03 July 2011

'Dead Again'

(CREDIT: to the late band Type O Negative. *sobs*)
Rank: 3.5 out of 5 -- dead for the last time...

It kinda spooky how the last Type O Negative album is titled Dead Again. At least for me it is...

I only bought this album originally because I heard that Pete hated just about every TON best of compilation, one of which was my first purchase. Sure, buying an album out of guilt is a really bad reason, but what happened happened. At least I cared about the band enough to pick up two studio albums, Dead Again and Bloody Kisses. Both of them I loved even more than the compilations, but let's discuss this one.

The one genre of heavy metal that beats my brain to death with a spiky stick in all the wrong places is doom metal. The growls, the slow tempo and pace, and the droning and moaning wails of endless agony for OVER TEN MINUTES threaten to put me in a depression. Sorry, guys, that means no My Dying Bride for me. It's not that I dislike darker music, I simply don't like the style of doom metal. But thankfully some of Type O Negative's songs send their sarcastic and dark humored thanks to that influence without going overboard. The song with the strongest influence is "September Sun," where the slow tempo and depressing tone actually sound very beautiful and haunting in a moderate sense. (In other words, it's sad to listen to, but not suicidal.)

But the best thing about this album is that the songs are long, but never boring. Typically songs that last for about or over ten minutes can overwhelm me, especially if there is no melodic, lyrical, or vocal variation. No matter how long and drawn out TON may get on this album, it's a phase that never lasts longer than three minutes. It's good for anyone suffering from the fake disease of ADHD or those who are scared of long songs. "These Three Things" is 15 minutes long and, though it's not my favorite song, it has not bored me every time I listened to it.

With other great tracks like the fast and badass "Some Stupid Tomorrow," the gothic and atmospheric "Dead Again," and the dark and humorous "Halloween in Heaven" and "The Prophet of Doom," it is a shame that this was Type O Negative's last album. Compared to the previous works (especially October Rust), Dead Again is one of TON's darkest, heaviest records (the other is the humorless World Coming Down.) Honestly, the album was fleshed out beautifully and had a solid backbone, showing us that the band is on the right track (not that they weren't before.) I can't stress enough my frustration when I heard Pete Steele died last April, but I can't imagine how the rest of the fanbase felt and still feels.

HOWEVER. Although I am pleased that Type O Negative made a great record with doom metal influences, it still does not make this album perfect. These songs are well done and aren't really skippable, but I couldn't help but be apathetic to a handful of tracks at some points. Like some cases, this trend occurs at the end of records like this; "She Burned Me Down" and "An Ode to Locksmiths" are adequate on their own, but next to the rest of the album they are downright forgettable. Nothing, like a lyric or a riff, in those two songs made them stand out.

These two weaker tracks out of ten really kills the satisfying album. It's almost like ordering crab cakes, only to have yours burnt a bit at the bottom and the tartar sauce is stale. You can eat the cake as it is, but some things that make it perfect are subpar in comparison to the rare abundance of crab meat. Hmm... I'm hungry.

But at the very least, these guys went out with a great final album. All hail and farewell, Type O Negative. :'(

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