“Dead Again” by Type O Negative

Artist: Type-O-Negative
Title: “Dead Again”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 3/13/2007
Genre: Gothic Metal
Rating: 4/5

“Hallelujah it’s finally here!” Yes readers I can reflect genuine levels of enthusiasm to you as it has been about four years since we heard new material from Brooklyn’s own Type-O-Negative. A sigh of relief will come from all their legions of fans who some of which had wondered if the band was done and now find the Lords Of Flatbush armed with a new record label and material that clearly shows that they are “Dead Again”. It’s an album that finds the band morphing once again in the overall resulting sound but they are also revisiting some elements of their past successes. I found “Dead Again” to be a slight mix of that which we loved about both “Bloody Kisses” and “October Rust” – it’s a hard rocking album but not as heavy as their “World Coming Down” piece, and here we find those elements working hand in hand with the Punk influenced quickness of “Life Is Killing Me”. Fans know by now that while they change a little with each recording that TON has always managed to keep a certain essence in their sound – so why change now.

The album begins with the title track and uses a quick tempo and riff showing the bands Punk side right off the bat and finds Steele lamenting the issues around drug addiction with the chorus “I Can’t Believe I Died Last Night, Oh God I’m Dead Again”. Truly, a heavy way to start but it does make a point. Clever wordplay and a dark sense of humor is always par for the course in TON music and you will find this has not changed with the song “Tripping A Blind Man”. While this seems like a cruel thing to do the feeling is lost when the bands Beatles-esque harmonies come into play. Continually labeled as a Gothic Metal band we are treated to that type of atmosphere on the song “September Sun”. This track has resounding power to it and also features Kenny Hickey very upfront in the vocals as well as Tara Van Flower (Lycium) who adds a little more ambience to the song. It is one of the longest of the CD’s inclusions at nine minutes. Silver’s keyboard work always adds the emphasis of doom on tunes like this one. Given this is only the early part of the album the fans can smile with a sinister grin in the knowledge that Type-O-Negative is once again representing Metal that always gave levels of surprise as much as satisfaction. I quickly observed that it seemed like no real length of time had passed since we last heard from them and I think this was based on their managing to work with familiar feels and patterns. This action would easily allow them to recapture the attention of those who have awaited their return for so long. While lead singer/bassist Peter Steele sounds as angst-ridden as ever while he speaks of the “Profits Of Doom” the band is to be commended for delivering the epic “These Three Things” the most. It is a whopping fourteen-minute piece that seems to be the longest track that the band has ever written. The album finds Hickey providing many powerful vocals at various points and his higher register voice is the perfect opposite from the low and resonant voice Peter Steele often uses. Rhythmically, Johnny Kelly is making sure the train runs on time from behind the drums and offers some tasty fills. There are no strange filler/intro bits on “Dead Again” but instead a full and crushing 77 minutes of music to lament by. While I enjoyed it and looked forward to their return, I admit to finding no real surprises on the release. Instead, it is much of the same formula that has worked for the band and has kept their following as hard core as they have remained over the past fifteen years. Peter Steele, Kenny Hickey, Josh Silver and Johnny Kelly: The Drab Four walk among us and are prepared to bring us down again, and again – welcome back guys.

Track Listing:
1. Dead Again
2. Tripping A Blind Man
3. The Profits Of Doom
4. September Sun
5. Halloween In Heaven
6. These Three Things
7. She Burned Me Down
8. Some Stupid Tomorrow
9. An Ode To Locksmiths
10. Hail And Farewell To Britain

Official Web site: www.typeonegative.net

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