They Thrive Live
Blue Oyster Cult Album Review
by Boris Lee
Forming in Stony Brook New York, Blue Oyster Cult have been a benchmark in rock music since the late nineteen-sixties. The band’s musical influence has been claimed by the likes of Metallica and can be distinctly heard in the music of bands like Ghost. Blue Oyster Cult music has appeared on film soundtracks such as Heavy Metal, television shows such as Saturday Night Live (“More Cow Bell”), and can be heard in rotation on your local classic rock music stations.
“The thinking man’s metal band”. That is how the Blue Oyster Cult has been described. I have never found the Blue Oyster Cult sound to fall into the category of ‘Metal’, however, I can get behind that description of the BOC because of their influence on modern metal bands and the lyrical formula the band puts to use. “Don’t Fear the Reaper”, the band’s greatest hit, is a strong foundation for that theory to stand upon.
Blue Oyster Cult: Hard Rock Live Cleveland 2014, is a double-live CD and DVD release forthcoming from Frontiers Music on January 24, 2020. The album boasts seventeen of BOC’s hits, including “Godzilla”, “Burnin’ For You”, “Cities On Flame With Rock-and-Roll”, and “Don’t Fear The Reaper”, among others.
Before I go further, except for two songs, I have never been a big fan of BOC. I have said they are a solid band with good music that many others are fans of, however they are just not my cup of tea. That being said, when I listened to Hard Rock Live Cleveland 2014, my feelings changed.
BOC live are a heavier band in tonality than on studio recordings, and their performance execution carries an energetic emphasis on how good the band is. Lead vocalist Eric Bloom sounds nearly identical now to how he did during the seventies. Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser’s guitar work throughout the album is solid, breathing life into the notes played with every string bend and scale shred. Kasim Sulton’s bass work and Jules Radino’s drumming are a formidable partnership as the BOC rhythm section with both musicians highlighting their talents on respective solos midway through “Godzilla.” Richie Castellano provides grounded rhythm guitars and keyboards, giving “Buck Dharma” the backing for luscious leads.
The album’s production quality and mixing is well orchestrated doing a good job of capturing the power of the BOC performance and the energy of the crowd. The live audience is definitely into the music and interacts with the band at every opportunity. The band and the audience feed off each other, and that is what a classic live recording should represent. Good music makes for good times.
Blue Oyster Cult Hard Rock Live Cleveland 2014 is a great way for the band to make their return in twenty-twenty. The album will connect with BOC career long fans and is an excellent template for introducing new listeners to the band. I give Blue Oyster Cult Hard Rock Live Cleveland 2014, four out of five raised horns.
You can learn more about Blue Oyster Cult and Frontiers Music by following the links below.