Sound — 9
Type O Negative is a band that has been around for a while. We all know their tongue in cheek style. Described as a doom metal band, they draw influence from some of the greatest rock bands such as Black Sabbath (the gloomy lyrics) and The Beatles (the more mystical lyrics). The sound of the album is vastly improved on previous efforts, a factor that becomes more evident when listening to the song "September Sun." Both guitarist Kenny Hickey and keyboardist Josh Silver show off their abilities with solos either side of a chanted section. Many of the songs are multi-parted. For example, "Profits of Doom" begins with a snappy shouted verse, moves onto a upbeat guitar riff, goes into a doomy verse, back into the upbeat chorus, then into an passionate repetition of the line "my soul's on fire," and finally finishing with a guitar solo. The use of different sections in the song, combined with the fact that the band seemingly covers every emotion possible in the album makes for a very interesting listen, and means that the listener isn't bombarded with continual misery, or continual anger. A weakness in the album is the fact that many of the melodies are repeated four or five times before progressing. Whilst this can work in some cases, it makes some songs repetitive (such as in "September Sun's" outro).
Lyrics — 8
The first lyrics on the album (on the title track "Dead Again"), are "first to admit I'm a doomed drug addict." Typical Type O Negative pessimism then. Similarly to their earlier albums, the band switches between gloomy lyrics such as these, and more humorous lyrics. The song "Halloween in Heaven," possibly has the most uplifting lyrics on the album, with a half sung, half shouted verse dedicated to the musicians that have passed on ("Bonham on drums, Entwhistle on bass" etc). Although that isn't saying much, considering the very next song on the album ("These Three Things") opens with the words "the child is torn from the womb unbaptised." A weak point in the lyrics comes in the song "September Sun," in which the chorus includes the cringe-worthy line "lost man in time, was his name Peter?" Strangely though, this same song has a chanted section in the language Vinnlandish, a nonsense language created by bassist Peter Steele. This chanted section gives the song an almost apocalyptic feel. Hickey's vocals feature heavily on the album, more so than in past releases. This brings about a pleasant change from bassist Peter Steele's bass heavy vocals. Silver adds in backing vocals, creating a nice harmony with Hickey. Steele himself is on fine form, switching between raunchy shouting, angry growling and singing and sounding just as good whichever style he chooses.
Overall Impression — 9
It would be unfair to try and compare TON to other bands. Very few artists have the ability to sound equally good singing humorous songs and miserable songs, which ton do very well here. Highlights of the album include "Profits Of Doom," "September Sun" "Halloween In Heaven" and "An Ode To Locksmiths." As for the final suggested question, "If it were stolen/lost, would you buy it again or get something else?" I would have to say that it wouldn't effect me much, because it's already been ripped to the laptop. Seriously though, this is probably the band's best work so far in their almost two decade career. Each member has obviously progressed in their playing, making this not only a great album for long time fans of the band, but also a good starting point for new fans.