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.