Type O Negative was an American gothic metal band formed in Brooklyn, New York City in 1989, by Peter Steele (bass, vocals), Kenny Hickey (guitar, vocals), Josh Silver (keyboards), and Sal Abruscato (drums), who was later replaced by Johnny Kelly. Their lyrical emphasis on themes of romance, depression, and death resulted in the nickname “The Drab Four”(in homage to The Beatles‘ “Fab Four” moniker). The band went Platinum with 1993’s Bloody Kisses, and Gold with 1996’s October Rust, and gained a fanbase through seven studio albums, two best-of compilations, and concert DVDs.
On April 14, 2010, lead vocalist, bassist, and principal songwriter Peter Steele died, reportedly from heart failure brought on by an aortic aneurysm. Members Kenny Hickey and Johnny Kelly stated in a November 2010 interview with French music magazine Rock Hard that the band would not continue.
Bloody Kisses is the third album by the American band Type O Negative. It is also the last recording to feature the band’s original line-up, as drummer Sal Abruscato would leave Type O Negative in late 1993. The album further established Type O Negative motifs, such as including cover songs restylized into gloomy gothic metal, sample-heavy soundscapes in between songs, and dry, satirical humor. This album includes a cover of the Seals and Crofts song “Summer Breeze“.
Bloody Kisses was the first album on Roadrunner Records to achieve gold and platinum certification.
Machine Screw—-As with most Type O releases, the slight intro is one of sardonic humor and noise. Being a late bloomer to this band, I was fortunate enough to become a hardcore fan and witnessed Peter and Co. live just before his death. And we move onward to….
Christian Woman—-That trademark baritone of Steele’s ushers in the track with a spoken word that opens up with a wispy and eerie vocal before the band and the song kick into gear with a damn pleasant song. Not too heavy and not too sweet…but full of darkness and deep tones. I love the way Peter sings….still one of my favorite tracks, this is the band at top notch.The end of the track is both beautiful and dark with vivid lyrics and a delivery from Pete vocally that is fantastic…..he could sing really well when he wanted to.
Black No. 1 [Little Miss Scare-All]—-Perhaps one of the best known Type O Negative tracks in their career, the deep and plodding sound of the music sets you up for the deep baritone vocal that seems to wrap right around the music. This version…a bit different….is full of mood swings and some really nice guitars. When Pete really begins to deliver his vocal you realize this really is premier Goth Metal. Masterfully delivered with humor, darkness and a slight brutality.And a chorus for the ages!!!
Fay Wray Come Out And Play—-This brief interlude…filled with humorous effects and plain noise is typical of the band and their sense of humor. Eat em’ up…..
Kill All The White People—-Kicking off with a fuzziness, the song is as much Punk rock as it is Heavy Metal. Speedy with a distorted feel even to the vocal, this is dark humor at it’s best…as only this band could do. The mood shifts in the song are incredible…becoming clear and then dissolving back into mayhem. Classic.
Summer Breeze—-Perhaps one of my favorite tracks from the band….just simply because they could take such a smooth and pleasant song and add the touches to make it a dark and depressing journey through summer happiness. This is the band at their best…filled with a sense of humor, a unique point of view and a wonderfully musical delivery. Only Pete could sound so depressed…only a Type O bass line could sound so majestic!
Set Me On Fire—-Melding from the previous track with a precision and seamless melody line, this is fantastic. The band delivers an almost 50’s inspired beautiful sound to the song. The drums are outstanding and the harmonies are incredible….Kenny Silvers and his vocal is ON POINT….a high point on the release.
Dark Side Of The Womb—-Another odd interlude….but it is as expected……continuing on to…
We Hate Everyone—-speedy in musical delivery and filled with the back drop of Silvers vocals, Steele actually sings at times on the song all while the drums keep things going until a machine sound filled break brings a halt to the enthusiasm. We are back in deep and dark plodding mode as the track continues…with Pete delivering a vocal hard to even understand. The many moods of the song always keep me interested though…you will never be bored with a Type O release.
Bloody Kisses [ A Death In The Family]—-Classic Horror organ introduces the song before the sludge of the bass line begins and sends us on yet another slow and plodding sardonic romp through the brain of Peter Steele. The vocal is catchy as hell…you find yourself wrapped around it like a lost lover. There was no band like this at the time….and they continued to deliver this classic sound till the time of Steele’s passing. Just incredible…..there is NOTHING to complain about. That pleading vocal from Steele towards the end…is actually heart-wrenching.
3 O.I.F—-Noisy and odd, what else would you expect from the band….always consistent…..but always full of surprises….this is atmospheric and just plain odd….
Too Late: Frozen—-Another fan favorite that lived well into the career of the band, the guitar squeals and the huge chorus made it ready for audience participation at live shows. The entire band adds to the song….and it is a brighter romp…musically. Lyrically…it still falls well within the realms of the bands concept. This has some really nice bright spots though. a favorite.
Blood & Fire—-Fuzzy and filled with a slight distortion, the track also has some really nice power chord blast that lead into the darker sounds that the band does so well. Pete sings really well on this track…you find yourself loving the melody line of the song. The lyrics…not happy…..by relate able…..we have all been there. This is a beautifully constructed song….backing vocals that fir like a glove…a lead vocal that displays huge emotion and a musical landscape that is as you wish for….consistent.
Can’t Lose You—-Ending the proper release with some nice funeral style bass and what sounds like a sitar, the track leaves us as moody and dark as the intro left us feeling. This is a fantastic listen….a band at the peak of creativity and really filling the glove of who they had set out to be…humorous….dark but quality musicians. This is a fantastic listen.
***** out of 5