Sound — 9
I've always wondered why people like foreign letters? Why do they think it looks cool? And why some of them like printing them on t*shirts, in magazines or album covers? Do they ever think how ridiculous it looks for those who know the language? Type O Negative found a nicer way out -- on the cover of their new album they mix Russian letters with English, so you can read -- Type O Negative, Dead Again. Yes, it finally happened -- after switching record labels that seemed like forever and a number of ridiculous jokes like the frontman Peter Steele being dead, the new album, recorded on SPV, is out 13 March. Seventh album in the carrier, the band is still maturing as musicians with Dead Again being another step forward. While most of the younger metal bands try to stuff their music with as much fast guitar exercises as possible, Type O Negative turn quantity into quality. There are enough power riffs to impress you and Kenny Hickey really shines on this record with his awesome guitar work in every track. The guys will also impress you by 10+ minute songs. Like the first single of the album The Profit Of Doom in which the coda lasts for a whole minute. There are a lot of tempo changes in the songs -- it burns slow for guitar solos and is speed-infused in the choruses. You can never guess where the songs go. It gets especially unexpected with the longer tracks -- like almost 10-minute September Sun that starts sugary acoustic and ends up as an anthem with horns and chorals. You won't believe you're listening to a metal record when you hear the beginning of September Sun -- classic piano playing a sentimental melody feels like something of a boyband. It reminds a lot of November Rain by notorious (hey, Axl) Gun N' Roses in fact. Deep vocals by Peter Steele and distortion guitar put everything in order after the first verse. Quite a few Beatles-esque harmonies can be found throughout the record -- you can't help but notice a part of guitar solo in These Three Things sounds like Hey Jude. There's also a place for some punk on the album -- on Some Stupid Tomorrow the band rocks hard which gives an opportunity for a drummer Johnny Kelly to showcase his talent. With Dead Again the band is getting back to what they've started from. The sound of the album would remind you of the earliest efforts like their debut Slow, Deep, and Hard. It's the almost the same goth, doom and gloomy kind of thing, just the musicians became much more experienced now.
Lyrics — 10
The band turns to some social subjects very unlikely to be heard from somebody like Type O Negative. The song These Three Things is about... you'd never guess child abortion. Peter Steele has been through some very hard times lately and maybe that fact made his write the lyrics A child is torn from the womb un-baptized/ There's no question it's infanticide. To multiply the sadness effect of the record, there's also a song about dead musicians Halloween In Heaven that Steele wrote after the death of a close friend Dimebag Darrell from Pantera. Peter Steele has got an excellent deep throated vocal. The range of his singing is impressive -- he can sing very low and he can produce a powerful roar quite high. He can be horrifyingly rough, rolling his tongue (like in the title song) and he be mellow, almost crying (in She Burned Me Down).
Overall Impression — 9
Seems like the gothic culture doesn't inspire Type O Negative any more. Now they turned to the scary Russians, which supposedly goes well with the title of the album Dead Again. Even though it doesn't go any further than putting Ruspitin with a few Russian letters on the album cover and Steele rolling his tongue in a few tracks. The band managed to marry up a whole bunch of influences on the record. Those are often so far from metal, like the Beatles and Deep Purple, which tells about Type O Negative as an evolving band with varied music tastes. The album is very heavy and powerful, yet solid and organic. It can be very intimate and sonic (which is quite hard to fit into a metal genre and is a huge achievement of Type O Negative). At the same time it can be hard as hell and impressive as your most vivid nightmare.