Review Summary: Type O Negative's most experimental up-to-date. Full of elusive guitar riffs and solos, haunting lyrics, psychedelic sounds and a dark dirty bass foundation.
“Dead Again”, Type O Negative’s sixth studio album, looms large; similar to the band’s ominous front-man, Peter Steele. This album may perhaps be analogous to the band favorite “October Rust” (which debuted in ’96) with its poetic lyrics, forcefully dark vocals, and original musicianship. Unlike other Type O albums, the band’s influence of the psychedelic era and the Beatles in particular, is prominent in “Dead Again.” Peter and his cohorts pursue new territory when it comes to time and key changes, the allocation of instruments and subject matter.
Most people familiarize the band with its signature sound: Peter’s bass tuned to an almost baritone-like depth, with his deep voice penetrating at low octaves. In “Dead Again” Peter lets Kenny Hickey take the reigns on a lot of songs via guitar solos, allowing his bass to drone in the background. Peter’s humble step back from the spotlight and the new found voices of the other band-mates, could be why this album is one of their best yet.
Each song on “Dead Again” is worthy of the album:
1. Dead Again
– 4:15 – The quick pace gives the song massive energy. The key change just before the chorus is beautiful and perfectly timed. The lyrics are typical Type O as they reflect the drug addiction cycle. Peter's vocals are powerful and open the album in a way that Type O fans would be proud. The bass makes the whole track thick and dense and some riffs from Hickey throw in flavor. This song is single material, and has somewhat of a pop-ish vibe; although not original a song as others on the album, still worth the listen. 3.5/5
2. Tripping a Blind Man
– 7:05 – The darkness in the bass makes a listener feel blind and the squealing of the guitar provides some bearing. Peter’s vocal diversity is very effective, it moves from deep- grunting to high-howling as the song makes its transitions. The progressiveness and the vocals “riding the guitar strings” give this song a psychedelic feel. The lyrics are a little disappointing, yet entertaining nonetheless. 4.5/5
3. The Profit of Doom
–10:47- A long anticipated song, and finally released.
This song is slow, progressive, and dark. Peter’s growling and “evil speaking” makes this the darkest song on the album. The bass feels dirty, washed-out and grungy. The lyrics are worth the whole song: there’s irony, puns, and political slander! Eastern sounds bring nostalgia of George Harrison’s sitar. The Profit of Doom sticks to the ablum's genre exploration theme as it creats a diverse collection of sounds, tones and vibes. 5/5
4. September Sun
–9:48 -- Silver takes the lead on this song with beautiful piano medleys. This is a sad song about lost love, by far the most emotional piece on the album. Peter’s voice provides a haunting lament, and an elegy of his broken heart. Cliché at points due to some melodrama in the lyrics, but still an amazing song. 4.5/5
5. Halloween in Heaven
– 4:50 -- One of the more “fun” songs on the album. This song is single material, and brings out the more mainstream, accessible side of Type O. The lyrics are surreal, which adheres to the psychedelic elements of this album. Peter mentions famous musicians who've passed, which brings another nostalgic element. His allusion to Lennon is also very nice to see. The guitar riff gets repetitive despite its catchiness, but the bass recovers for this. 4/5
6. These Three Things
– 14:21 – The most progressive song on the album. The bass and guitars move all over the place, the drums have odd timings that shift often. Somehow it is all tied together by the vocals. The lyrics are mystical and constantly allude to spirituality. Peter's true poetic side comes out on this track. The image complex in the lyrics is inconsistent, yet intriguing nonetheless. These Three Things is definitely a musical journey for the ears, and the mind. Musicians and philosophers alike would dig this song. 4/5
7. She Burned Me Down
– 7:54 -- The chorus is catchy, dark, and full of intense emotion. The guitarist’s skills really come out in this song. This is a stomach-twister due to the heart-crushing lyrics, and a head-banger due to the anger apparent in the song. Vocally it is the strongest on the album, Peter reaches crescendos which a lot of trained vocalists wouldn't dare. The bridge and the slowing near the end gives a nice conclusion to the song after it rips your heart out and plays with it for awhile. This is my personal favorite. 5/5
8. Some Stupid Tomorrow
– 4:21 – This is a song that would be created if metal and punk birthed a gothic bass-oriented sound. The lyrics are repetitive, yet have that Type O angst distinct to the band. Peter’s vocals are fun, even if they don’t reach their fullest potential. (Backup vocals are new and exciting also!) The guitar ascendances are really awesome. Kelly comes through and brings a storm of angry punk beats. 4/5
9. An Ode Locksmiths
–5:16 – An Ode Locksmiths can be reminiscent of “October Rust” vocal-wise. The guitar riffs are exciting energized and original in style. There’s a lot of power drumming from Johnny Kelly. Peter’s bass is not as dominant as in other songs. Lyrically I find this to be fullfilling, it's moving and honest. The deliverance of this song is amazing. 5/5
10. Hail and Farwell to Britain
–8:56-- One of the darker songs of the album. The bass and guitar collaborate wonderfully. Lyrically, this song is ridden with self-loathing and life-struggle that any Type O fan would appreciate. There is a very cool keyboard solo by Silver which I keep spinning over and over. This song is an exceptional ending to the album. 4.5/5
“Dead Again” really demonstrates Type O’s genre versatility to encompass not only goth-rock, but also metal, progressive and psychedelic. A few common themes that are distinct to Type O’s lyrics are seen in this album, such as drug use, death, lost love, heartbreak, and self-loathing. The theme of mysticism is dominant also, and Rasputin’s image on the album cover helps to set the tone.
Each band member brings this album to life, despite its deadly vibe. Type O has become bolder in exploring other areas of music than simply their own comfort zone. “Dead Again” exemplifies this musical audaciousness. All in all a great versatile album, and very accessible to non-Type O fans. Overall rating: 4.5/5
The Profit of Doom, She Burned me Down, An Ode Locksmiths.