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Music Review: Type O Negative – Dead Again

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Type O Negative is a hard band to label. They have never been mainstream, or terribly popular in the traditional sense, yet they have one of the most dedicated fanbases in all of music. That is a fact I have witnessed when I have been able to see them live.

The last time I saw them was while on tour for their last album, 2003's Life is Killing Me, and at the time Peter Steele seemed to indicate that Type O Negative may be coming to an end. Fortunately that has not happened and The Drab Four are set to return to the road with the impending release of their seventh studio album, Dead Again.

Dead Again has been a long time coming. I had sadly given up hope of a new collection of dark dirges from my favorite purveyor of gothic doom. Then there was the disappearance of Peter Steele and his rumored demise, fueled by the image of a tombstone on their official website in October of 2005 which had "Peter Steele 1962-2005." That turned out to be a joke, as Peter resurfaced with the band as they signed a new deal with German label SPV/Steamhammer. The first result of that union was the release of the concert disk Symphony for the Devil, a show that was filmed in the late 1990s. Now, while that is all well and good, it is not what I wanted.

This new collection of doom and gloom features a new sound from the band. Dead Again harkens back to the Peter's pre-Type O Negative days with the post-nuclear hardcore band Carnivore, and even Type O's debut Slow, Deep, and Hard release from 1991. There is an injection of punk speed and aggression into the slow chugging excursions into the gloom that had become their trademark. I have to admit, I cannot say that the album grabbed me the first time through, I was not prepared for the speedy qualities that wind their way throughout.

As I have sat with the album, digesting this new sound, I have discovered that while not quite at the level of some of their earlier releases, it is a distinctly Type O Negative album and indicative of a band that is rediscovering its roots. Rather than rehash their prior formula, they stripped everything back to basics and built from there, using elements of the past to work towards forming a new future.

There is a certain beauty to the flow of sound created by the doom crew. The escalating speed reigned back into the dirge-like gloom melting into Beatles-esque harmonies, layering in sonic depth not unlike Pink Floyd or The Cure, all while never losing just what makes this a Type O Negative album.

The album starts off with the title track, "Dead Again," opening with their trademark slow burn before kicking into a more speed infused goth-punk style instantly letting you know that this is a new and different band. I cannot say it is a great track, but it does prepare you for the blend that is to come. "Tripping a Blind Man" brings the tempo back down, if only temporarily. Track three is the first excellent song to rear its ugly head. "Profits of Doom," which had been the working title prior to selecting Dead Again, brings some interesting guitar work and a style that is reminiscent of a blending of cuts on Slow, Deep, and Hard and Bloody Kisses.

Not one to shy away from controversy, there have been rumors of Peter Steele rediscovering his Christian roots. He was raised Catholic, but if you listen to any of Carnivore's or Type O's music, you will find much evidence to show that he left that part of him behind. In recent years he has lost loved ones, done a stint in jail, and been to rehab. Perhaps seeking solace in spirituality, he returned to those roots.

Of course, none of this has been substantiated by anything I have found, however there is a song which may point to his return to faith and belief in life. The epic "These Three Things" is an anti-abortion song which begins with the words "A child is torn from the womb un-baptized/there's no quesiton it's infantacide," is sure to stir up some controversy. It is an excellent song, with subject matter I would not expect from the group.

Moving along, "She Burned Me Down" is an excellent example of a Type O Negative track, from Peter's deep throated singing to Kenny Hickey's guitar work, it is one of the best songs here. The ten song collection comes to a close with "Hail and Farewell to Britain" which has some very nice riffing, with a strong 1970s feel.

Dead Again is not my favorite Type O Negative album, but like I have found in the past, I suspect that this will grow on me over time. Their albums tend to age well, multiple listenings allow the music to dig itself into your gray matter where it will resonate well after you have pressed the stop button. This is an interesting return for the group, some different lyrical content, and I still haven't heard a band that has anything composed like this. Type O Negative is a true original. They pull from a variety of influences and mold into something that is wholly their own.


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About Draven99

  • BongZ

    As it goes with type-o-negative, unconditional love is not what their albums is about. Having been a “fan” since Carnivore, I have blindly bought every album they released. Some may deem this as misplaced trust but every time, a new album by the drab four tends to grow on me like a fine wine. Same with this album, first time I listened to it, realising this was unmistakenly a type o negative album. But hadn’t I heard this before? No… Apparently I hadn’t…
    Again it needs time, and grows on you, possesses you, takes over.
    With dead again they have seemed to found rejuvenation, understandably with all that has been going on.

    Great album…

  • I have to say each Type O album is unique and awesome. I haven’t heard the newest albulm, but I am seeing them this Wed. at Lupos in Providence. I think that may be a good opportunity to hear the new material…reguardless I am buying it. Thanks for the review.

  • E

    Great Review!
    Been listening to the album since it’s release and you hit the nail on the head with the “growing on you” comments.

    Like all type O albums (for me at least) I tend to be slightly disappointed after one run through. But it has already begun to “dig itself into my gray matter.” and I’ve no doubt it will dig deeper with time.

    An acquired taste…but once acquired it’s utterly addictive.

  • nikhil

    september sun is the song i adored the most !!!!!!!!!!!

  • Found your link for this article over at BC forums, very interesting, I’ll have to look for some of their material


  • Tom

    nice review , cant wait to have a listen.
    just under 2 weeks till its out !.
    i heard that its less depressing, i hope its not.
    thats what i love about T.O.N , their bleak outlook on life, i hope they havent changed too much.

  • Hey, G.
    Thanks for looking out, but that one actually happens to be my personal site.

  • G

    You might wanna check out this guy, who is stealing your otherwise excellent reviews:

    /G out

  • Glenn

    Mmm…good review, i think. Cant wait to hear this album but.