Tales from the Jugular

Staff Round Table: Type O Negative --Rating their Discography

By: Maximum Metal Staff
Published: Friday, April 13, 2018
April 14, 2018, marks the 8th anniversary of the death of Peter Steele (b. Petrus Thomas Ratajczyk - January 4, 1962), lead singer, bassist and composer for the gothic metal band Type O Negative. Steele formed the band in 1989 along with his childhood friends Josh Silver, Kenny Hickey and Sal Abruscato (later replaced by Johnny Kelly).

The Brooklyn, New York native was instrumental in the gothic metal scene, really establishing a more metallic approach to goth that had yet to be tapped into. His long dark hair, pale appearance, and giant stature went miles with the band's imagery. Musically, Type O, combined goth, hard rock riffs and a backing keyboard sound that emulated a funeral organ. Type O had hits with "Christian Woman" and "Black No. 1" as well as landing on the "I Know What You Did Last Summer" soundtrack with the Seals & Krofts cover "Summer Breeze". The band had mild success with "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend" as well as "Love You To Death" and the Neil Young cover "Cinnamon Girl".

Peter Steele died of an aortic aneurysm at the age of 48. He certainly left behind a musical legacy and rock music fans will cherish his contributions forever.

For this feature, Maximum Metal staffers wrote about and rated each Type O release from 1-5 with the full results below.

Album: Slow, Deep and Hard - 1991
David: The album that started it all. You can hear the punk and doom influences, as well as their quirky, dry sense of humor, but this is not the album that I would recommend for first time Type O Negative listeners. From the completely filler track, 'Glass Walls of Limbo [Dance Mix]', to 'Misinterpretation of Silence and it's disastrous consequences', there seems to be a lack of creativity amongst several good tracks. Favorite Track: Gravitational Constant

Eric: For me, this album is intolerable. The songs are incredibly long and lack any substance. Kudos for the combination of doom, punk and humor, but it was completely lost on me. Even the remastered version sounds like total shit.

Greg: A very organic, raw debut from the band that foreshadowed things that would come. A great start for the band.

Nate: This is the one that started it off, good, but not great.

Troy: You really feel the band searching for its identity here as they combine the previous punch of Carnivore and mix in bits of doom and goth. This really sets the stage for Peter's theatrical nature and the band's atmospheric touches that are to come. "Unsuccessfully Coping With The Natural Beauty of Infidelity" a 12 minute beast of a song that highlights the album. The real detractors here are the impractical song lengths and filler tracks. SDH is best digested at full playthroughs.

Album: The Origin of the Feces - 1992
David: The Origin Of The Feces is quite the comical album. Recorded as if it were a live album, complete with chants of YOU SUCK, and song introductions, the music is a lot better than that was on their debut album and it really paved the way for their future sound - which is a mix of multiple sub-genres of metal. To top it off, the "alternate" album cover is an up-close, distorted pic of Peter Steele's butt hole (hence the album title). Favorite Tracks: Gravity, Kill You Tonight

Eric: The band started to find their niche with this record. It has a frustrating amount of filler, but overall songs like "I Know You're Fucking Someone Else", "Gravity", "Kill You Tonight" and "Hey Pete" keep the record at average.

Greg: A rehashing of songs that appeared on "Slow, Deep and Hard" with a few new ones, this one doesn't really offer too much new and isn't as solid as the debut.

Nate: More of the same from Slow, Deep, and Hard, but worth a spot in a collection.

Troy: I love the concept of doing a fake live album with the band voicing the crowd. While it encompasses some new songs it's mainly a rehash of SDH but better organised. I ding the album for the original cover artwork and the opening 15 minute track. I love every track here with exception of the opener because after a couple plays you will be skipping the first 8 minutes to hear the actual song. Crazy to think a song titled "I Know You're Fucking Someone Else" can be catchy enough to sing along with. The same catchiness is found with "Kill You Tonight (Reprise)". "Are You Afraid" is disappointingly short but a great segue into "Gravity". Their take on Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe" is incredible. Search out the re-issue with the better cover and the bonus Paranoid cover.

Album: Bloody Kisses - 1993
David: Bloody Kisses is my second favorite Type O Negative album and in terms of songwriting, musicianship, and production, is light years ahead of their last album. Their cover of Summer Breeze (by Seals & Croft) became an instant hit and was even featured on the "I Know What You Did Last Summer" soundtrack. Additionally, this album is almost 75 minutes long and the songs range from Gothic anthems such as 'Christian Woman' to the punk influenced 'Kill All The White People'. Overall, excellent album and still relevant today! Favorite Tracks: Christian Woman, Black #1, Bloody Kisses

Eric: Depending on your version of the album, it's a 4.5 or 5 rating. This was a revolutionary record for heavy metal and trophy case decor for gothic. Opener "Christian Woman" is laced with an ethereal melding of doom, goth and sex, a funeral home orgie that is boldly sacrilegious. "Set Me on Fire" is a heavy ode to The Beatles, while "Too Late Frozen" and "Blood & Fire" is hair metal for the anti-hair metal crowd. "Black No. 1" is essentially the Vampire Lestat, cloaked in black blood and emerging from the coffin. One of the better records of all time. The jewel-cased version gets a .5 knock for pointless songs like "Machine Screw", "Fay Wray Come Out and Play" and the noisy "Kill All the White People". Digipak is more serious, stripping off the nonsense and including heavyweight "Suspended in Dusk".

Greg: The defining album for the band in my opinion. Mean, raw and everything we love about Type O. 'Christian Woman' and 'Black No. 1' highlight a stellar album.

Nate: The album that really kick-started things for this guy. Every song sounds different and with a ton of thought behind it, heh, ton.

Troy: This album is the epitome of the bands catalogue and the standard I compared every following TON album to. They let go of the thrash/hardcore vibe yet held on to the heaviness. They finally embrace the dismal atmosphere, dark imagery and gothic tones they've sprinkled throughout the previous 2 releases. Even though some songs are still absurd in length they removed the inner song interludes leaving the songs cohesive. You have to track down a version that contains "Suspended In Dusk" or you risk missing out on what is possibly the best track they've recorded. Besides the obvious standout "Black No.1" songs like "Christian Woman" and "Bloody Kisses" really drive home the craftsmanship and emotion in Peter's voice. Simply put this is the only album I can rate a perfect score.

Album: October Rust - 1996
David: For me, October Rust is the quintessential Type O Negative, and the one that I would tell listeners to check out first! The music on almost every track is near perfect and Peter Steele's voice is definitely at its peak. Although, the beginning of the album has the typical dark humor intro, this - musically - a more serious album. The songs are darker, more majestic, and overall set a very gothic mood. Favorite Tracks: Love You To Death, Red Water, Be My Druidess, & Haunted

Eric: The album's key premise is simply failure to deliver. This highly anticipated record wasn't very good, but holds it's own on playlists with the lovable "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend", "Wolf Moon" and "Love You to Death". The tracks that were hoping to capitalize on the "Bloody Kisses" vibe were lifeless. Still, a 3.5 is valid considering time of release and it's unapologetic rebellion to anything grunge or alternative.

Greg: The more mainstream Type O here. A decent album that is maligned by the overplayed and overused 'Love You To Death'.

Nate: Commercialism really started with this album, In Praise Of Bacchus is the standout.

Troy: I really wanted to love this album and still try but I can never give it as much credit due to the more commercial vibe it sends across. They toned down the dark atmosphere and imagery, now Peter's voice is nowhere near as haunting but still emotional. There are a lot of good tracks here like "Haunted" and "Red Water" and the radio friendly ones like "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend" and "Cinnamon Girl" but nothing strikes me as great. Even my favorite track "Wolf's Moon" is about a subject I would never want to hear. All in all a solid album that didn't reach the high expectations I set for it and a bit too "happy" for me.

Album: World Coming Down - 1999
David: Type O Negative reached their peak with October but World Coming Down is still an excellent album and has one of my favorite TON songs of all time, 'White Slavery'. The overall theme for this album is very dark and there is less of a punk influence. However, there is tons of gothic doom on here, which is a good thing! Favorite Tracks: White Slavery, All Hallow's Eve, Everyone I Love Is Dead, & Creepy Green Light

Eric: By this point the gimmick is dead. Only "Everyone I Love is Dead" and "Creepy Green Light" make sense to me. Songs like "All Hallows Eve" should be great...but they aren't. A silly record.

Greg: An album that is half good, half bad. 'Day Tripper (medley)' and 'All Hallows Eve' are the standouts for me on this one.

Nate: Great songs on this album with a little bit of the old sarcasm.

Troy: After what I view as a slight misstep with October Rust, TON starts to right the ship with the songs "Everyone I Love Is Dead", "All Hallows Eve", and the title track. I even enjoy the more accessible "Everything Dies" as it's surrounded by more traditional sounding songs. Unfortunately several songs are skippable and not memorable making this hard to be a go to album. Just purchase "The Least Worst Of" and you get two of the best songs from this album.

Album: Life Is Killing Me - 2003
David: Life is Killing me has more of a commercial feel than any other TON album and although there are some good songs here, it's almost as if they took a stop back, especially with the direction they were heading over the past 3 albums. Fortunately, the songwriting is good on this album so there is more to love than hate. This is not one of my favorite albums by them, and definitely not one that I would recommend up front but it's still a pretty good album. Favorite Tracks: Anesthesia, Less Than Zero, A Dish Best Served Coldly

Eric: More of the downward spiral with an album that lacks any identity. "A Dish Best Served Coldly" and "I Don't Wanna Be Me" are the only saving graces. Just an uninspired mess of a record.

Greg: A much maligned album that I feel doesn't get the credit it deserves. Feels like a mix of "Bloody" and "October" with none of the filler from "October" present. Also eerily creepy as it mentions a song about Peter having a heart attack which is close to the heart issue that ended up causing his death in 2010.

Nate: This album didn't do much for me.

Troy: I feel a bit slighted by this album as the previous built up my confidence of a return to 'Bloody Kisses' overtones. Instead this is more a blend of October Rust and World Coming Down. That's not the worst combination by any means just disappointing. "I Don't Wanna Be Me", "Life Is Killing Me", and "(We Were) Electrocute" strike the October Rust chords as "Less Than Zero", "...A Dish Best Served Cold", and "The Dream Is Dead" hit the 'World Coming Down' direction. This album left me feeling the dream was dead as well but maybe I'm just being to critical to enjoy it.

Album: Dead Again - 2007
David: Dead Again, the final album by TON is not only their longest (clocking in at almost 78 minutes), but it's a great swan song album from them as it showcases all of they styles for which they were know for. Instead of starting off this album with a prank-like skit (as present on most of their other album), they blast right into a pop-punk anthem to get the blood pumping. They continue the pace with the D-beat influenced 'Tripping A Blind Man'. Don't worry, as there is plenty of gothic doom to go around here. Although this is probably not their most popular album, it's one of my favorites by them and rounds out my Top 3 TON albums. Favorite Tracks: The Profits Of Doom, September Sun, Hail And Farewell To Britain.

Eric: I threw in the towel here.

Greg: Despite being the highest rated album from the band chart wise, it was one of my least favorites of the bunch. Just felt too mainstream and lacked the punch the older albums had.

Nate: I really tried to like this album, but I guess I'm stuck with Bloody Kisses, which is ok by me.

Troy: Finally after 14 years a worthy follow up to 'Bloody Kisses'. No more commercial bull crap just straight up unbridled TON. The opening trio of songs are some of the best material recorded in years. "Halloween In Heaven" and "Some Stupid Tomorrow" demonstrate the creativity the band still had left in them. "She Burned Me Down" and even the fourteen minute plus opus "These Three Things" manages to combine doom and catchiness in a way 'October Rust' couldn't manage. Unfortunately this would be the last album of new material before Peter's death. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and memories TON provided me through the years and know we will never get another band of this liking again.

Slow, Deep and Hard 2 1.5 3 3 3.5 13
The Origin of the Feces 2 2.5 2 2 4 12.5
Bloody Kisses 5 4.5 5 5 5 24.5
October Rust 5 3.5 3 3 3.5 18
World Coming Down 4 2.5 2.5 5 4 18
Life Is Killing Me 3 2 4 2 3.5 14.5
Dead Again 4 2 2 1.5 4.5 14

2-- October Rust
3-- World Coming Down
4-- Life Is Killing Me
5-- Dead Again
6-- Slow, Deep and Hard
7-- The Origin of the Feces

Please don't dress in black
When you're at his wake
Don't go there to mourn
But to celebrate
--"I Don't Wanna Be Me"

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