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Requiem

Type O Negative

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One of the most popular gothic metal bands of all time, with 'Bloody Kisses' apparently selling over a million copies and Peter Steele gracing covers from Metal Hammer to Playgirl. Yet I've always found them a mixed bag, and it's time they were dealt with properly in the place they (mostly) belong - the gothic metal forum. 

Requiem's Unsuccessfully Coping with the Ranking of Type O Negative's Albums from Infidelity to Druidess (worse to best).

6. Dead Again (2007)

In all honesty, I can't remember this album very well, because my friend and I burnt and destroyed our copies in a flaming ritual in his backyard many years ago. I think Peter Steele was so emotionally dishevelled at this point that any greatness that I personally found in the music was long since gone. The title track is a sad reminder that his days were numbered. Unfortunately, he left his musical legacy on a deep, deep low. Strange album cover of Rasputin. You can't kill that guy, but my friend and I sure smashed the shit out of the crappy album. 

5. Life is Killing Me (2003)

This album escaped the unholy destruction of 'Dead Again', but there's not much to like about this one either. Tracks like 'Anesthesia' and the instrumental 'Drunk in Paris' are great, but don't make up for the foolish knucklehead songs like the homophobic 'I like Goils' or the infantile cover of 'Angry Inch'. A lot of people like Peter's humour and his sardonic take on things - I find it outrageously foolish and not a little embarrassing. The lyrics on this album are just appalling and the songwriting has no love or artistry about it. Album cover is actually a pretty good idea with the green heart monitor thing flatlining. The fucking album flatlines, that's for sure. 

4. Slow Deep and Hard (1991)

This album stands head and shoulders above the previous two in this list. The debut has a huge dose of the gothic keyboard density and romance that gives this such great atmosphere, and while Peter doesn't often use his unparalleled baritone - preferring to shout, hardcore style - there are just wonderful moments all the way through this imaginative and artistic album. There's less embarrassing self-pity here and more a mix of anger about failed romance and romantic passion that shouts life rather than death. 'The Origin of Faeces' is a rehash of much of this so doesn't get its own entry. Foolish album cover of sexual penetration, but fortunately it's green and acceptable and better than 'The Origin of Faeces' cover. Like, what the hell is wrong with Peter Steele?  

3. World Coming Down (1999)

I find parts of this a little bland, but the brilliant parts here are well worth it. 'White Slavery' is my favourite - it's an anthem that to me is about far more than cocaine, while tracks like 'Everyone I Love is Dead' and 'Everything Dies' are glorious gothic journeys, if a little down at the mouth compared with their best work. Another great highlight is the Beatles medley at the end of the album, which is a fabulous gothic movement. Unfortunately this would be the beginning of the end for my love of the band though, with several skippable tracks mid-album. Fairly boring but kind of nice cover of the Brooklyn Bridge in Type O green. Pretty cool, but they've done better. 

2. Bloody Kisses (1993)

'Bloody Kisses' and 'October Rust' are monuments, absolute monuments, of gothic glory and odes to love. I prefer the Roadrunner Records re-release digipak of this album that removed the 'joke' songs and rearranged the track order - at the behest of the band. What we're left with are classics like 'Christian Woman', 'Summer Breeze', 'Black No 1' and the title track. In fact, every song here is utterly amazing. Gothic metal perfection. The slow epic songs, the huge church organ keyboards and Peter Steele's smooth voice are transcendent. Brilliant cover of two girls together - the digipak shows them kissing, which doesn't bother me in the slightest. 

1. October Rust (1996)

This is actually my favourite album of all time, from any genre and band. That's how much this means to me, and from the moment I heard it in 1996 I fell in love with it. This is the ultimate romantic album, with songs like 'Love you to Death', 'Wolfmoon' and the greatest Christmas song ever, 'Red Water (Christmas Mourning)' reaching unassailable heights of emotion and atmosphere. Listen to 'Haunted' and you are transported, utterly transported. A young Requiem discovered what love and lust were truly about, and I haven't been the same since. Amazing production, and so much good taste and sophistication. It's a miracle that a band who can produce such juvenile trash at times can also release this mature exploration of yearning and sexuality. Evocative album cover of thorns like prison bars. 

Thoughts on Type O Negative, this list and Peter Steele? 

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14 hours ago, Requiem said:

One of the most popular gothic metal bands of all time, with 'Bloody Kisses' apparently selling over a million copies and Peter Steele gracing covers from Metal Hammer to Playgirl. Yet I've always found them a mixed bag, and it's time they were dealt with properly in the place they (mostly) belong - the gothic metal forum. 

Requiem's Unsuccessfully Coping with the Ranking of Type O Negative's Albums from Infidelity to Druidess (worse to best).

6. Dead Again (2007)

In all honesty, I can't remember this album very well, because my friend and I burnt and destroyed our copies in a flaming ritual in his backyard many years ago. I think Peter Steele was so emotionally dishevelled at this point that any greatness that I personally found in the music was long since gone. The title track is a sad reminder that his days were numbered. Unfortunately, he left his musical legacy on a deep, deep low. Strange album cover of Rasputin. You can't kill that guy, but my friend and I sure smashed the shit out of the crappy album. 

5. Life is Killing Me (2003)

This album escaped the unholy destruction of 'Dead Again', but there's not much to like about this one either. Tracks like 'Anesthesia' and the instrumental 'Drunk in Paris' are great, but don't make up for the foolish knucklehead songs like the homophobic 'I like Goils' or the infantile cover of 'Angry Inch'. A lot of people like Peter's humour and his sardonic take on things - I find it outrageously foolish and not a little embarrassing. The lyrics on this album are just appalling and the songwriting has no love or artistry about it. Album cover is actually a pretty good idea with the green heart monitor thing flatlining. The fucking album flatlines, that's for sure. 

4. Slow Deep and Hard (1991)

This album stands head and shoulders above the previous two in this list. The debut has a huge dose of the gothic keyboard density and romance that gives this such great atmosphere, and while Peter doesn't often use his unparalleled baritone - preferring to shout, hardcore style - there are just wonderful moments all the way through this imaginative and artistic album. There's less embarrassing self-pity here and more a mix of anger about failed romance and romantic passion that shouts life rather than death. 'The Origin of Faeces' is a rehash of much of this so doesn't get its own entry. Foolish album cover of sexual penetration, but fortunately it's green and acceptable and better than 'The Origin of Faeces' cover. Like, what the hell is wrong with Peter Steele?  

3. World Coming Down (1999)

I find parts of this a little bland, but the brilliant parts here are well worth it. 'White Slavery' is my favourite - it's an anthem that to me is about far more than cocaine, while tracks like 'Everyone I Love is Dead' and 'Everything Dies' are glorious gothic journeys, if a little down at the mouth compared with their best work. Another great highlight is the Beatles medley at the end of the album, which is a fabulous gothic movement. Unfortunately this would be the beginning of the end for my love of the band though, with several skippable tracks mid-album. Fairly boring but kind of nice cover of the Brooklyn Bridge in Type O green. Pretty cool, but they've done better. 

2. Bloody Kisses (1993)

'Bloody Kisses' and 'October Rust' are monuments, absolute monuments, of gothic glory and odes to love. I prefer the Roadrunner Records re-release digipak of this album that removed the 'joke' songs and rearranged the track order - at the behest of the band. What we're left with are classics like 'Christian Woman', 'Summer Breeze', 'Black No 1' and the title track. In fact, every song here is utterly amazing. Gothic metal perfection. The slow epic songs, the huge church organ keyboards and Peter Steele's smooth voice are transcendent. Brilliant cover of two girls together - the digipak shows them kissing, which doesn't bother me in the slightest. 

1. October Rust (1996)

This is actually my favourite album of all time, from any genre and band. That's how much this means to me, and from the moment I heard it in 1996 I fell in love with it. This is the ultimate romantic album, with songs like 'Love you to Death', 'Wolfmoon' and the greatest Christmas song ever, 'Red Water (Christmas Mourning)' reaching unassailable heights of emotion and atmosphere. Listen to 'Haunted' and you are transported, utterly transported. A young Requiem discovered what love and lust were truly about, and I haven't been the same since. Amazing production, and so much good taste and sophistication. It's a miracle that a band who can produce such juvenile trash at times can also release this mature exploration of yearning and sexuality. Evocative album cover of thorns like prison bars. 

Thoughts on Type O Negative, this list and Peter Steele? 

I'd probably have put Slow, Deep and Hard/Origin Of The Faeces first. To me it has an attitude and hard-hittingness to it that no other album matched entirely.

I'd also have put Life is killing me more towards the front of the list (around second or third), I like the couple of punkyer songs on that album and IYDKMIGHTKY is also a pretty awesome song.

Also, I think "I Like Goils" was a humerus attempt to clear up questions on his sexuality bought up by his playgirl appearance.

Apart from that, my list would be pretty similar.

 

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@Requiem : You know how I feel - World Coming Down and Life Is Killing Me are my two favorites. I think Pete took his songwriting to a new level on those albums. Compared to the rest of their catalog, they also flow better as full albums IMO. His arrangements got better, his song structures retained their sprawl but got more focused, his riffs and melodies got more intricate and idiosyncratic, and his lyrics (at their best) got more personal and revealing without losing their self-deprecating humor. I guess you either get it or you don't. It took me a while to get used to each new album, though, and if you're looking for that one specific thing you liked about that one specific album that they don't really do anymore, I can see how you'd find it difficult to warm up to them. Surprised you don't at least like "Nettie" and "The Dream Is Dead" off LIKM, or "Creepy Green Light" and "All Hallows Eve" off WCD. Hats off to Will for mentioning "IYDKMIGTHTKY", another of my favorite tracks.

Origin Of The Feces and Bloody Kisses (either version) would occupy the second tier for me, if I was ranking them. I think some of the Slow, Deep, And Hard versions of those first Type O songs are more energetic, but Pete's more melodic vocal approach and the ridiculous "crowd noises" and "banter" have made OOTF a longtime personal favorite. The rawness, simplicity, and memorability of those early albums is unmatched, and that material had just as much vigor in a live setting. You haven't really heard "I Know You're Fucking Someone Else" until you've heard it played at unconscionable volumes in the back room of L'Amour with a packed house singing along to every word.

By contrast, October Rust seems plodding and repetitive to my ears, not to mention overly polished, spiked with filler, and shot through with adolescent fantasies that take themselves too seriously (Be My Druidess? My Girlfriend's Girlfriend? Aside from fun at karaoke night, I'll pass...). There are a handful of songs on there that I love anyway (Love You To Death, Haunted, Wolf Moon), and I don't want to take away from those, but I could do without most of the others. That "Cinnamon Girl" cover is what skip buttons are for. I will be fair here and say that context counts for something - I can get into some of the weaker songs on this album if they come up in a playlist, and they're not so far off from individual tracks on the following albums. But man, this one is a a slog for me.

Dead Again is a fun album for me as a fan of the band, but it's one of their least memorable and inventive - more like a retrospective exhibit of previously covered territory than the rest of their catalog, which always seemed to be striving for something new. The weirdo Catholic pushiness of the lyrics is a bit much, and all the jilted-lover stuff is wearing thin - a cautionary tale about a man who got too wrapped up in one facet of his autobiography. For all that, it's got a lot of cool parts and good energy. I don't love it, but I like it a lot. Also nice to hear a real drummer on a Type O album for the first time since Bloody Kisses. After all the work Johnny put in, I'm happy he got to nail down a solid studio performance before it went tits up. Given that it turned out to be their swansong, I'll overlook the fact that it's too fucking long.

Also, let's not forget about the three previously unreleased tracks available on The Least Worst - "It's Never Enough", "12 Black Rainbows", and "Stay Out Of My Dreams". I don't really care for collected radio edits and alternate versions of tracks I already have, but those tracks by themselves are a solid 21-ish minutes of good songwriting from my favorite period of theirs - basically an EP.

Bottom line - Pete was a gifted songwriter with a unique voice, a strong sense of direction, and a willingness to bare uncomfortable personal truths in the service of his music. He managed to combine fun, rage, and gloom in a way I haven't heard anyone else pull off. Some of his songs are downright iconic. And the band was with him every step of the way. I look up to him as a musician, and I would have loved to hear what Type O did next. The world seems a bit emptier without them.

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5 hours ago, FatherAlabaster said:

@Requiem : You know how I feel - World Coming Down and Life Is Killing Me are my two favorites. I think Pete took his songwriting to a new level on those albums. Compared to the rest of their catalog, they also flow better as full albums IMO. His arrangements got better, his song structures retained their sprawl but got more focused, his riffs and melodies got more intricate and idiosyncratic, and his lyrics (at their best) got more personal and revealing without losing their self-deprecating humor. I guess you either get it or you don't. It took me a while to get used to each new album, though, and if you're looking for that one specific thing you liked about that one specific album that they don't really do anymore, I can see how you'd find it difficult to warm up to them. Surprised you don't at least like "Nettie" and "The Dream Is Dead" off LIKM, or "Creepy Green Light" and "All Hallows Eve" off WCD. Hats off to Will for mentioning "IYDKMIGTHTKY", another of my favorite tracks.

Origin Of The Feces and Bloody Kisses (either version) would occupy the second tier for me, if I was ranking them. I think some of the Slow, Deep, And Hard versions of those first Type O songs are more energetic, but Pete's more melodic vocal approach and the ridiculous "crowd noises" and "banter" have made OOTF a longtime personal favorite. The rawness, simplicity, and memorability of those early albums is unmatched, and that material had just as much vigor in a live setting. You haven't really heard "I Know You're Fucking Someone Else" until you've heard it played at unconscionable volumes in the back room of L'Amour with a packed house singing along to every word.

By contrast, October Rust seems plodding and repetitive to my ears, not to mention overly polished, spiked with filler, and shot through with adolescent fantasies that take themselves too seriously (Be My Druidess? My Girlfriend's Girlfriend? Aside from fun at karaoke night, I'll pass...). There are a handful of songs on there that I love anyway (Love You To Death, Haunted, Wolf Moon), and I don't want to take away from those, but I could do without most of the others. That "Cinnamon Girl" cover is what skip buttons are for. I will be fair here and say that context counts for something - I can get into some of the weaker songs on this album if they come up in a playlist, and they're not so far off from individual tracks on the following albums. But man, this one is a a slog for me.

Dead Again is a fun album for me as a fan of the band, but it's one of their least memorable and inventive - more like a retrospective exhibit of previously covered territory than the rest of their catalog, which always seemed to be striving for something new. The weirdo Catholic pushiness of the lyrics is a bit much, and all the jilted-lover stuff is wearing thin - a cautionary tale about a man who got too wrapped up in one facet of his autobiography. For all that, it's got a lot of cool parts and good energy. I don't love it, but I like it a lot. Also nice to hear a real drummer on a Type O album for the first time since Bloody Kisses. After all the work Johnny put in, I'm happy he got to nail down a solid studio performance before it went tits up. Given that it turned out to be their swansong, I'll overlook the fact that it's too fucking long.

Also, let's not forget about the three previously unreleased tracks available on The Least Worst - "It's Never Enough", "12 Black Rainbows", and "Stay Out Of My Dreams". I don't really care for collected radio edits and alternate versions of tracks I already have, but those tracks by themselves are a solid 21-ish minutes of good songwriting from my favorite period of theirs - basically an EP.

Bottom line - Pete was a gifted songwriter with a unique voice, a strong sense of direction, and a willingness to bare uncomfortable personal truths in the service of his music. He managed to combine fun, rage, and gloom in a way I haven't heard anyone else pull off. Some of his songs are downright iconic. And the band was with him every step of the way. I look up to him as a musician, and I would have loved to hear what Type O did next. The world seems a bit emptier without them.

Nice post. 

Despite my moments of vitriol, there are elements on every album that I like, and yes, tracks like 'Nettie' and 'Creepy Green Light' are really good tracks. Like you, there aren't too many Type O Negative tracks that would make me leave the room if they came up on a playlist or at a pub. 

Your complaints regarding 'October Rust' are, inversely, exactly why I love the album. One man's meat is another's poison. To my ears, though, 'World Coming Down' is a simplification of the sound, with a lot of the additional bells and whistles stripped back. To me, this was a step backwards. 

But ultimately it comes down to me not enjoying Peter Steele's humour very much. I deeply respect the man, and there is no shortage of latter album fans, but I really can't listen to the 'I Like Goils' style material in his oeuvre. 

I'm focusing on the negative here, but I really want to celebrate Type O Negative, especially the top 4 albums in my list. What a phenomenon that band was - there really isn't another like them.

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