“A brilliant piece of work. I love it…I think it’s the darkest thing Type O has ever done…it’s blacker than black. None bleaker. The songs were really from the heart…I’m very proud of that volume of work.” – Josh Silver, discussing this album

The Type O Negative keyboardist is right of course, from a lyrical perspective. Yet World Coming Down’s reputation as a nonstop dirge of doom and gloom is a bit overstated.

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1996 was one of the weakest all-time years for rock and metal releases. Luckily, Peter Steele and Type O Negative did not get the memo. “Topics for the next album will include paganism, lycanthropy, nature worship, Promethean gifts, social Darwinism, totalitarianism, and global acquisition,” the band’s frontman promised in the buildup to October Rust’s release.

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“You know, there was a time when that picture would have been considered racy,” someone expressed their disapproval of this album cover to me. “Not anymore.”

The cover of 1993’s Bloody Kisses depicts two black-lipsticked women going cheek to cheek in a sickly shade of green. I’m sure Howard Stern at least got a kick out of it.

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Peter Steele is buried along with his parents in St. Charles cemetery next to an airfield in Farmingdale, Long Island, New York, twenty minutes from where I grew up. Coincidentally, my grandparents are buried near the same plot.

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I first started working on this series about four years ago. It has been through many revisions, rewrites, and re-visitations since then.

But here’s the thing: metal history doesn’t stop!

So let us consider this coverage of more “recent” events (since 2010 or so) as a bonus.

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Well, it was inevitable.

When I first published my Top 50 Metal (and Quasi-Metal) Songs of the 1970s, reaction was pretty strong in a positive way. Readers appreciated the diversity of acts on the list beyond the usual and expected entries from genre heavyweights like Black Sabbath. Album cuts beyond the well-known hit singles were also well-represented, and overall it was just a lot of fun to put together and to read.

Of course, the listening and exploring never stops, and at some point while researching my four-part doom metal history series I realized there is a lot more old-school metal to be found out there still. I became especially interested in heavy music from beyond the Anglosphere, and came to appreciate a few more underground acts that did not get the kind of exposure back then that others did. The quality of those bands’ output is the biggest reason I wanted to expand my top 50 list by another 25 entries.

You’ll still find a number of well-known favorite bands in this expansion, but my hope is that you’ll discover a killer band from the same time period…just buried by time and dust. Enjoy part three!

Part 1, 51-26
Part 2, 25-1

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I visited the ancestral homeland of American death metal for my first vacation of 2015. As my girlfriend and I walked around, enjoying the sunshine, seafood, palm trees, beaches, and excellent craft beer and cigars, one thought was omnipresent in my mind: this is where death metal was born.

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When being asked to choose between rock and roll and sex, Lemmy Kilmister had no trouble calling it as he saw it (I’m paraphrasing): “Well, the average show lasts about two hours, coitus could be half an hour tops…so to me it’s pretty obvious which is better, you know?” Punctuate with long puffs of cigarette smoke and long pulls at a Jack and Coke for greater effect.

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