April 14th represents more than the death of Type O Negative front man, Peter Steele; it signifies the end of Type O Negative as a whole. I can still vividly remember waking up on that infamous morning six years ago, flipping my phone open and reading the shitty news in a text message from a friend. I flung the covers onto the floor and hurried to my PC to check the Internet for confirmation. Peter had faked his death once before; maybe the little rascal was up to it again. But no—this time it was real.
To this day Mr. Steele remains the only person whom I’ve never met yet whose passing I’ve shed tears over. But if I’m being honest, I have to admit that those tears were tears of selfishness. I wasn’t so much sad because Peter was dead—quite frankly, I don’t find death to be that big of a goddamn deal—I was sad because one of the best bands that’s ever existed went extinct that Wednesday. Fucking hump day. The green wooly mammoth known as Type O Negative became fossilized within pictures and sounds we’d all see and hear a million times more after April 14th, 2010. But the beast would no longer leave fresh prints in the earth for us to follow. And things were looking so, so good.
Dead Again,Type O Negative’s final album, is arguably their best. The band always had the talent to write catchy tunes, but with Dead Again they layered atop the catchiness like a strawberry wafer that doesn’t know when to quit. The album’s jam-packed with all the traditional Type O fun and solemnness, yet it doesn’t end there. Dead Again showed us that Type O could deliver an entire album that rocked from beginning to end. Like, really, really rocked, with speedy riffs and honest rock-and-roll rhythms and solos that Type O were not particularly known for. Best of all, at no point during the album are we forced to listen to thirty to forty-five seconds of droning guitars and industrial sound effects while a poor woman gets invaded by an automated piston. Wait…did I say “best of all”? Hmm.
Dead Again starts off with Peter warning his listeners about the dangers of drug abuse, and concludes with “Hail and Farewell to Britain,” a song that closes with Peter repeating the line, “All hail and farewell to me” as a fighter pilot gets blasted from the sky. It’s certainly a fitting ending, one that can be said tells a prophetic tale of the Peter’s last days. Drugs took their toll on the Green Man’s heart. They robbed us of him. Here’s hoping that some of Peter’s last recorded words can prevent others from similar tragedies.
Peter cautions us in more than one song on Dead Again that there are some things worse than death, and he’s right. One of those things is living in a world where Petrus Thomas Ratajczyk is eating dirt while the rest of us are up here hogging his air.
The Ragdoll Farcists proudly give Type O Negative’s Dead Again our first perfect score of five out of five.