Friday, May 04, 2007

Review: Type O Negative - “Dead Again”

So many goth bands are cliche. Most of them have women fronting the band, with the reasoning that having a woman front the band will be their “gimmick”. We also can’t forget the typical subject matter - relationships. We’ve all heard relationship songs in one way or another, from songs about being with someone to breaking up and everything in between.

Is Type O Negative the first goth metal band? I’m sure some would debate that question, but they stand at being one of the earliest, and the prototypical goth metal band. As it stands, they also seem to be the most forward moving. “Dead Again” shows the band looking ahead by showing off their personal roots (which may not be goth metal roots to some), and wrapping it in all the familiar Type O Negative trappings.

The warm, comforting ultra-synthetic wash in the guitars, to Pete Steels very low, masculine singing, tag-teamed beside Kenny Hickeys higher grainy singing is still there. Many bands that use keyboards throw fake synths on top of the rest of the music as a background afterthought, but the keyboards of Josh Silver have always been integral to the Type O Negative sound, sometimes hanging around as simple chords quiet in the background, to taking the forefront as realistic pianos, harpsichords, organs and other instruments are still used to their fullest potential as well. Other signatures, like their 80's synth-pop sensibilities are still heavily prevalent.

The real difference in comparison to previous efforts is the amount of songs that are surprisingly fast (but only after a good slow, heavy introduction). The songs that become fast, like “Dead Again”, “Some Stupid Tomorrow”, and “Tripping A Blind Man” are reminiscent of old school 80's hardcore, with other older moments giving a hint of rock from assorted decades sprinkled in subtle doses throughout. Some of the slower moments go right for slow, heavy, and angry by conjuring up Black Sabbath, such as the intro to “Tripping A Blind Man” or taking a small trip to the 70's a bit more with some stoner rock in “An Ode To Locksmiths”.But if you want to hear the hammer come down hard, witness the Russian chant in the middle of the song “September Sun”.

Josh Silver talked about how the last Type O Negative album on Roadrunner, “Life Is Killing Me” ended up sounding like all their previous efforts together at once. It seemed to signal the end of an era, leaving a big name label like Roadrunner, and Pete Steel going to jail and rehab. With all the turmoil put behind themselves recently, it looks as though Type O Negative has a new beginning.


Type O Negative
Type O Negative At MySpace
Type O Negative At SPV



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