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Type O Negative Dead Aga

By Mick Stingley, Contributor
Wednesday, March 5, 2008 @ 10:32 PM


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According to various, questionable interpretations of the Mayan Calendar, the world, as we know it is going to come to an end on December 21, 2012. Evidently asteroids, global blackouts, famine, pestilence, rampant disease and total worldwide energy flux will bring about general societal collapse...and based upon their recorded history, it's extremely likely that 2012 is also the year in which the world will see the next album of newly recorded material from the band collectively known as Type O Negative (suggested title: "Goodbye Stool World").

In the meantime, the fine folk at SPV have seen fit to reissue the last album of newly recorded material from Type O Negative, 2007's Dead Again (probably to buy some time until the apocalypse). However, this time they've added a DVD and present it in a digipack, which is, shockingly, colored red.

Since its inception Type O Negative has long been associated with the color green; so that they've elected to go with another primary color is probably enough of a publicity stunt to generate some long threads among goth/metal Suicide Girls on the band's fan-sites and message boards and maintain interest in the band while they go on hiatus. Whatever meaning is ascribed to it (Adultery? Socialism? Some art director was bored shitless with the green thing?), it is still sonically and ineffaceably Type O Negative.

Those who are presently unfamiliar with the ten songs on Dead Again can now get acquainted with them while enjoying the pretty crimson wash of the digipack. The album is somewhat more progressive than previous efforts in that, among other things, there's not a single cover-song. This in and of itself is noteworthy considering that Dead Again is TON's first effort for SPV and clearly no one at the label is trying to get Brooklyn's Finest to choke out a hit; the label obviously recognizes that, (in spite of what the band members themselves are constantly declaring), these guys are gifted and talented songwriters whose originals far outshine the covers. Furthermore, while it would be pretty interesting to hear Type O take on Rihanna's ”Umbrella”, this album is an evolution of the Type O sound. The songs are often longer, with myriad time signatures; the lyrics are just as personal but even more self-referential and bizarre; Kenny steps out more than a few times on the microphone and even the most accessible pop numbers ("September Sun," "Halloween In Heaven") are scarred by brooding length and tempo.

It's almost as if the band has returned to the philosophy which brought them to international prominence in the first place: no more trifling with facile editing to get into heavy rotation, this is how the song goes and fuck you if you don't like it. (It should be noted that "Halloween In Heaven," an ode to dead rock stars, features the first ever guest female vocal on a Type O record; Tara Van Flower of Lycia adds some honey to render this otherwise dark punky rocker mellisonant.)

And while the music stands wholly on its own, the bonus here is of course the addition of the DVD. With the two videos ("Profits of Doom," "September Sun") and some poignant (albeit too brief) interview footage, one of the highlights is a walking tour of Coney Island with Josh Silver. Since Silver is so often in the background, it's nice to see him step out a little; he's definitely a funny guy and the viewer gets a chance to experience some of his dry, Brooklyn humor; though again, almost too briefly. It's almost frustrating in that context as a full walking tour of Brooklyn, (or at the very least Bay Ridge, Marine Park, Bensonhurst and Gravesend) would not only be hilarious but informative (maybe for the next DVD when the world ends, he can point out to everyone what they missed).

The DVD also offers a handful of tunes shot at last summer's Wacken Open Air Festival: it's beautifully shot and almost makes the band seem a bit glamorous, if that's possible.

Overall, it looks like there was a nice production budget for the DVD and re-release; and as the youngest of the band members finally joins the rest in entering his fourth decade, it's nice to see that Type O Negative has a lot of life left in them. 60 is the new 40 and don't they know it.

Too bad the world is going to end before we'll ever get to hear, "The Unbearable Lightness Of Peeing," "More Songs About Blood & Fire" or "Still Lazy After All These Years"...(although singer Steele might argue this as he sings curiously, on "Profits of Doom," about the end of the world in April 2029. Hope springs eternal).

This release is also available as a three-record red vinyl LP box set.

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Buy your copy of Dead Again, the CD/DVD now, in the KNAC.COM More Store. Click here.

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