Ostensibly the lead vocalist of Blue Öyster Cult, poor Eric Bloom has sung almost none of the group's hits. A full four songs on "Curse of the Hidden Mirror" find him again ceding the microphone to guitarist Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser, the voice behind FM staples "(Don't Fear) the Reaper" and "Burnin' for You." And the seven new tunes that do bear Bloom's stamp merely demonstrate that he's become almost indistinguishable from Cheech Marin.
Bloom was always a bit of a cheeseball, but even his strained emoting on "Curse's" tossed-off pulp epics ("The Old Gods Return") goes down better than Roeser's increasingly slushy showcases, which cling to the notion that AOR balladry is still a viable career move. And BÖC's customary reliance on outside lyricists has yielded naught but cloying refrains like "You elevate me" and "Are you in the pocket of the moment?" Blame both on sci-fi author John Shirley, though Marianne Williamson would have been a more logical guess.