Thinking back, there’s one thing I could
always be sure of when listening to a Type O album for the first
time. I’d have to go: ‘What the fuck?!?’ at some point. Usually
during the first track, in fact. I mean, a band who’d start off
their debut album with a long splash of silence and give it one of
the history of heavy metal’s longest titles is just bound to cause a
lifted eyebrow or two throughout an existence that has now lasted
more the 15 years.
Or how about the follow-up to that debut? A
cover adorned with an anus (allegedly Peter Steele’s own – but who
really wants to know?), the contents a fake live session loaded with
bang-on sarcasm and negativity and, needless to say, an absolutely
brilliant piece of raw goth/metal crossover.
And then you have ‘Bloody Kisses’ and ‘October
Rust’, the definite heyday of this band. Released in 1993 and 1996
respectively, these two albums set the standards for many of us fans
who liked our metal as well as a tinge of goth and a wall-thick
sarcasm, ambiguity and sense of humour that could ONLY be
misunderstood (and was by several political organisations, by the
‘World Coming Down’ (1999) and ‘Life is
Killing Me’ (2003), on the other hand, weren’t exactly fantastic in
my view. The former featured at least a couple of memorable songs
(Everyone I Love is Dead and Everything Dies) and the latter
contained one or two at best (I Don’t Wanna Be Me). But, naturally,
they both had those weird moments that are so inherently Type O
Now, what of Type O Negative anno 2007?
There’s still a bunch of what-the-fuck’s,
that’s for sure. First and foremost there’s the what the fuck caused
by the re-found vitality and musical diversity displayed by the
Brooklyn four-piece. It’s a very pleasant what the fuck indeed.
Admittedly, not all songs here are top notch
at first listen, but then again, once you think about it, when you
start feeling that a song gets a bit boring, there’s all of a sudden
a bombastic interlude that reminds of a Russian male choir or
something odd (and cool) like that.
Or there’s the blatantly obvious references to
early 70s rock music - especially the fab four from Liverpool –
listen for example to These Three Things where, some twelve and a
half minutes (!) into this magna opus, a riff that clearly resembles
the chorus of Hey Jude all of a sudden appears in the sound
And no matter if Mr. Silver has denied that
Peter Steele’s recent touring with Carnivore has influenced the new
Type O recording, I beg to differ. I’d wager any time that e.g.
Tripping A Blind Man has a lot of Carnivore to it. The attentive
reader will of course note that this also tells you something about
the bouts of aggression and speed that you can find on this release…
The real beauty of ‘Dead Again’ is that it
grows on you with every spin. There’s something new to be found
every time, and you soon come to realise that this release contains
both the heaviest and the fastest bits played by the Lords of
Flatbush. And despite the title of the album, it is in many ways the
most cheerful and optimistic we’ve heard from them so far.
Go figure and, well, stay negative!