Dead Again

Nuclear Blast
rating icon 8.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Dead Again
02. Tripping A Blind Man
03. The Profit Of Doom
04. September Sun
05. Halloween In Heaven
06. These Three Things
07. She Burned Me Down
08. Some Stupid Tomorrow
09. An Ode To Locksmiths
10. Hail And Farewell To Britain
11. Everything Dies (live)
12. My Girlfriend's Girlfriend (live)
13. Black Sabbath (intro) / Christian Woman (live)
14. Love You To Death (live)
15. Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All) (live)
16. Anesthesia (live at Wacken Open Air 2007)
17. Christian Woman (live at Wacken Open Air 2007)
18. Love You To Death (live at Wacken Open Air 2007)
19. Kill You Tonight (live at Wacken Open Air 2007)

TYPE O NEGATIVE is one of the most immediately recognizable metal bands. Every band member was significant in their own right, but the undeniable focal point was always the late, great frontman Peter Steele, the imposing, charismatic vocalist and bassist who stood at 6' 7" and will forever be known for his deep, distinct melodic vocals. Steele unfortunately passed away in 2010 from heart failure at the age of 48, three years following the release of TYPE O NEGATIVE's seventh and final album, "Dead Again". Fifteen years after the release of the impressive swan song, TYPE O NEGATIVE is reissuing "Dead Again" on multiple formats.

The tortured artist may be a tried-and-true trope, but it doesn't lessen the impact and significance of some who befit the description. Much like ALICE IN CHAINS' singer Layne Staley, Peter Steele also spouted morbid, death-obsessed, heartfelt lyrics that foreshadowed an untimely death throughout the ensemble's entire career, perhaps most notably on "Dead Again", a release that directly reflected Steele's struggles with addiction and his sense of loss regarding the death of his family members. The lush and multi-layered "September Sun", starting off with calming piano parts that simmer toward gargantuan waves of beefy guitars, probably links most directly to the deep sense of loss that Steele experienced with his mother's passing. Considering the timeline in relation to Steele's passing, "Dead Again" proved to have been a profoundly ironic album title. While 1999's "World Coming Down" and 2002's "Life is Killing Me" were fantastic albums, they paled in comparison to all that came before. "Dead Again", however, reached the high-water marks of 1996's "October Rust" and everything prior to it.

Elsewhere, "Tripping a Blind Man" showcases the band's smooth and powerful transitions between gloomy doom metal and full-frontal crossover-influenced rage that's clearly reminiscent of Steele's previous act, CARNIVORE. With the passage of time, "The Profit Of Doom" still stands as one of the album's best songs and the band's entire career, touching upon Steele's more menacing side and the quartet's undeniable BLACK SABBATH adoration. "Some Stupid Tomorrow" is one of their most upbeat songs, not on par with "Kill All The White People", but fierce and nuanced in ways that clearly reflect the unit's growth over the years. Unlike the employment of sampled drums on all of TYPE O NEGATIVE's previous releases, the utilization of live drums, courtesy of longtime drummer Johnny Kelly, on "Dead Again" clearly enhanced the jam room vibe.

In addition to the album's original 10 tracks, the 2022 reissue includes nine live songs. The release boasts live versions of classic TYPE O NEGATIVE songs like "Everything Dies", "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend", "Black Sabbath (intro) / Christian Woman", "Love You To Death" and "Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)", as well as four songs recorded at Wacken Open Air 2007, just a few months prior to the original album's release: "Anesthesia", "Christian Woman", "Love You To Death" and "Kill You Tonight". These tracks truly reflect the magnificence of TYPE O NEGATIVE as a live powerhouse. "Black Sabbath (intro) / Christian Woman" is exceptional, riding on the strength of Steele's deep bellows and the drab four's massive, spacious sound.

The gothic metal/doom act sadly came to an end with Steele's 2010 passing. He was simply irreplaceable. TYPE O NEGATIVE's "Dead Again" definitely needed to be reissued because it's been inconsistently available on streaming platforms. Also because the subsidiary label from which it was originally released had folded not long after release. The darkness within the album surrounded it in many ways: Even the rehearsal studio that the album was developed in was obliterated by Hurricane Sandy. TYPE O NEGATIVE may have been tongue in cheek in many ways, but the utterly bleak nature of "Dead Again" proves that they were one of the most real heavy metal bands of all time.

Author: Jay H. Gorania
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