Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Album Review: Type O Negative – October Rust

This was American Goths Type O Negative’s fourth album, released in 1996. Irritatingly, it’s bookended by some short skippable tracks, opening with static before a brief message thanking the listener for purchase, similarly at the end of the album. You won’t want to hear them again.

It’s not until track 3 that the band kicks properly into gear with Love You To Death, Josh Silver’s creepy keyboard intro darkening the atmosphere for Peter Steele’s sub-Eldritch doom-laden vocals before Kenny Hickey’s huge guitars kick in. This wide-screen, anthemic track sets the tone for the album, think Mission/Sisters of Mercy with slightly more metal guitars and a latent Gary Numan influence (melodically).

The tracks in general are slow, brooding epics, with catchy choruses, though many are quite lengthy such as the acoustic Die With Me and the keyboard-led Burnt Flowers Fallen. Steele's vocals are standard issue goth, though his lower register sounds unintentionally hilarious on Be My Druidess, singing “I’ll do anything to make you come” in a voice so deep and portentous it’s almost goth parody.

There are uptempo tracks also: My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend is a hammer-horror style rocker about a threesome with a driving beat, while they also do a pretty good version of Neil Young’s Cinnamon Girl, in a kind of a Bauhaus vein.

The album is possibly overlong making it difficult to sustain the ominous mood and atmosphere but most of the tracks work very well.