Type O Negative - _Dead Again_
by: Jackie Smit (
"Return to form" is a phrase that's bandied about rather too recklessly these days for it to retain any sort of clout. Take Type O Negative for example. You'd be safe to bet that this adjective was used by at least one in three toothless hacks to describe the Brooklyn quartet's last three albums. Of course it also serves as something of a tip off as to the contentious nature of the band, and were you to cast your eyes toward practically any online forum discussion pertaining to them, you're likely to conclude that the superior title within the Type O discography is something of an unresolved issue.How aware of this the quartet themselves are, is of course a different matter entirely; but it does make an interesting back story to the direction they've chosen to take on _Dead Again_. It's a record that is not as much an evolution as a celebration of the myriad elements that has made them a unique and feverishly revered act over the last decade and a half. Along the course of its nearly eighty minute duration, you'll find an abundance of references to the commercial accessibility of _October Rust_ on "September Sun", while the up-tempo title track as well as "Tripping a Blind Man" (replete with colossal choruses) wouldn't have sounded out of place on either _Bloody Kisses_ or _Life Is Killing Me_. Pete Steele's continued infatuation with The Beatles, Black Sabbath and Joy Division is given ample airtime too, as "Profits of Doom" goes from bleak, oppressive doom to gothic rock to fully blown psychedelic pop in the blink of an eye. Even Carnivore's proto-hardcore is given a dusting down and brought to the dance on "Some Stupid Tomorrow".While the framework from which _Dead Again_ draws its influence doesn't necessarily take us anywhere that the band haven't taken us before, it's nevertheless a broad palette which they know very well and are able to manipulate like master craftsmen. On occasion the music feels bloated and you could argue that a song like "These Three Things", which clocks in at a whopping 14:21, would benefit from a trim; but then again, what would Type O Negative be if not gloriously bombastic? This is them at the height of their confidence, delivering what can only be deemed a definitive work. Let's hope they have a few more left in them yet.
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