BLUE ÖYSTER CULT will return with a mammoth new studio album, "The Symbol Remains", on October 9. Coming nearly two decades after the release of their last LP, "Curse Of The Hidden Mirror", it showcases a band who hasn't been slowed by the time passed, but simply unphased by it. "The Symbol Remains" is one of the band's most spirited, diverse, and inspired releases to date. Fans can listen to two new songs from the album, "That Was Me" and "Box In My Head", below.
"The Symbol Remains" will be available on CD, 2xLP, limited-edition color 2xlp, and digital formats. The limited-edition color LPs (green, crystal, blue) are extremely limited pressing (200 of each, worldwide) and only available from the Frontiers Music Srl's U.S. and European webstores.
As the old saying goes, "good things come to those who wait" and the 14 songs showcased on "The Symbol Remains" embody that. The BLUE ÖYSTER CULT faithful will be delighted given that the band has delivered an extremely inspired album. Ultimately, this sounds like a band looking back at their storied catalog and giving the fans a bit of everything they've ever loved about BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, while simultaneously continuing to evolve.
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT started sessions for the new album in earnest in 2019, bringing songs to the table that had previously been in the works as well as working on new ones. The goal was to craft an album that gives an appropriate portrait of where the band is in the here and now.
"With the song demos emerging for this record, we realized there was as much if not more variety in style and content on this record as any in our history," says Eric Bloom. "We embraced this and the thing tying all the disparate elements together is the band's sound and performance."
"The goal was for the new music to stand up to the quality and vitality of our legacy recordings, and I believe we have successfully done that," adds Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser. "Other than that, the sound of our voices and style of our writing and playing can't help but sound familiar to fans of our work."
"The album title, 'The Symbol Remains', comes from a quote of an old Sandy Pearlman lyric, which basically we are using to show that the band is back and still rocking after all these years. To me, it means we're still here and doing what we do..." explains Bloom.
As fans well know, Bloom and Roeser are the two steadfast members remaining from the "classic" lineup of the band, but Jules Radino, Danny Miranda and Richie Castellano are all longtime members. Their constant touring has truly caused them to gel as a unit and you can hear it in the performances on "The Symbol Remains". Jules, Danny and Richie here have left their mark on the 50-plus years of BLUE ÖYSTER CULT history.
"We wanted to record the current band's lineup for some time and the result of Jules, Danny, Richie, Eric and myself giving our all on 'The Symbol Remains' speaks for itself," says Dharma.
While the current world situation caused some distress, the band is still very happy with the final result.
"The COVID-19 lockdown slowed the completion of the record," adds Dharma. "We were prevented from traveling and collaborating in person. But luckily we had already done the basic tracks. We resorted to video conferencing and producing each other over the internet. Fortunately, the technology exists at this moment in time to do that. The live performance cancellations gave us a little more time to carefully consider the finishing touches. We also sent the album out to be mixed by Tom Lord-Alge and we worked together over the internet on that as well."
"The Symbol Remains" track listing:
01. That Was Me
02. Box In My Head
03. Tainted Blood
04. Nightmare Epiphany
05. Edge Of The World
06. The Machine
07. Train True (Lennie's Song)
08. The Return Of St. Cecilia
09. Stand And Fight
10. Florida Man
11. The Alchemist
12. Secret Road
13. There's A Crime
BÖC is often cited as a major influence by other acts such as METALLICA, and BÖC was listed in VH1's countdown of the greatest hard rock bands of all time.
Upon the release of BÖC's self-titled debut album in 1972, the band was praised for its catchy-yet-heavy music and lyrics that could be provocative, terrifying, funny or ambiguous, often all in the same song. BÖC's canon contains three stone‐cold classic songs that will waft through the cosmos long after the sun has burned out: the truly haunting "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" from 1976's "Agents Of Fortune", the pummeling "Godzilla" from 1977's "Spectres" and the hypnotically melodic "Burnin' for You" from 1981's "Fire Of Unknown Origin". Other notable BÖC songs include "Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll", "Then Came The Last Days Of May", "I Love The Night", "In Thee", "Veteran Of The Psychic Wars", "Dominance And Submission", "Astronomy", "Black Blade" and "Shooting Shark".