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Blue Öyster Cult - The Symbol Remains

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The Symbol Remains

Blue Öyster Cult

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There are plenty of examples where bands have attempted a comeback and it’s been an absolute flop. Bands which, for some unknown reason, try to come back from the dead and end up making an album that’s just way too much. Fear not - The Symbol Remains doesn’t fall into that category. Not even close. Coming 19 years after their last studio album but still staying true to their sound, Blue Öyster Cult run hot and cold on this album, alternating between dark, heavy tracks and pop-like ritornellos that wouldn’t stand out in Billy Joel’s discography. The brains behind the band haven’t changed either: Eric Bloom (guitar, vocals) takes charge of the dark side while Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser brings a light, airy side to the album.

The 14 tracks on The Symbol Remains are rather heart-warming. Bloom’s darker tracks (such as the opener That Was Me or the brilliant The Alchemist) create threatening atmospheres that bring Megadeth to mind, but they never cloud over the lighter ambiences found on tracks like Box In My HeadTainted Blood (the album’s hit song, composed and sung by their youngest member: guitarist Richie Castellano) and Florida Man.


On these overtly soft tracks, the listener is guided between melodies destined for Californian radios and harder Toto-esque rock. The duality is brilliant. It’s as exciting as eating out the jam jar, knowing that judging eyes could appear at any moment. Sounding close-ish in spirit to the sublime Fire of Unknown Origin (1981), The Symbol Remains is one hell of a comeback. 19 years is a long, long, long time. It takes talent to come back well. Luckily enough, Blue Öyster Cult have lots of it! © Charlélie Arnaud/Qobuz

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The Symbol Remains

Blue Öyster Cult

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1
That Was Me
00:03:18

Eric Bloom, Composer - Richie Castellano, Composer - Blue Oyster Cult, MainArtist - John Shirley, Composer

(C) 2020 Frontiers Records (P) 2020 Frontiers Records

2
Box in My Head
00:03:45

Donald Roeser, Composer - Blue Oyster Cult, MainArtist - John Shirley, Composer

(C) 2020 Frontiers Records (P) 2020 Frontiers Records

3
Tainted Blood
00:04:17

Eric Bloom, Composer - Richie Castellano, Composer - Blue Oyster Cult, MainArtist

(C) 2020 Frontiers Records (P) 2020 Frontiers Records

4
Nightmare Epiphany
00:05:30

Donald Roeser, Composer - Blue Oyster Cult, MainArtist - John Shirley, Composer

(C) 2020 Frontiers Records (P) 2020 Frontiers Records

5
Edge of the World
00:04:52

Richie Castellano, Composer - Blue Oyster Cult, MainArtist

(C) 2020 Frontiers Records (P) 2020 Frontiers Records

6
The Machine
00:04:14

Richie Castellano, Composer - Blue Oyster Cult, MainArtist

(C) 2020 Frontiers Records (P) 2020 Frontiers Records

7
Train True (Lennie's Song)
00:03:57

Donald Roeser, Composer - Blue Oyster Cult, MainArtist - Zeke Roeser, Composer

(C) 2020 Frontiers Records (P) 2020 Frontiers Records

8
The Return of St. Cecilia
00:04:12

Richard Meltzer, Composer - Richie Castellano, Composer - Blue Oyster Cult, MainArtist

(C) 2020 Frontiers Records (P) 2020 Frontiers Records

9
Stand and Fight
00:04:48

Eric Bloom, Composer - Richie Castellano, Composer - Blue Oyster Cult, MainArtist

(C) 2020 Frontiers Records (P) 2020 Frontiers Records

10
Florida Man
00:04:08

Donald Roeser, Composer - Blue Oyster Cult, MainArtist - John Shirley, Composer

(C) 2020 Frontiers Records (P) 2020 Frontiers Records

11
The Alchemist
00:06:00

Richie Castellano, Composer - Blue Oyster Cult, MainArtist

(C) 2020 Frontiers Records (P) 2020 Frontiers Records

12
Secret Road
00:05:24

Donald Roeser, Composer - Blue Oyster Cult, MainArtist - John Shirley, Composer

(C) 2020 Frontiers Records (P) 2020 Frontiers Records

13
There's a Crime
00:03:37

Blue Oyster Cult, MainArtist - Jeff Denny, Composer - Jules Radino, Composer

(C) 2020 Frontiers Records (P) 2020 Frontiers Records

14
Fight
00:03:12

Donald Roeser, Composer - Blue Oyster Cult, MainArtist - James Wold, Composer - Ira Rosoff, Composer

(C) 2020 Frontiers Records (P) 2020 Frontiers Records

Album Description

There are plenty of examples where bands have attempted a comeback and it’s been an absolute flop. Bands which, for some unknown reason, try to come back from the dead and end up making an album that’s just way too much. Fear not - The Symbol Remains doesn’t fall into that category. Not even close. Coming 19 years after their last studio album but still staying true to their sound, Blue Öyster Cult run hot and cold on this album, alternating between dark, heavy tracks and pop-like ritornellos that wouldn’t stand out in Billy Joel’s discography. The brains behind the band haven’t changed either: Eric Bloom (guitar, vocals) takes charge of the dark side while Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser brings a light, airy side to the album.

The 14 tracks on The Symbol Remains are rather heart-warming. Bloom’s darker tracks (such as the opener That Was Me or the brilliant The Alchemist) create threatening atmospheres that bring Megadeth to mind, but they never cloud over the lighter ambiences found on tracks like Box In My HeadTainted Blood (the album’s hit song, composed and sung by their youngest member: guitarist Richie Castellano) and Florida Man.


On these overtly soft tracks, the listener is guided between melodies destined for Californian radios and harder Toto-esque rock. The duality is brilliant. It’s as exciting as eating out the jam jar, knowing that judging eyes could appear at any moment. Sounding close-ish in spirit to the sublime Fire of Unknown Origin (1981), The Symbol Remains is one hell of a comeback. 19 years is a long, long, long time. It takes talent to come back well. Luckily enough, Blue Öyster Cult have lots of it! © Charlélie Arnaud/Qobuz

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