It’s been about four years since we’ve had a new studio album from Type O Negative, and their latest release showcases their strengths.
After the classic “October Rust’” (1996) Type O Negative released two albums: “World Coming Down” (1999) and “Life is Killing Me” (’203). But, musically seen, “Dead Again” is the most creative and interesting product these New Yorkers made till date.
The intro, title track “Dead Again” is unmistakably Type O Negative. Heavy, depressing and dark. But soon a diversity of influences start to hit you: metal, punk, hardcore, folk, blues, you name it, they’ve got it.
And, for anyone who is familiar with Carnivore (the band in the middle of the 1980′s led by Peter Steele), Type O Negative’s first album in four years, Dead Again, may sound rather familiar, too. Now, take comfort and heart in that Type O haven’t abandoned their goth stylings or filtered their trademark sound through the latest trend of aggro-noise (Underoath, Bleeding Through, etc.). No, nothing of the like; this is definitely still Type O.
The proceedings start out with the title track sounding enough like them – a slow, heavy, doom-filled lament complete with choral singers for the peak goth effect. The music instantly speeds up to become a lament of a different type – one of urgency and a little anger. The chorus puts those two points across perfectly in Steele’s voice alone and puts the listener on notice: if Bloody Kisses was all you thought Type O was and could be, then you’re in for an education.
Type O Negative are a very versatile band. On this album some songs are slow, gothic dirges; others doomy, sludgy and midtempo; and a couple are faster with a punk/thrash vibe. All the songs have that element of darkness. Vocalist Peter Steele is in fine form. You’ll hear his trademark deep baritone croon, but also regular style singing and some angry and aggressive vocals. He also injects a lot of dark humor into his lyrics.
Dead Again is a very ambitious undertaking, and it succeeds. And even though most of the songs are really long, it’s actually quite accessible. The songs are well-written, and Peter Steele sounds really good. Type O Negative seems rejuvenated with this album, one of their best in many years.
And.. One more tip though: if you get to see Type O Negative live keep your fingers crossed for them to play ‘”An Ode To Locksmiths”. Believe it or not, that song actually swings!
Review: Vincent Aarden