A few years back, Metal Hammer decided to rank Type O Negative’s discography from worst to first and, as a lifelong tattoo-emblazoned/double digit seeing TON fan, I was slightly put off by the whole thing. That said, and at the urging of bostonregina, I decided to rectify their mistakes and make my own list.
Speaking of mistakes, I could do a whole piece about the issues I had with the Metal Hammer piece (October Rust is the best? Dropping the “quirky interludes and flippantly provocative thrash-punk numbers” for the digipak of Bloody Kisses was a good thing? Origin Of The Feces counts as an album?) but ultimately decided to focus on the positive. Well, as positive as you can get when rating Type O Negative albums:
6. October Rust: Yeah, I said it. It’s overrated. Sure, the album spawned “Love You To Death” and crowd favorites like Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl” but it also has its’ fair share of non-starters (Sorry “Be My Druidess”!) And can we please mention how gross the production was? It’s big, it’s bold, it’s beautiful but is that really what we want for the entirety of a TON album?
5. World Coming Down: Look, I love this album. I really do! But it’s really disjointed. Sure you have monolithic songs like the title track which really shows off guitarist Kenny Hickey’s vocal prowess and the dirge of “White Slavery” but then you also have “All Hallows Eve” and “Who Will Save The Sane?” and the redundant double death duo of “Everyone I Love Is Dead” and “Everything Dies”. It just wholly feels unrealized. Like, we gotta put together a record so let’s Frankenstein a bunch of passages and hope it makes for a good album (Hey, Metallica made it work on St. Anger. Kind of.)
4. Slow, Deep And Hard: The one that started it all! The most vicious and brutal yet most recognizable in terms of TON mainstays in the live set, this one is admittedly a well produced demo and not necessarily indicative of where the band were headed. But still fans are blessed with “Unsuccessfully Coping With The Natural Beauty Of Infidelity” and riffs and passages that would permeate future recordings.
3. Life Is Killing Me: A Johnny Kelly showcase from the instant “I Don’t Wanna Be Me” kicks off (With a video featuring future Fantastic Beasts star Dan Fogler which you can view at the end of this post), this last Roadrunner Records release is an underrated classic and the sounds of a band going out with a bang and, in true TON style, kinda giving RR a big middle finger on their way out the door. But I digress! “Todd’s Ship Gods” is another showing off Kelly’s technical bombast while Peter Steele goes for an uber baritone on “Nettie”. TON’s brand of humor was on full display with tracks like “I Like Goils” and “Angry Inch” while “Anesthesia” is, quite possibly, the ultimate Type O Negative track and a goth masterpiece as Josh Silver creates this huge synthetic atmosphere.
2. Dead Again: The thing about Dead Again, TON’s last, is that it is concise. Ten tracks. No filler. I mean, these songs have fucking heft! Adding to the heftiness is that Steele utters a line like “All hail and farewell to me” at the conclusion of closing track “Hail And Farewell To Britain” and you have even more emotional heaviness added to the proceedings, too! Besides that depressing tidbit, the album is also ridiculously solid. Their first post-Roadrunner Records release and it is a veritable beast by reaching back to their roots with some of the most rockin’ material TON had ever laid to tape. Remember that St. Anger reference earlier? This one is riff-mashing done right! “Tripping A Blind Man” is such an amalgamation of different tunes…yet it works! “September Sun” is somber and special with more Hickey vocal highlights as is “Halloween In Heaven” which would’ve been a live favorite for years to come.”These Three Things” was TON incarnate yet again while “Some Stupid Tomorrow” utilizes riffage from the Type O archives and then goes for the jugular in one of the most bangin’ tracks since the Slow, Deep… days.
1.Bloody Kisses: Never mind the fact that this was the album that got me (And TON’s of others) into TON in the first place due to Headbanger’s Ball’s heavy rotation of “Christian Woman” and “Black No. 1”, it’s also their best. Bookended by their heaviest and most lush sounding records, Bloody Kisses was a proper intro to the Type O sound infusing the hard and the heavy (“Kill All The White People”, “We Hate Everyone”) with the bold and beautiful (“Too Late: Frozen”, “Blood & Fire”) to make an unforgettable Gothic classic.
If you’re missing Type O Negative hard on the regular like I am then be sure to check out their all new merch collection through Roadrunner Records here and follow former drummer Sal Abruscato’s A Pale Horse Named Death and guitarist Kenny Hickey’s Silvertomb, both of which are spiritual successor’s to the TON sound AND feature drummer Johnny Kelly within each of their ranks.