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I've been listening to this album for over fifteen years and therefore I believe it's safe to say that the music herein is timeless. Three years ago the world lost one of the most profoundly unique musicians to ever pick up a guitar, Peter Thomas Ratajczyk. The Green Man left us with a legacy of artistic integrity, brutal honesty, legendary lyrical wit, and nine brilliant albums between his two groundbreaking bands, Carnivore and Type O Negative.
I am a self-described doom metaller, and I'll never forget the first song I heard that caused me to actually feel doomed. It was the title track from Bloody Kisses and at that time I had never heard a dirge so agonizingly and poignantly depressive. I discovered Bloody Kisses and October Rust around the same time back in '97 and Type O is one of only two bands that I have never “grown out of” or “moved on from” since my teenage years. This band will be with me for the remainder of my days. Their music is like the comforting presence of an old friend.
Some may say that the Drab Four lightened their sound for this album. It may be the least heavy of Type O's works sonically-speaking, but the emotive significance here is undeniable. There are no gruff vocals, no hateful lyrics, no double bass or wailing guitar solos, and most of the tempos are slow and driving. This is full-blown Type O Negative where the youthful exuberance of the hardcore days of Carnivore has been exchanged for something a bit more adult, although the familiar self-degrading humor remains palpable. The sound of Peter's deep laughter always makes me smile as the band goofishly introduces the album from the studio.
Clearly, they spent a couple of months gettin' high working on it. “Love You To Death” is a song that almost always causes goosebumps to appear on my forearms with its sheer emotional weight. This is the penultimate fucking song. Seriously, fucking to this album is Sex Majik defined. The riffs undulate and penetrate, in-out, in-out, rendering space and time irrelevant. “Be My Druidess”. Case fuckin' closed. Probably the most erotic song in all of metal. Peter uses his bass in the creeping doom part of the song as though it were his foot long Polish sausage, fucking his earth goddess into submission, doing anything to make her come.
This is not a perfect album. I've often wondered if the drums are programmed. If so, they did a great job of making them feel like real drums, but sometimes the resonance of the toms is a bit grandiose. That said, the big drum sound perfectly suits the ethereal atmosphere of October Rust. Sometimes I skip “Red Water” because of its hoary Xmas yule time lyrics, and I can do without the cover of “Cinnamon Girl”. Too fun. “My Girlfriend's Girlfriend” is a bit much as far as the cheese factor, but if anyone was gonna get two chicks to double up on him, it's Pete fucking Steele. The video for that tune is frankly hilarious, what with the bright pastel color themes and very young chicks. That surely marked the height of Type O's coke-fueled decadence.
Take away the two happy or upbeat songs and this would of course receive 100 percent, which I am tempted to give just because I'm a total fanboy, but a perfect album should not have songs that get skipped, and I always skip “Cinnamon Girl”. Ah, here it is now, and I'm skipping it. It just doesn't fit in with monoliths like “Green Man”, a poem of Peter's adoration of all seasons, especially “Autumn in her flaming dress of orange, brown, gold, fallen leaves.” The machine sounds at the beginning of the track represent the time Pete spent working for the New York Parks Department, which were among the happiest days of his life, working outdoors and driving massive steam rollers and dump trucks. In his own words, “I wanted to be a sanitation worker, not a musician. But if I'm not picking up trash, I'm gonna be putting it out.”
“Burnt Flowers Fallen” is the kind of song you might want to avoid if you think your woman's fuckin' around on you. Present again is that driving riffage and the emotional heaviness of loving someone who doesn't love you anymore, which leads beautifully into the mournful masterpiece “In Praise of Bacchus”, which features some very enigmatic and poetic lyrics.
“A used boyfriend just bought her this new car...” - October Rust is, in a word, huge. The music is towering, moribund, sensual, and transcends the confines of stereotypical heavy metal. This is more like ambient or atmospheric rock, and yes, it's Gothic, but in a stoic or archaic sense of the word as opposed to the message conveyed in “Black No. 1”. I tend to avoid the g-word because it makes me think of those Cure-listening, cigarette smoking goofballs depicted in the cartoon South Park.
“The Glorious Liberation of the People's Technocratic Republic of Vinnland by the Combined Forces of the United Territories of Europa” is the longest title in the Type O catalog, but probably the shortest tune therein. It is, however, heavy as fuck with its martial drumming, mammoth riffing, and samples of the din of battle, fighter planes, and cheering crowds.
A previous reviewer seemed to have a problem with the song “Wolf Moon”. What the fuck? If you can't enjoy a song about Pete the vampire eating a bleeding cunt to the down-tuned and silken riffing of this band, well, fuck off. In the quieter parts of this tune and “Green Man”, Pete's bass sounds so fluid that it could be fretless, though I don't think it is. He's just that good. “Haunted” closes the record in true doom fashion with a dream-like 6/8 meter, woefully expressing the band's disdain for morning. The night time is the right time, especially for this, ein klein Nachtmusik. Well, that's about it. That's all I have for you. I hope it wasn't too disappointing. I will write more reviews. Until then, take it e-.