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4.0 out of 5 stars The American hard rock answer to the British
Blue Oyster Cult relied largely on dark psychedelia on their debut album, creeping along with a sinister, occult-tinged take on leather n' hogs rock that was spreading like fire in the early 1970s. With "Tyranny and Mutation," the band kick things into overdrive and give early British heavy metal a run for its money.

The band fuses elements of Black Sabbath,...
Published on Dec 1 2011 by Derek Draven

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry I asked...
Blue Oyster Cult has always been sort of a mystery to me. Since I was a kid, I've only been aware of two of their songs, Don't Fear and Godzilla. I never cared at all for the former, I kinda like the latter. Recently I read somewhere that BOC was considered "America's answer to Black Sabbath" and the word "heavy" was thrown around a few times. I...
Published on Sept. 4 2002 by D. K. Malone


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4.0 out of 5 stars The American hard rock answer to the British, Dec 1 2011
By 
Derek Draven - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Tyranny & Mutation (4 bonus tracks) (Audio CD)
Blue Oyster Cult relied largely on dark psychedelia on their debut album, creeping along with a sinister, occult-tinged take on leather n' hogs rock that was spreading like fire in the early 1970s. With "Tyranny and Mutation," the band kick things into overdrive and give early British heavy metal a run for its money.

The band fuses elements of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and the California surf rock of artists like Dick Dale to create a hybrid fusion of sound interjected with the band's obscure lyrical themes and bratty sense of humor. There's the slightest bit of nihilism and nonchalance in the opening track 'The Red and the Black' a speedy doo-wop rocker with plenty of energy to move to. 'O.D.'ed on Life Itself' finds the band channeling some southern rock into a more medium paced offering, while 'Hot Rails to Hell' explores "In Rock"-era Deep Purple with a more stripped down and easily accessible take on the fast-rock formula. It's full-on Black Sabbath with '7 Screaming Diz-Busters,' driven by tinny, distorted guitar riffs and scales. "On each and all those holy nights, When duster's dust becomes the sale, And Lucifer the light..." is as typically cryptic of Blue Oyster Cult as one could possibly imagine. 'Baby Ice Dog' is a true highlight of the album, an instantly memorable thought-rock number co-written by the legendary Patti Smith, driven on the back of an off-time 1,2,3 guitar riff. 'Wings Wetted Down' slows the album down to another sinister Sabbath-crawl without sounding overly grimy or dark. 'Teen Archer' is another fine highlight of the album that deserves special recognition for being such a trademark of the 1973 hard rock era and still maintaining a quality that should be mandatory listening in music appreciation classes. BOC saved the best for last however, with 'Mistress of the Salmon Salt,' complete with uneasily decipherable lyrics and the memorable "Quicklime girl" lyric interspersed with classic metal organ and trip-over drum patterns.

It's far too easy to pigeonhole "Tyranny and Mutation" as the sophomore effort by the band who transitioned straight out of the 60s and hit the ground at the pinnacle of a new phase in hard rock history. Dating the album may be unavoidable, but there's enough rich musical history packed into each of the 8 songs to give serious rock historians and fans something to chew on for a long, long time. BOC may have been slightly eclipsed by their American (and indeed, British) compatriots during the rise of Heavy Metal music, but their influence on the future evolution of the genre is categorically undeniable.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry I asked..., Sept. 4 2002
By 
D. K. Malone (earth) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tyranny And Mutation (Audio CD)
Blue Oyster Cult has always been sort of a mystery to me. Since I was a kid, I've only been aware of two of their songs, Don't Fear and Godzilla. I never cared at all for the former, I kinda like the latter. Recently I read somewhere that BOC was considered "America's answer to Black Sabbath" and the word "heavy" was thrown around a few times. I decided to see for myself and I ordered the debut album and T&M. All I can say is "Huh?! 'America's answer to Black Sabbath'?!?! 'Heavy'?!?!?! What the heck are you talking about???" I suppose back in the early 70s, this stuff may have been considered heavy. But where the Black Sabbath comparison comes in, I don't know. Black Sabbath's music IS heavy, and more importantly, timeless. The music on these albums is as dated as denim bell bottoms and suede vests with fringe on them. Sounds more like America's answer to early Yes to me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Taste, No Filler, July 17 2004
This review is from: Tyranny And Mutation (Audio CD)
BOC score another hit with their second album. By this time they're known as "The American Black Sabbath." I'm not sure who this deaf schmuck was that started this rumor coz it's not accurate. Sabbath and BOC are both hard rock/metal bands from the 70s, but that's where all similarities end if you ask me. BOC were always hard rock, but were much more diverse and weren't afraid to experiment with what ever sounded good to them, even if that meant not being totally heavy 100% of the time. Plus, they weren't afraid to put a little humor into things. In all honesty, they don't sound anything like Black Sabbath. If you're a newcomer to BOC, and are curious because of this silly label, please disregard it. You'll be disappointed if you're looking for a Black Sabbath clone. Sabbath are great, but there is alot more substance to BOC. T&M is yet another masterpiece by BOC that's practically unknown to anyone under 50. Do yourself a favor and discover it. You owe it to yourself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars NYC Tyranny, May 20 2004
By 
Thaddeus B. Rosemyer "Thad R." (Massena, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tyranny And Mutation (Audio CD)
This is the Oyster Boys 2nd LP and it's a rocker. There's not a dull moment, & each track is a classic. What made the 70s BOC so cool was that 4 of em sang lead and they all can PLAY. The group still lets loose w/a lot of these tunes today (2004) so u know this one's a Hall of Fame level cannon blast of hard, merciless rock best played after dark.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The world that's mine, its mine, its STILL MINE, April 4 2004
By 
deadringer22000 "funboy" (Kennett Square PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tyranny And Mutation (Audio CD)
Ahh, here's an album with a nasty streak a mile wide. From rape and murder fantasies("Teen Archer") to world domination("Od'd On Life Itself"), nobody could paint a nastier picture than Blue Oyster Cult. If there's some drawbacks to the album it's the production which doest really give the album a fuller sound and some 70's cliche`s show up here and again. Other than that, dig in. Cause nobody could write a song like these guys in their peak.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great cd, Feb. 13 2004
By 
Patricia Govoni (Warner,) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tyranny And Mutation (Audio CD)
I first discovered boc by listing to an old tape of them. I bought this cd not expecting much. But i was very supprised. Every song on here is a work of art. This is [to me] one of the best albums ever!!!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars BOC Does It Again, Jan. 25 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Tyranny And Mutation (Audio CD)
Blue Oyster Cult makes another terrific album with TYRANNY AND MUTATION. Most of the songs are great, and the blend of English metal, American boogie, mysticism, and folk-rock harmonies is once again in evidence. Their next album, SECRET TREATIES, would equal it, but then they would tail off a bit before coming roaring back with AGENTS OF FORTUNE and SPECTRES.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Cheesy, Offbeat & Wheezy, but solid, sweating rock: 4 *, Nov. 11 2003
This review is from: Tyranny And Mutation (Audio CD)
This is the type of sophomore release most hard rock bands achieve but which few achieve so well. 'Tyranny & Mutation' is thirty-eight minutes of pushing at the frontiers explored on their eponymous debut. There's one retread ('The Red & The Black' is almost a carbon copy of 'I'm On The Lamb But I Ain't No Sheep') but even that's more progressive in sound.
As regards the remainder of the 'Red' songs (tracks 1-4),'OD'd on Life Itself' is a funky highlight indeed, 'Hot Rails to Hell' a screaming eagle and '7 Screaming Diz Busters' provides a feverish bit of hard rock, even if it gets embarrassingly silly in parts (beware having your car speakers cranked at a red light in summertime as it begins!)
Still, if the 'Red' songs ('Side One' in old money) are smoking, the 'Black' side is deliciously mysterious. 'Baby Ice Dog', 'Wings Wetted Down' and 'Teen Archer' seem to almost form a trilogy of wonder underscored by dark lyrics and a heavy keyboard-guitar section. 'Mistress of the Salmon Salt' is a return to form a-la hard rock and what a finish it gives to this, B.O.C.'s only other album to feature Escher-like landscapes on its cover.
While listening to this, it's imperative to consider the era of its fabrication. The sound quality still hasn't quite got to the levels first heard on 'Agents of Fortune' but given what's going on here, that's forgivable. The only thing that makes their debut that extra shade better lies in delivery and novelty-value. But anyone calling this a bad effort has simply not been listening at all. Luckily, the group kept listening to themselves and kept on an upward curve in the unfolding story of why Blue Oyster Cult are here and why we need them to be here.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's alright! It's alright! (Only the 2001 remaster, though), Jan. 22 2003
By 
Erroneous "Paul" (The radio wasteland of the Midwest) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tyranny And Mutation (Audio CD)
This album just KILLS. It's true that the comparison to Black Sabbath isn't very well founded, but if you want to see the closest they got to the Slabbathy sound, check out the live version of "7 Screaming Dizbusters" on the tail end of the CD. The way they tweak the "really heavy part" is just unbelievable. They WERE better live. The whole album reeks of 70s, and I wasn't even born yet - just that kind of space-fixated, technically proficient, rock and roll atmosphere that is trapped in the grooves, along with traces of cocaine and mary jane. The remastering on this CD is EXCELLENT. Excellent, excellent, excellent. Probably sounds better than the original record. And YES, that is possible with the continuing advance of CD mastering technology. Oh, one more thing: the packaging on this reissue is really lavish. They even print the CD in negative Columbia colors (like the Black Side of the original record).
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5.0 out of 5 stars BOCs Break-out Recording, Nov. 1 2002
This review is from: Tyranny And Mutation (Audio CD)
after the criticaly acclaimed maiden voyage (the self-titled BOC), T&M became a rarity in the rock lore. Their first effort sounded as though it were recorded in a garage - but was still a beaut. T&M went for our collective jugular and surprised any and all who listened. Never before had anyone heard anything like it. There was magic in the air. This band was otherwordly. And what a great cast of talented characters! Lead guitarist Don (buck dharma) Roeser, was nick-named "God" by his fans, and indeed took first in Guitar Worlds "best electric guitarist in the world" contest for about a decade. Eventually, Roeser became the Editor of GW. Singer/writer Eric Bloom was the personification of pure evil with his leather look - including cape and whip. He knew how to "whip the audience" into a frenzy. The drummer sometimes played the drums backwards, while wearing a weird mask on the back of his head. Guitarist/keyboardist (whatshisname) looked the perfect junkie, another member liked to dance on stage. Pyro-technics, motorcycles, a sense of fear by "the stoned out crowd", all made a great showcase for their recordings - T&M especially. #3 on the red side - "HOT RAILS TO HELL" - seems clearly the first polished example of heavy metal. Most girls don't like any of the songs because of the titles and lyrics - all of which are mean-spirited, yet great fun. Their wicked lyrics/topics would become one of their trademark characteristics. T&M even includes blatant devil worship in "Seven Screaming Diz-busters", and, of course, the obligatory song about a weird mermaid or something - Quicklime Girl. (Quicklime destroys human bodies very quickly.) T&M probably provided the inspiration of many of BOCs fans to travel with the band, watching as many shows as possible, or until winding up on the de-tox ward. Did someone whisper...the grateful dead? I hope so, as that is the type of following they have had since the release of T&M. This core group of loyal fans, like me, continue to see as many of their shows as possible. Therefore, Tyranny and Mutation was something new, something affecting, and a hell of a lot of fun! Get it now. Oh, and the bonus tracks? Fine, but just as good without them.
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Tyranny & Mutation (4 bonus tracks)
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