Type O Negative
Type O Negative (1989-2010): a Gothic Metal band from Brooklyn, New York, USA.
edically known as the "universal donor", Type O Negative, the blood type "O-", is compatible with every human on earth and can therefore be transfused without rejection but must only be given it's type. Although it is not known if the blood type influenced their name, the band Type O Negative (originally called Repulsion) were nonetheless incompatible with many humans from the get-go by causing controversy with the cover artwork depicting a phallic symbol on their Slow, Deep And Hard (1991) debut of dragging Black Sabbath-esque riffs, maniacal hardcore outbursts, and droning industrial and punk rock atmospheres. The album featured the original line-up of Peter Steele (R.I.P. 2014; Real Name: Petrus Thomas Ratajczyk; ex-Carnivore; vocals/bass) who started the act after the breakup of his former outfit Carnivore, along with Josh Silver (keyboards), Sal Abruscato (drums), and Kenny Kickey (guitar).
The Origin Of The Feces, their 1992 follow-up album, featured a cover that left even less guess work with music following much along the lines of NIN-esq Industrial gothic metal. A warning label was placed on the album cover: "Not Live At Brighton Beach" because it featured faux-live recordings of songs from Slow, Deep, and Hard, as well as previously unreleased songs such as Are You Afraid and Hey Pete (a cover of Jimi Hendrix's Hey Joe with altered lyrics).
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Although several metal bands have incorporated Goth influences in their music, Type O Negative had been more overtly goth than most, making them the standard by which to be judged when bands declare themselves "gothic". Bloody Kisses (1993) came at the height of their cult following and would prove to be their best to date; it eventually became the first record for their label 'Roadrunner' to reach certified Platinum status in the US. The album also saw the drummer Johnny Kelly replacing Abruscato when Abruscato quit to join another band.
1995 would see (in more ways than one) Peter Steele appearing naked in an issue of Playgirl magazine.
The follow-up 1996 release of October Rust made it to UK 26/US 42, and resumed right where its predecessor left off exploring themes of sex and sensuality, first in a humorous way on My Girlfriend's Girlfriend and then taken in a much darker tone on Love You To Death. The record also featured a cover of Neil Young's Cinnamon Girl and the fan favorite semi-serene Green Man.
Up until this point Type O Negative had survived in the more experimental area of the metal scene but in 1997 they made it mainstream with the release of a remix EP devoted entirely to their renditions of Neil Young's Cinnamon Girl. Although it didn't chart, it paved the way for the follow-up album The World Coming Down (1999) to make US 39/UK 49. The album featured a darker, bleaker tone than its predecessors, having been written after a series of deaths in Peter Steele's family.
After The Least Worst Of "best of..." compilation in 2000, the act took a rest before releasing their first studio effort in some 4 years with Life Is Killing Me (2003).
The next album Dead Again debuted at 27 in the US, the band's highest chart debut to date and their first and only album for 'SPV Records'.
On April 14, 2010, frontman and bassist Peter Steele died, reportedly from heart failure. In November the remaining members declared that the band would no longer continue.
'Roadrunner Records' released a box set of all the band's albums (except Dead Again) for Back to Black Friday 2011, a spinoff of Record Store Day, on November 25, 2011. Released in vinyl, each cover has no text and The Origin of the Feces used its original cover art. The box set also contained various bumper stickers related to the band.
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