Sea Of Tranquility



The Web Source for Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal & Jazz-Fusion
  Search   in       
Main Menu




Blue Oyster Cult: The Symbol Remains

For their first studio album since 2001's Curse of the Hidden Mirror, legendary hard rock act Blue Oyster Cult have teamed up with Frontiers Records to deliver The Symbol Remains, a release that shows not only has the 'symbol' remained, displayed front and center on the cover artwork, but when you dive into the album all their musical elements from their historic career is here in fine form. Love the barnstorming, heavy rocking BOC? They hit you with the angry, evil "That Was Me" right from the start, a crushing song with big metallic riffing from Buck Dharma, Eric Bloom, and Richie Castellano, with Eric's vocals sounding strong and menacing. "Box in My Head" takes you back to their more accessible '80s albums, Buck's melodic voice drifting over engaging instrumentation, the hooks clever and addictive. So, right there, the band pull you into the album immediately with those first two tracks, but wait, there's more, much more.

Joining those three here are Danny Miranda on bass and Jules Radino on drums. Richie takes a lead vocal on the catchy and hard rocking "Tainted Blood", a fine song that also delivers some sizzling lead guitar work. "Nightmare Epiphany" sees Buck again at the vocal helm, a bouncy pop song with some surf guitar and Castellano's keyboards, those trademark BOC backing vocals working their magic, while "Edge of the World" pulls out more of the heavy lumber, a moody hard rocker with a snarling Bloom vocal, creepy synths and plenty of guitar firepower, plus a killer chorus. With Castellano on the verse and Dharma on the chorus, the two axe-slingers make for a great vocal team on "The Machine", Buck also slipping in some tasty lead guitars, and "Train True (Lennie's Song)" sees the band dip into some engaging blues rock, a fun shuffle that still sounds decidedly BOC. In fact, they even take you back to their early '70s sound on the fantastic "The Return of St. Cecelia", a sequel of sorts to their old song "St. Cecelia", a song they wrote when the band was still called Stalk-Forest Group, Castellano taking the lead vocal here on this psychedelic hard rocker. Bloom is back on vocals for the heavy metal sounds of "Stand and Fight", easily the most crushing song on the album, and that gives way to the breezy "Florida Man", another Buck song that could be a distant cousin to "Harvest Moon" with its catchy hooks and sublime arrangement. Fans of their more progressive, epic styled fare with thrill to the sounds of "The Alchemist", a song that could have come off either Secret Treaties or Fire of Unknown Origin, with haunting keyboards and layers of guitars supporting a deliciously snarling Bloom lead vocal...perhaps my favorite song on the album, and great fantasy tinged lyrics. Killer guitar solos on this one as well. It's back to laid back, pop based melodies on "Secret Road", which as history shows is what Buck does best, and his classy guitar solos and alluring vocals are in tip top shape here. The last two tracks on the album are the raunchy blues rock piece "There's a Crime", which is chock full of blistering lead guitars and fat bass grooves, and the progressive/psychedelic pop gem "Fight", the latter another Buck Dharma piece complete with soaring vocal melodies and some majestic guitar flights.

Though The Symbol Remains contains 14 songs and clocks in at about an hour, you don't get the normal 'too many songs' fatigue that often happens these days with bands delivering albums that tend to overstay their welcome. With so much variety, this album delivers all the Blue Oyster Cult trademarks that you would expect AND desire. A few really heavy numbers, plenty of pop, haunting prog & psychedelia, and a couple of dark, epic songs, as the band take bits of Curse of the Hidden Mirror, Heaven Forbid and a healthy dose of their '70s and '80s classics, throw it all in a blender, and out comes one of the most welcome returns in many years, and easily the comeback of the year here in 2020.


Track Listing
01 THAT WAS ME 3:19
02 BOX IN MY HEAD 3:45
03 TAINTED BLOOD 4:18
04 NIGHTMARE EPIPHANY 5:31
05 EDGE OF THE WORLD 4:52
06 THE MACHINE 4:15
07 TRAIN TRUE (LENNIE’S SONG) 3:57
08 THE RETURN OF ST CECILIA 4:13
09 STAND AND FIGHT 4:49
10 FLORIDA MAN 4:09
11 THE ALCHEMIST 6:00
12 SECRET ROAD 5:24
13 THERE'S A CRIME 3:37
14 FIGHT 3:12

Added: October 3rd 2020
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2329
Language: english

[ Printer Friendly Page Printer Friendly Page ]
[ Send to a Friend Send to a Friend ]

  

[ Back to the Reviews Index | Post Comment ]



© 2004 Sea Of Tranquility
For information regarding where to send CD promos and advertising, please see our FAQ page.
If you have questions or comments, please Contact Us.
Please see our Policies Page for Site Usage, Privacy, and Copyright Policies.

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all other content © Sea of Tranquility

SoT is Hosted by SpeedSoft.com