Released: 2003, Roadrunner Records
I’ll state my bias up front. I have many strong personal attachments to Type O Negative as they got me through many rainy Monday mornings in Vancouver in the early 90’s on the long cold, wet bus ride to University. In a time in my life when I was heavily into Death and Black Metal this dark and gloomy and totally unique band was a ray of sunshine in my otherwise (at times) bleak world.
I’ve never forgotten those times or lost my association with Type O from those days. Hence, my continued fondness and appreciation for everything the band has done since.
It’s odd many people consider them heavy, gothic, dark and depressing but to me they were uplifting, fun and none too serious. I think the band has fun as well because there has been only one member defect in ten years, and long-term label stability, a feat few bands can claim.
Again the band stay with what was worked for them in the past and has indeed become part of the identity namely; streamlined minimalist packaging, the familiar, green colour scheme, layout, design and incredibly sardonic lyrics.
To describe the band tone who has not heard them is a task. I just think of them as a brilliant version of today’s Black Sabbath but such hype will do suffice! Adjectives are needed. Actually the Sabbath frame of reference is not a bad place to start, heavy, dense, dark and gothic, real goth not this pseudo, frilly-shirted goth with eyeliner and piercings. Songs are mostly mid-tempo but the band will surprise you on occasion and head for the hills with a galloping riff. The arrangements are sparse giving the songs a dirgy or dreamlike quality kind of an evil ambience. The voice of Peter Steele is the focal point where he howls on songs such as ‘I Like Goils’ and uses a deep sonorous bass-like tone on almost every song. His voice is not so much a weapon but a toy that he uses joyfully to it’s full effect. He whispers, shouts, howls, talks and sings about sociological issues like relationships but in a manner that makes the most mundane topics about girls and loves lost seem fresh and unique. ‘How Could She’ is a perfect example of this…a tale of betrayal by non-existent women…with a twist. Extremely clever!
LIKM is par for the course and perhaps over the past four years has recaptured some of the vigour and vitality that some considered missing on the last disc. Certainly faster, more guitar driven, more riffs, more singing and more drumming; the four year wait was ultimately worth it. Again the band delivers another long disc 15 tracks worth! Another great tongue in check cover elegant in it’s simplicity yet so clever. If you are not yet a fan this would be a good disc to start exploring this unique band.