Review Summary: Biggest surprise of 2020
So new BOC album after 19 years. You'd think it would be a train wreck worse than Club Ninja, considering that Curse of the Hidden Mirror was also not that great , I thought that too. But this has been the biggest surprise of 2020 for me. The albums is great and, in my opinion, their best since Fire Of Unknown Origin.
I have no idea how they managed to pull it off but every song on here is fun, full of energy, catchy and cheesy as hell. It's the perfect combo for any Blue Oyster Cult album and that is amazing considering how old these guys are.
Now this album is clearly on the heavier side, way heavier than Fire Of Unknown Origin or even Secret Treaties, I'd put it next to Agents Of Fortune . The opener reminds me of This Ain't the Summer of Love as well, it's heavy and loud with a great chorus. Surprisingly good lyrics too it's dark and fun like all other BOC releases. "Box In My Head" is the other single and second track and it's ok, the music itself is great but the lyrics are a bit of a mess (especially the chorus what's up with that one), the vocals aren't especially mind blowing either (on the entire record in fact) but they are way better than i expected, Buck's voice may have gotten worse but he holds up surprisingly well.
Tainted Love is a lot slower than the first two songs but it is the catchiest, fantastic chorus and a surprisingly good solo midway through. Nightmare Epiphany has that classic BOC piano and some surf rock riffs here and there with another great ending. The cheesiness really starts to become apparent with Edge of the World, which is a conspiracy theory song with again another incredible chorus. And if you thought a conspiracy theory song was cheesy what about The Machine which starts off with a sample of the Iphone ringtone and, naturally, it's about phones. It's not the "technology bad" kinda song either (I don't think anyway), it's more about the addiction and benefits a phone has.
Other highlights include Train True (Lennie's Song) that sounds like what you would hear in a cheesy 80s cowboy movie, Florida Man which is about Florida Man and the closer Fight which is a nice little closer.
However i have to bring up 2 songs on this album that surprised me immensely The Return of St. Cecilia and The Alchemist, which come close to being one of the best Blue Oyster Cult songs ever. The Return of St. Cecilia is fantastic, reminds me a lot of Dominance And Submission from Secret Treaties, it is one of the best written songs on this album for sure.
And The Alchemist which landed in my top 5 BOC tracks. It's got it all, the piano, the concept about some magical being, the dark atmosphere it's all there and it's glorious.
Now I won't say this is perfect by any means. Songs like Stand and Fight and There's a Crime which i found rather boring, and the album could have used at least one slower song or a ballad. It gets kinda tiresome by the end.
Though considering this is their first new album in 19 year and the fact that the original members are quite old this is a fantastic releases that i did not think i would enjoy as much as i did . Highly recommend giving it a listen.