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April 15, 2024

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Blue Oyster Cult
Heaven Forbid (CMC International)

By: Jeb Branin

With over 25 years of history under their belt, BOC are one of hard rock's most iconic outfits. They have seen and done it all. From bar room obscurity to the top of the charts and back again their career is the consummate rock 'n roll story. So what does a band of this magnitude have to offer on their first new studio record in a decade? Plenty! Although the band's rich history is evident in the carefully crafted tunes there is also a distinctive contemporary edge. BOC were always innovators of complex harmony, modern technology, and pop sensibility and they have not forsaken that on "Heaven Forbid." Or course their lyrics are as unconventional as ever. They always seem to look at things from a completely unique point of view. The first single, "See You In Black," is a driving hard rocker with an uncompromising statement about spousal abuse. Although a great song, it is a poor choice for a single. A far more obvious choice is "Harvest Moon" with its smooth edges, and beautiful, yet sad, storyline. It has all the captivating splendor and magic of BOC's biggest hits like "Don't Fear the Reaper" (1976) and "Burning For You" (1981). If you are like I am (heaven help you) then you lament the fact that there is a frustrating lack of bands today that just play good solid rock 'n roll with no strong genre ties (read- limitations). As a result one of the freshest rock albums of the year is from a bunch of grizzled veterans.
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