Album Review: Blue Oyster Cult – The Symbol Remains (Frontiers Music srl)

By: Jesse Striewski

After years of multiple reissues and live albums from Blue Oyster Cult, I was thrilled to finally be able to critique some actual new material from the band, who I’ve always considered extremely underrated. And I was even more glad to discover the band’s first new studio effort since 2001 wasn’t a total dud.

Album opener “That Was Me” is reminiscent of such heavier tracks in the band’s catalogue as “See You in Black.” Seeing former drummer Albert Bouchard make a welcomed appearance in the video (playing cowbell, of course!) for the song was a definite nice touch as well. Further singles like “Box in my Head” and “Tainted Blood” (the first number from the band to be sung by current guitarist Richie Castellano) are less effective.

But the real highlights here come in the form of the experimental; “Florida Man” and “Secret Road” are in a category all their own, while “Nightmare Epiphany” (my personal favorite) and “Edge of the World” are the strongest tracks overall. Even if you’ve never listened to a BOC album a day in your life, this isn’t a bad starting point.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

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