Fire of Unknown Origin
After several albums of less distinguished material and questionable production, Blue Oyster Cult came rallying back in 1981 with one of their most focused efforts. The hit single “Burnin’ for You” perfectly encapsulates the group’s rebirth with an evenly-paced rocker which hints at the band’s dark side that finds further voice in the doom-laden “Joan Crawford.” “Veteran of the Psychic Wars” includes lyrics from fantasy writer Michael Moorcock and a militant step that underscores the futile march. The psychedelic shimmer and ‘80s keyboards of “Sole Survivor” enliven the lonely lament at the song’s heart. “Heavy Metal: The Black and the Silver” sports a strident hard rock vocal with lyrics that leave much to question. On the surface Blue Oyster Cult's songs seem to express the toughness demanded by the heavy metal crowd and the fiery guitar solos execute these hopeful dreams, however, attentive listeners discover the wreckage in the wake. The heroes barely hang on as little more than survivors. It makes for a surreal experience.