Sunday, 29 April 2012

#156 Type O Negative - October Rust

I've listened to Type O Negative for a while now, and I stand by the fact that I still don't quite get it. That's not to say I don't like it - In fact, of the bands I've gotten into this year, Type O Negative was one of the ones which felt the most right. My point is more that the band are one of the most unfathomably unique, interesting and surreal bands I've ever listened to, and my brain melts when I try to collaborate all of the elements of the band's sound in my head, but, I'm going to review October Rust anyway.

Most of the people with whom I've talked on the subject have directed me to this album in particular, and it's not a terrific leap to consider it a classic. In their position of uniqueness, I'm reluctant to put a genre tag on the band, but I'll venture to say that among the huge diversity there is a little doom-metal, and a great number of other things. A friend mentioned how much Black Sabbath influence is apparent in their style, and when one listens to what is going on behind the keyboard melodies, this is very true. Aside from that, however, there's not much labelling I can sensibly do. Throughout the album, the band create the immensely beautiful atmosphere which got me into them in the first place - A mixture of sensitive, serene but also intense emotion conjured by the deep, reverberating guitar, the diverse beauties conjured by the keyboard work, and of course, the glow of the unmistakable and lullaby-like voice of Peter Steele, a man sadly with us no longer. The tone of Steele's vocals have always been something which can be spotted from miles away, and certainly are one of the things which set the band apart from anything else which I've heard.

Each song on the record has a very unique character, with music ranging from extremely doomy and murky to those which are lighter, faster, but equally carry the distinct feel, the unique form of Type O Negative. There isn't any filler in the album, if, of course, you exclude things like "Bad Ground", which are cheeky jokes, examples of the band's sense of humour. This humour is one of the things which confuses my senses. The music is so beautiful, but the accompanying humour of the band rather juxtaposes the seriousness. Usually I'd find such a strange mixture off-putting, but in the case of Type O Negative, is just doesn't bother me - it feels like it's part of the bigger picture, integral to the band's identity. The whole album is something immensely powerful and hypnotic, and I certainly feel like I'm in a different place now than I was when I started listening to track one. That in itself is a very admirable quality for a band to posses, indeed, an admirable effect for their music to have - after all, that's precisely what music is supposed to do.

 I'm glad to have been able to write something about Type O Negative - the music is powerful, and quite intangible - I certainly had to pause and find ways to convey the feelings it gave me, and often language really wasn't sufficient. I will keep this outro paragraph brief, as ever, and conclude with an acclamation of October Rust, and a rest-in-peace to Peter Steele.

This is a 10/10, easily.

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