BLUE OYSTER CULT

(UNITED STATES)

HEAVEN FORBID

(1998)
LABEL:

SPV STEAMHAMMER

GENRE:

HARD ROCK

TAGS:
""Heaven Forbid" is not the last gasp of a dying Blue Oyster Cult, but a true gem of modern hard rock."
MR.BLUE (09.11.2009)  
5/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s) (1) Biography + (3)
It's been ten years since we last heard from Blue Oyster Cult after their 1988 masterpiece "Imaginos". Ten years of wandering the Long Island road networks again, occasionally appearing on larger stages, at certain festivals, as in their early days. Blue Oyster Cult seemed well and truly retired. But that was to misunderstand Bloom, Lanier and Roeser, the three whimsical and inspired rock magicians. 

Blue Oyster Cult enters the 21st century a little early, and, bolstered by a rhythm section that combines finesse with a wall of sound, delivers a massive album, with huge production, brilliant compositions and a crystal-clear sound. There's nothing to throw away here, and every track deserves a careful listen. As for the artwork, the album comes with two different covers in the same box, the first very soft with a pretty blonde who seems to be managing access to paradise, and the second much darker, worthy of an old Hitchcock. This seems to represent the two distinct - but complementary - moods of this album, often characterized by the split between Bloom and Dharma's vocals.

For proof of this, just listen to the first track, 'See You In Black'. It's without doubt the most metal and powerful track of the band's entire career, with its terrific bass/drums intro, big guitars, steady rhythm, painful theme (battered women) and furious solo. In the same vein, but less raw and still featuring Bloom's powerful vocals, we find 'Hammer Back', whose middle section pays homage to Blue Oyster Cult's psychedelic period, followed by an anthology solo, and 'Power Underneath Dispair', with its superb intro and chorus that, every other time, takes the rhythm in a bluffing way.

Then, in a different vein, there are the Dharma-style tracks, haunted by their mellow vocals and guitar that beguiles only to cut deeper. 'Harvest Moon' is a perfect example, with its spectral ambience enhanced by dark, ominous lyrics, followed by a guitar solo on a heartfelt acceleration. It's one of the album's highlights, and one of the only tracks regularly covered live, which is no mistake.

The end of the album is dominated by Buck's voice. The tracks have a folk feel, with a semi-acoustic 'Real World' bursting with guitar gimmicks and a totally acoustic cover of 'In Thee', from the 1979 album Mirrors, during which Lanier shines with his bluesy playing.

Apart from two weak tracks, "Heaven Forbid" is another very good Blue Oyster Cult album, perhaps even one of the best, characterized by ardor, diversity, energy and luminosity. The band won't have to wait long for "The Curse Of The Hidden Mirror", released just three years later, the band's last studio album to date...
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. See You In Black - 03:17
02. Harvest Moon - 04:55
03. Power Underneath Dispair - 03:29
04. X-ray Eyes : 03:49
05. Hammer Back - 03:35
06. Damaged - 04:42
07. Cold Grey Light Of Dawn - 03:53
08. Real World - 05:11
09. Live For Me - 05:19
10. Still Burnin’ - 03:37
11. In Thee - 03:40

LINEUP:
Allen Lanier: Guitares / Claviers
Bobby Rondinelli: Batterie
Chuck Burgi: Chant / Batterie
Danny Miranda: Chant / Basse
Donald (Buck Dharma) Roeser: Chant / Guitares / Claviers
Eric Bloom: Chant / Guitares / Claviers
George Cintron: Chant
Jon Rogers: Chant / Basse
Tony Perrino: Claviers
   
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