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Type O Negative - Dead Again Review

by Matt Hensch

Type O Negative seems to take their damn time when they make a new record, but the Goth metal legends never disappoint with whatever they present to a hungry pack of fans. Once again, Type O Negative has returned after a four year pause with the highly-anticipated Dead Again. So what does this CD contain? Everything our green buddies have done before, which is both a huge blessing, and a minor curse. Though Dead Again is a bit weaker than the average Type O Negative release, Vinnland's shipment of Goth metal still impresses its most valuable customer---that of your ears.

Type O Negative essentially revive their classic multi-cultural brand of Goth metal throughout Dead Again without tapping into any modern frequencies, or anything that would disrupt the band's traditional nature. Everything you could expect from Vinnland's finest is still in full operation, including the doom-laden riffs and Mr. Steele's esoteric voice that could melt the heart of any female. It's easy to hear other influences, like pop, punk, and doom, throughout several sections of this album's duration, which makes the listening experience more colorful at times. The soloing effort has dramatically upgraded from a simple slouch of sound to an electrifying blend of fierce instrumentation and epic surroundings. Keyboardist Josh Sliver and guitarist Kenny Hickey dispenses the most outstanding leads they've ever done in their careers; whenever they solo, it sounds clear, technical, and wonderfully natural. Ah yes, Vinnland has once again conquered several musical qualities to improve its supply of gothic supplements.

Elements of gothic metal are frequently found like weeds in a garden, yet the sea of plants also contains the largest amount of punk influence since Slow, Deep and Hard in 1991. Moments of spunky-ridden riffing with a speed upgrade are spotted during the title track, "Some Stupid Tomorrow," and the first half of "Tripping a Blind Man." These examples are, however, only touching the glass of how much faster this is compared to other Type O Negative works. Now don't assume they play full-blown punk, because they don't; the music is still doom-laden and slow, but it sounds a lot faster than anything else Type O Negative has done in years. It's very interesting to witness the arrival of more punk touches along with the dominant gothic pulse, yet it acts as a nice transition between other musical atmospheres applied in Dead Again.

There is only one problem within Dead Again, but it's a biggie: their formula. Kenny Hickey's riffs are slow and heavy, Josh Silver adds some creepy keyboard affects, and Peter Steele still sounds like a masculine stud, which is totally fine, but it's also generic. I'll admit Type O Negative has done a great job establishing their style throughout the years, yet the band's predictable texture has grown old and it seems like they're kicking a dead horse at times. There are countless incidents when it seems you slipped in "Life Is Killing Me" because of the upbeat atmosphere, or "World Coming Down" somehow appeared when you reach a cluster of doom tunnels. Not only that, but the tradition of playing until the listener dies makes some of the tunes, especially "These Three Things," almost impossible to sit through. I've always liked Type O Negative's unique identity, but they've been doing the same thing for years now and it's beginning to dissolve prime qualities of their originality. A battery needs to be replaced after awhile or you'll have no power, right?

Dead Again could have used some improvements, but it's still Type O Negative doing what they do best. I wouldn't call this their best release by any means, but it's still a good CD worth purchasing if you've been impressed by Type O Negative before.

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Type O Negative - Dead Again


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