Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Dark Side of the Cult- A Tribute to Blue Oyster Cult (Black Widow Records BWRCD46-2)

It was an honour to be invited to contribute a song to this great compilation… Anyway, this is 150mins of music and features 29 different bands and then Albert Bouchard (original BOC drummer) also provides his take of Baby Ice Dog (used to play this with the Brain Surgeons).  The album is tracked from the oldest BOC track to the most recent album. Transmaniacon starts things off with, of course, Transmanicon MC!!  They have slowed it down a bit and have a female vocalist but do a nice version…Salem Cross is next with a heavy version of Stairway to the Stars.. Fairly close to the original.  Presence do a very cool and interesting take on Before the Kiss, A Recap.. So far this is the most unique so far… Belladonna have a female singer and strip away Mistress of the Salmon Salt to its bear basics with a drum machine and make it quite interesting, Bretus slow down Career of Evil and this works really well.  They also throw in a powerful female backing vocal. Epitaph´s Wings Wetted is done in an Iron Maiden style. I quite liked that twist… Bullfrog take on Dominance and Submission. They nail the groove. Singer has a special voice but he is passionate.  Witchwood, the singer is very close to Eric. Wow.. They stick pretty close to the original on this one.  Blue Dawn take on the ambitious Astronomy to end the normal CD. The female vocal is a new twist. She has a great voice but you can tell she is not used to sing in English. Musically the intro is very different and spacey. I dug the heavy echo on the vocal at times and intense guitar soloing at the end. Nice job. There is a bonus track of The Last Days of May by Simone Baldini Tosi and Cristiano Roversi. I have to stay they do a unique take where they sort of turn it into a Bowie like track with drum machines, mellotrons, lots of keys and very laid back and the long guitar solo and rocking part is removed completely.  

CD2 starts with The Forty Days and Don´t Fear the Reaper. Probably one of the most difficult songs to do a cover of and try to keep the feel but try to do something original as well. Better to play it safe and play it nearly the same. I liked the synth line at the intro section that was different and more prominent but they do it well, if not in a very unique way…..  The Revenge of Vera Gemini was a very unique and interesting version.  Poobah, did good on Godzilla. Great long guitar solo section and powerful. Lifestream´s version of Death Valley Nights was also very unique.  Gothic Stone took on Nosteratu, a quite unusual track to choose… I proposed a few to Martin and we decided on the Vigil and we took a BOC meets Hawkwind style and made it instrumental. Fun… Freddy Delirio and ther Phantoms do the great song, Black Blade. They do it pretty close to the original. Freddy has a cool voice to make it a bit more creepy…Ottone Pesante go for Monsters and a quite heavy spaced version, wow.. This caught me off guard but I liked it.. A real adventurous take with mainly trombone, trumpet and drums!!! Ape Shifter take on the bands biggest hit from the 80s, Burnin´for You.. They play it a bit faster on the intro and main parts. The Mugshots do one of my fave 80s tracks from BOC, Veteran of the Psychic Wars.  Strange mix… kick drum is the loudest instrument in the mix… did not like this one much. Jack Meille and the Blue Machine take on Soul Survivor.  Eric´s vocals are awesome on the original and Jack does a good job.  They do the track pretty close to the original. One of the few non-Italian acts, SMED from Sweden kill it with Heavy Metal Black and Silver!…. Well done guys. One of my faves..Very powerful vocal performance! The Lancasters try out a high energy version of Demon´s Kiss. with some heavier riffs.  Good job. Runaway Totem do one from the latest BOC album. The Alchemist.  One of the best tracks from that album.  Always liked Runaway Totem and this experimental sax driven version is a trip..  One last bonus track on the CD is Death SS taking on Godzilla!!! 

Super cool tribute… Well done bands.. Great stuff and long booklet.. etc..

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