As the title suggests, Blue Oyster Cult attempted to toughen up its act here after a flirtation with pop on MIRRORS; the twin guitars of Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom were (sensibly) returned to center stage and the lyrics were once again in keeping with the band's trademark esthetic of vague sci-fi and occult musings. On the arena-ready "Marshall Plan," the band also continues its tradition of self-referential rock mythologizing (begun with "Cities on Flame With Rock & Roll" from the band's debut album), and on "Divine Wind" revisits evergreen metal concerns like God and the Devil. Occasionally, there are some surprising stylistic detours--the otherwise Black Sabbath-ish "Monsters" has a jazzy saxophone break, perhaps meant ironically (lounge metal?), and "Deadline" is pure California pop--but most of the album is vintage BOC (and the Doors-ish "Unknown Tongue" more than lives up to its leering title).
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