two, but three (!) guitarists , one of which was primarily used as an expansion for the band's use of power chords and strong song introduction. Even on the slightly-more-melodic-than-usual 'Wings wetted Down', with its slow-moving atmosphere and well controlled tempos, the band exercise each of their respective instruments in fine fashion.

Yes, the band have got heavier and faster with 'Tyranny...', but that doesn't mean to say they have fully ditched the psychedelic influences that made their first album the gem it is. On such keyboard-led numbers as the groovy 'OD'd on Life itself' and the equally as mystical closer 'Mistress of the Salmon Salt (Quicklime Girl), the band use each of their instruments to represent their idea of mysterious music, albeit music that is fully backed up with the well executed drum work, solid guitars and rumbling bass, the latter of which is very audible throughout every song indeed.

You're probably wondering why I haven't mentioned anything distinctly negative so far, and the reason for that is, well, there isn't anything negative here at all. That is, if you love the band. If you have heard the band's earlier work and not found it satisfying in any way, 'Tyranny...' may not interest you in the slightest. Some tracks are ever so slightly weaker than others, in particular the very simplistic 'Hot Rails to Hell', sporting some impressive yet predictable guitar riffs here, there and everywhere. But this is merely depending on whether you like the band or not. And let's face it, few have ever complained about the band's earlier songs ever since they hit the charts in the early 70's.

What you should take in from listening to 'Tyranny...' is the fact that the band's performance makes you feel fully invigorated and alive, as they never really let up on anything on here. The second album by Blue Oyster Cult, and indeed the second of such a significant trio of albums, 'Tyranny and Mutation' succeeds in the way that even bigger bands such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin succeeded with their respective albums. Bottom line is, if you don't already own this album and love 70's hard rock, you really should get it straight away.



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user ratings (122)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
HenchmanOfSanta
June 5th 2012


1902 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This desperately needed a review.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
June 5th 2012


1917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I agree fully. Blue Oyster Cult seem to be underrated on Sputnikmusic...

Digging: Obliterations - Poison Everything

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 5th 2012


6287 Comments


ASTROOOONOMYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY




Will read the review later.



Edit: Wait, Secret Treaties does not have a review in here already?!?!?

Digging: Madred - Supersonic Brainfuck Overdrive

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
June 5th 2012


1917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No, it doesn't. I'm gonna work on doing one for that album too...

Dammit, I love this band now.

MO
June 5th 2012


19000 Comments


sweet album, but treaties is tops

Jethro42
June 5th 2012


12550 Comments


I only know couple of their singles and thought it was ok like that but who knows...

MO
June 5th 2012


19000 Comments


jethro man listen to more of these guys amazing band

Jethro42
June 5th 2012


12550 Comments


Aight I will do. And where should I start with them? And what to avoid...?

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
June 5th 2012


1917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My personal favourite is indeed 'Secret treaties'.

MO
June 5th 2012


19000 Comments


well some of their bigger hits came off later albums (burnin for you, reaper, etc) but the albums themselves are kinda meh except fire of unknown origin, first 4 or 5 albums are really solid though

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 5th 2012


6287 Comments


Good review, pos.

Jethro42
June 5th 2012


12550 Comments


Thanks Metallic dude! I'm gonna investigate these albums first and asap then.

Graveyard
June 5th 2012


5807 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

WINGS WETTED DOWWWWWWWWN

Digging: Prurient - Bermuda Drain

scissorlocked
June 5th 2012


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

woa, this didn't have a review??

anyway, excellent job man

the album is awesome, don't miss it jethro

Digging: Distance - Outer Limits

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
June 5th 2012


1917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks. I myself was surprised looking at the amount of BOC albums without reviews on here.

Jethro42
June 5th 2012


12550 Comments


Sup scissor buddy

Fuff24
June 5th 2012


1118 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

totally forgot about this, and it's amazing.... but Secret Treaties is BOC's best album no question

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 5th 2012


4453 Comments


I recently discovered this ban and was thinking of reviewing their stuff, but you beat me to it. Good review, mate, POS'd!

scissorlocked
June 5th 2012


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

sup Jeth

gotta check these little BOC diamonds- this one is heavy and monstrous, but Spectres and Secret Treaties are groovier, playful and proggy at times

they weren't named America's Black Sabbath for no reason!

manosg
February 2nd 2013


6541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album.

Digging: Witchfynde - Give 'em Hell



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