Type O Negative – Dead Again (2007)
I vaguely remember this record coming out in my senior year of high school. One of the entertainment magazines we got at home deemed it worthy of two sentences of precious review space, not really saying whether it was good or bad. At the time, I was not yet into doom metal, and I had not yet learned to read anything printed in any news source with automatic distrust (hey, I was naive). My reaction was brief: “Oh, the guys who did that ‘Cinnamon Girl’ cover put out a new record. I didn’t know they were still around.”
Even if I had bought Dead Again at the time, I wouldn’t have been ready for it since I was all about the speed and aggression of thrash metal and the exquisite guitar solos of classic rock.
Well, maybe: opening cut “Dead Again” would have resonated pretty strongly with the high-school me (as it does with the 27-year-old me)! Melodic and confident, by far the shortest and most direct song on this album. What a sight it must have been on tour to hear this track right after a cover of “Magical Mystery Tour” to start the show. But it’s the only song like it in this lengthy record of nearly 80 minutes. I often split this record up into two halves if I want to listen to the whole thing. Peter and company threw a lot of music our way in its final hour (and twenty minutes).
The production job is seamless as expected, bringing out the return to live drums rather than a drum machine. There is also the sharp duality between Peter’s green melodic croons and Josh’s black angry roars that make for a thrilling contrast–most notably on the fast-paced, mirthful “Halloween In Heaven.”
1. Dead Again
2. Tripping A Blind Man
3. Profit of Doom
4. September Sun
5. Halloween In Heaven
6. These Three Things
7. She Burned Me Down
8. Some Stupid Tomorrow
9. An Ode to Locksmiths
10. Hail and Farewell To Britain
“I’m not here to preach. I’m here to warn,” Peter Steele said at the time about songs like “Profit of Doom.” He had just re-entered Catholicism and was especially taken with Revelation’s apocalyptic imagery. Steele was also taking seriously the idea that he was called to be God’s mouthpiece, marking himself for the occasion with an alpha and omega tattoo on each hand.
Another song that reflects this is the 14-minute suite of hell, purgatory and heaven: “These Three Things.” You can picture the stage lights changing with each movement. Engaging despite its length–and I’m certain the climactic outro guitar solo samples the main melody from “Hey Jude.” Other psychedelic touches include the mid-section of “Tripping A Blind Man” and the peaceful piano of “September Sun.” The latter morphs into a brassy march complete with matching guitar and keyboard solos straight out of progressive metal. It sounds like a completely different song by the end, but it’s a magnificent ride nonetheless.
And you really don’t want “Hail And Farewell to Britain” to end. I wanted to chorus to be even louder and clearer, in big stadium power metal fashion, without the extraneous noise effects at the end. I mean, I knew what was coming…did Peter?
“All hail, and farewell / to me.”
Sadly, we’ll never really know if this is a “new sound” album for the band, because Type O never got the chance to see where this path would take them. Peter Steele’s life graph should have been on an extended upswing, and looked to be headed in that direction. But instead, it flatlined.
Apart from a handwritten rough draft of a song entitled “Seven Stars” that was never even demo-ed, this is the last surviving statement from Type O Negative–the end of a unique and terrific run that transcended heavy metal.
Peter Steele (RIP)
Written by Matt P
Read the rest of the series:
Soul On Fire Book Review: http://www.headofmetal.com/2017/09/18/book-review-soul-on-fire/
Bloody Kisses: http://www.headofmetal.com/2017/10/02/album-review-type-o-negative-bloody-kisses/
October Rust: http://www.headofmetal.com/2017/10/09/album-review-type-o-negative-october-rust/
World Coming Down: http://www.headofmetal.com/2017/10/16/album-review-type-o-negative-world-coming-down/
Life Is Killing Me: http://www.headofmetal.com/2017/10/30/album-review-type-o-negative-life-is-killing-me/
Dead Again: http://www.headofmetal.com/2017/11/06/album-review-type-o-negative-dead-again/
Peter Steele Obituary: http://www.headofmetal.com/2015/04/15/the-fallen-peter-steele/