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John Lennon likes Obituary - 81%

gasmask_colostomy, January 18th, 2018

I don’t think you can go through life as a metalhead without knowing about Bloody Kisses. I remember mail ordering it when I was in university and my housemate ogling the cover when I opened the package, so it’s stuck in his life too now. But, really, it’s hard to miss. For starters, it was shoved down my throat from an early age that this was the first Roadrunner album that achieved Gold status in the US, while Type O Negative is one of those bands that always hovered shadily about in many scenes without really deserving a place in any. By that, I don’t mean to be scornful about their contribution to the metal genre, more to say that this is pretty much the most unlikely Gold (and, later, Platinum) album you could imagine, being cobbled together of seemingly disparate parts and also featuring almost as many “joke” tracks as serious songs.

To sort the whole genre question out, there’s little chance of this being accepted as gothic or doom metal, unless one only listens to the opening two songs and intro, which were the promotional singles chosen for pre-release. I say it’s unlikely even though many people do call this a gothic metal album because of the themes and style of ‘Christian Woman’ and ‘Black No. 1’, plus stuff like the title track and ‘Summer Breeze’. Of course, it’s Peter Steele’s dark as pitch voice moaning away in soft and sinister fashion, plus the restraint of the band as they creak into the kind of “slow, deep, and hard” action that named the band’s debut, all of which builds up an image of the quartet as light-fearing vampires of the first order. That’s naturally complicated by the fact that ‘Black No. 1’ contains a chorus that goes “You want to go out ‘cause it’s raining and blowing / But you can’t go out ‘cause your roots are showing” and is named after the hair dye favoured by goths worldwide. It’s a comment on a rather new fashion for 1993, though there are other mocking moments, particularly the hidden tongue-up-nostril macabre of ‘Bloody Kisses (A Death in the Family)’, which Steel later acknowledged was about his cat dying.

Aside from a few cast-iron doom riffs that make the most of a bottomed-out guitar tone and aren’t too much of a surprise on an early ‘90s goth metal record, the other aspect that heavies Bloody Kisses up is the fast-paced material, most of which tends towards hardcore thrash, though not the quickest or most aggressive of its kind. For those rubbing their eyes, it’s true what you’re reading: this most prestigious of gothic albums does indeed have about a quarter of New York’s most street-worthy metal in its 73 minute girth. Of course, Carnivore didn’t turn instantly into Type O Negative when Steele formed his new band, but transitioned gradually, eventually finding their style solidifying by the time of October Rust in 1996. Here, ‘We Hate Everyone’ and ‘Kill All the White People’ make most use of simple guitar riffing and solid drumming, while ‘Too Late: Frozen’ is not alone in incorporating gang vocals into an otherwise rather melancholy ode to breaking up. Therefore, there is little that could be called consistent about the album, especially as the experience sometimes includes both styles in the same composition and goes through at least four interludes (though knowing what is and isn’t integral according to the band is difficult to work out).

There’s still more to discuss, because of all those interludes, most of which are atmospheric jokes and tricks (the titles of ‘Fay Wray Come Out and Play’ and ‘Dark Side of the Womb’ are not deceiving), while there are also elements of much older pop music evident on the short near-instrumental ‘Set Me on Fire’, which sort of drifts out from ‘Summer Breeze’ in a hazy late-‘60s continuation of hippie rock jamming. The same elements return in ‘Too Late: Frozen’ despite a concerted effort to make slow doom riffing the sticking point and ‘Blood & Fire’ sounds rather like an early ‘80s pop song played through the medium of Paradise Lost’s Icon-era guitar rig, soft crooning vocals and all. Just to cap it all off, some decidedly non-standard rock instruments get thrown into the mix, tambura showing up on the title track and suiting the grieving tone, plus sitar turns up for ‘Can’t Lose You’ to play the album out. As a whole, this ends up as something similar to what The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper would have sounded like if recorded 20 years after the original, aided by copious medication, and allowing John Lennon’s replacement an interest in Obituary.

I’ll be the first to say that all this sounds like the product of a madman (and, knowing Steele, most probably is), though I feel that the band knew what this would sound like and made it anyway. All of the messed up genre-hopping and black humour (which becomes real “black” humour during ‘Kill All the White People’ – “Den we be free”) continues to scramble brains and mess with minds to this day, while I would guess that goths might still play half of the album in absolute earnest, not to mention doom fans liking it every now and again. In fact, probably the greatest compliment that one can pay Bloody Kisses – other than acknowledging how influential this has been – is that you’ll never forget the album even if you really don’t like it. And, for an absurdly long, convoluted, and humorous gothic metal release, that’s quite a compliment.

Ride The Red River - 99%

dystopia4, July 2nd, 2014

Bloody Kisses should have been the point where Type O Negative completely fell off. This should have been the point, where after a classic debut and a pretty cool humorous (if not entirely necessary) fake live album, they completely sold out; opting for a sound that would garner acceptance with the MTV teeny boppers. This should have been the moment where Pete threw out all of his old thrash and hardcore records and switched to a mainstream-friendly goth-pop sound designed to shift more units. But no, by basically creating a pop album and smoothing out most of the rough edges of their sound, Steele and co. have created easily one of the best records of Type O’s career (World Coming Down is the only one that bests it for me) and have left an undisputed mark on the landscape of the metal scene in general.

Type O Negative has always been inlined to put on a theatrical display throughout their career and this album features this element in full display. Slow, Deep and Hard is probably their only album that can rival this one in this respect, and here they use it to a different effect. The debut was ripe with blind hatred and hyperbolic violence, while this one tends to focus on sex (not that sex didn’t play a role in the first with its tales of prostitutes and revenge on cheating lovers, but on that one it was more a byproduct of its violent and depraved nature rather than the main attraction). It was around this time that Steele posed nude in playgirl and became one of the rare sex symbols to have emerged from the metal scene.

Although still retaining some dirt around the seams, it is hard to argue that this isn’t Type O making their version of a pop album. Much of this is easily accessible to the mainstream (hell, even my mom likes a few songs off this record) and it has some of the catchiest material to ever emerge from the metal pantheon. And you know what? It turns out this is the best move the drab four could have pulled. Although uniformly catchy, these are not typical vapid and disposable hits. Bloody Kisses starts off with “Christian Woman” and “Black No.1 (little miss scare all)”, which are probably the group’s most universally recognized songs. They are no doubt some of the band’s catchiest. However, they are still musically adventurous and it’s actually pretty interesting how the band made an 11-minute pop song one of their signature tunes. It’s also funny how some goth girls squeal at this song, pretending they are the girl Peter is fantasizing about when in reality the song is making fun of them (“you wanna go out ‘cause it’s raining and blowing, you can’t go out ‘cause your roots are showing).

While Slow, Deep and Hard did show emerging goth influences, this is when they went in balls deep. They employ this both to enhance the theatrical edge and create a sense of brooding atmosphere. Keyboards are often used, and not just to create a background ambiance. Although thrash and hardcore have largely been pushed out of the fray, they are still very much about the doom. Though quite upbeat in parts, the guitars still bear many of the trappings of doom metal. This would be the last album Sal drummed on, and his performance is excellent. While he certainly has no problems holding down a solid beat, his fun fills are easily the highlight of his performance.

Despite much of this album being some of the bands most accessible work, the album is smattered with harsher segments. Most of these take form in the shape of abrasive interludes – for example, this album starts off with suggestive moaning over braying industrial noises. The album also has two songs largely informed by hardcore punk – “Kill All The White People” and “We Hate Everyone”. These are sarcastic responses to the accusation of racism sometimes hurled at Steele for his lyrics on the first album and with his previous band, the highly politically incorrect thrash outfit Carnivore. There is a re-release of this album where the band chose to strip the release of these two songs and the interludes as well as rearrange the track order. This was a bad idea – the juxtaposition and contrast it creates really works here and serves as a nod to the band’s dirtier past.

While pretty much any of these songs could serve as standouts if placed on some of their other albums, even a record where it is amazing the whole way through needs high points for the listener to look forward to. Besides the first two tracks, the title track is a very important song in the band’s discography. Surrounded by catchier and more upbeat numbers, this slow, drawn out slab of gothic doom couldn’t have possibly served as a more perfect centerpiece. “Summer Breeze”, initially intended to be a parody of Seals & Crofts soft rock hit, morphed into a straight cover after the band objected to the change lyrics – and it inexplicably becomes one of the highpoints of the record. “Can’t Lose You” is also an interesting case. Pete has frequently cited The Beatles as one of his greatest influences, and this shines through on this sitar-heavy track.

While on paper Bloody Kisses surely should have been a flagrant assault on integrity, in practice this is the best direction Steele could have veered off to. They didn’t bring in a more accessible sound just to get on MTV; they did it because the vision Pete had in mind called for it and it sounds fucking amazing. While earlier Type O Negative recordings still harbored remnants of Steele’s Carnivore days (not like that’s a bad thing), this is where Type O Negative truly found the sound that they would explore different facets of and expand upon until their front man’s untimely death.

It's legendary - 95%

EvinJelin, March 22nd, 2014

I'm not the biggest fan of Type O Negative and I bought this CD completely randomly. But even then, I'm really glad I thought of listening to this. "Bloody Kisses" is just that kind of album: as soon as you hear it, you know it will be considered an all time classic. It's fun, interesting, unique and memorable. And mainly fun.

This is nowhere near the gloomy and austere kind of doom-gothic metal, it's actually full of life and dark comedy. It's actually close to real gothic rock, because of the horrific but fun aspect. And it's what it sounds like: a mix of heavy metal and goth rock, among other things. There's punk, crazy sound effects and weird little interludes. The kind of album that goes a bit everywhere and, as a result, has rather long songs, that are often in different parts, or are a sequel to another one. "Set Me On Fire," which only consists of the band repeating "She sets me on fire", is the sequel to "Summer Girl", and everything from "Bloody Kisses" to the end is basically the same story about a dead or missing girlfriend. This is the more emotional part, that doesn't really fit with the rest of the album, but is kept from being too serious by Peter Steele's "Too late for apologies, huh huh!".

The vocals are a big part of the fun, not taking itself too seriously but well done aspect of the album. They are usually low and sensual, in the goth tradition, but they can get into silly giggling or shouting. It's especially hilarious in "Black n°I" and "We Hate Everyone". It's a good way to define the album in general: silly but not bad or idiotic. "Black N° 1" is a perfect Halloween song and "We Hate Everyone" may not be particularly sophisticated, but you always need one song that takes the time to scream and tell everybody to fuck off. That's one of the few times where "We don't care what you think! Don't give a fuck, bwah!" sounds so glorious.

So I was pleasantly surprised by this album and I had a lot of fun with it. Let's all dance while wearing black number 1, whatever it is, that's what this CD is meant for.

A glimpse into frailty and depression. - 95%

HowlingMoon666, June 7th, 2013

It's funny...I remember that there was a time when I completely hated this band and shunned its songs, especially "Christian Woman", which seemed to me back then as a complete piece of shit; yet, I enjoyed the massacred cover after it, recorded by the Italian black metallers, Graveworm. Last month I accidentally clicked on a Type O Negative clip, if I recall right, it was "Black No. 1". Instead of closing the fucking tab or browser, something hooked me and I listened to it from the start to the end. "Not bad. Not bad at all". Then I gave after ToN's songs some credit and faith, and after a short period of time I became the most trustworthy Negativist; I don't really know why that happened now, and not when I listened the band for the very first time; maybe it was its quixotic character, which helped me attach to the band and feel so very close to Peter's situation and personality, or something else, as undefinable as this band's style.

I've listened on YouTube to the eponymous song as the album; "Bloody Kisses", with its sheer depression and sorrow, depicted through the crestafallen lyrics, in which a girl whom Peter loved is mourned, with its church organ (a funeral-like atmosphere enhancer), the gloomy bass riffs and tired drumming was the epitome of what I was feeling like inside at that moment, and I fell in love with the song. Peter Steele's voice, as clear and impeccable as a waterdrop and its baritone character became the voice of a kind of hyperbolized sorrow; Steele stated that: "We wanted to see how many people were going to commit suicide after listening "Bloody Kisses". Damn right and appropriate. The album should not be listened if found in a bad mood, tired of everything. There is something on it that really pushes you on the edge. Or from the edge. I suffer from clinical depression, and I found in "Bloody Kisses" something which resembles, frankly, a doctor, though there were moments when I contemplated my suicide listening to it and the other Type O Negative albums.

I did not give the maximum mark to this album because there are is a thing that I really hate at it; I hate the changing (rather aimless) pace of "Too Late: Frozen". It could have been a pristine masterpiece if it were just that middle part, and not the mumbo-jumbo, circus-like riffs from the beginning. I really, really hate this change of mood, so sudden and idiotic. Once again, there are songs that differ stylistically from the others and sound at least, to say, out of place. Those songs are "We hate everyone" and "Kill all the white people".

On the other hand, the titanic, all-praised hits "Christian Woman" and "Black No.1" present on the album should grant this album at least 80%, through their amazing musicianship; it seems like these two songs are the very gist of what Type O Negative was supposed to sound like from the very start.

"Bloody Kisses" is, indeed, like Peter said "the first true Type O Negative album", because it detaches from the previous albums (namely, "Slow, Deep and Hard" and "The Origin of the feces") through its ideology: "Bloody Kisses" really highlights depression and despair through depressive and desperate music precisely, whereas the two previous albums, though employing the same themes, were envisioning them through a rather funny, punkish, full of scorn and black humor dominated music. All in all, "Bloody Kisses" (and every Type O Negative record ever) is a gloomy masterpiece, being very difficult to label the band's genre, but I suppose its appropriate to call it doom/gothic metal, though a quite atypical one.

The sound of the album is very good, unlike the other releases on which those audience-sounds were disturbing. For example, take "Christian Woman" and its amazing production, or "Blood and Fire" and "Can't lose you". I'm trying to say that the production of the album is highly satisfactory, although ToN's frontman said numerous times that there are a lot of sounds added on each and every album to mask the mistakes they did in the studio. Another great advantage that this album has is its versatility: there are no annoying patterns and there are memorable riffs all over it.

Peter composed every song and every piece of lyrics on the album, and he did great; he did exactly what he wanted to do, without any restraint, and he pleased both himself and his fanbase. He truly was a fucking great character. I would have very much enjoyed a collaboration between him and the Fields of the Nephilim's mysterious frontman, Carl McCoy. It would have been something legendary.

The vocals of "Bloody Kisses" are incredible; they are very expressive and sketch perfectly the lyrics' themes; Peter's voice is clear, loud and from the heart, and it is to be understood since he was not stoned all the time back then and really gave a fuck about what he was doing, trying to fit on his skin the costume of the titanic (both metaphorically and literally) rockstar he was already considered by the small, yet trustworthy fanbase.

"Bloody Kisses" should be in your collection, if you are into gloomy, trippy, depressive metal. It is priceless and a timeless masterpiece. Highlights: every song, excepting those I mentioned in the third paragraph. None more negative, indeed.

Well....with no warning you were gone. - 93%

DrummingEdge133, April 14th, 2013

The year was 1993. Nirvana was at the height of their popularity, dominating the talk of the music world, and escaping their grip over mainstream rock was impossible, especially on MTV….but this was not just Nirvana. The entire grunge scene was overtaking mainstream rock by (a rainy Seattle) storm. Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam being some of the other big players in this dirty, fuzzy, low-fi newly emerged niche flavor of rock music with their flannel shirts and unkempt hair. Weirdos. I couldn't relate….or maybe I could….I don’t really remember, I suppressed those years in my mind a long time ago. All I know is that I have my old worn-out Nevermind CD lying around the house somewhere collecting dust, just like every other kid who grew up in the 90s. Do I still listen to it? Not really. Does anybody? Probably, nostalgia can keep things alive for a long time indeed.

Meanwhile, all the way across the big green land of Middle America (or “Real” America, if you’re a redneck from Alaska), in a small water-laden neighborhood called Red Hook in Brooklyn, New York, USA (for USA) something sizable was brewing, something that would take the metal world by a cold winter blizzard. Four dick….I mean frost giants would unleash something never seen or heard before, a massive slab mixture of dirge and goth and doom. It was so overwhelming that barely anyone could handle it--and why I never heard of it. The album: Bloody Kisses. The band: Type O Negative. I was content with my grungy rock mess from Seattle at the time and the existence of Type O Negative went unnoticed by me for another 17 winters (approximately, unless you count the million times I checked out their M-A page, only to ignore them for years). Luckily, one day shopping around in my favorite store Sound Garden (no, not the band) I saw a copy of World Coming Down sitting on the shelves for $5, and decided to give it a go (I was in a spending mood and feeling daring). Best god damn $5 I’ll ever spend in my life (unless I win the lotto). Anyway, I digress. What I'm attempting to get at (oh so slowly) is Bloody Kisses was one of those "and now for something completely different" moments in music, where you'd be hard-pressed to find anything that sounds quite like it, especially at the time of its release, with the grunge scene at its peak of popularity. However, this is just often the case with great artists and Peter Steele was pretty good, ya know.

So, not surprisingly, Bloody Kisses marked a turning point in Peter Steele's creative direction where his writing became more like....Type O Negative, I guess one could say. Type O Negative spawned forth from the apocalyptic ashes of Carnivore and those remnants were still easily detectable on Slow, Deep and Hard with its heavy thrashy/punky vibe (after all, Peter Steele even said himself much of that was leftover Carnivore material), but would be shed on Bloody Kisses (other than a few scattered moments). I suppose I ought to go into what I mean by "more like Type O Negative", even though almost everyone in the world who would even care to read this knows what they sound like intimately. Bloody Kisses is the album where the familiar ultra dirge and doom, as well as Peter Steele's rich, heavy bass-baritone voice, would enter in. And it's most strikingly apparent on the title track; "Bloody Kisses (A Death in the Family)", which is basically a 10+ minute funeral doom crawl of sludgy dirge and gloom, with Peter Steele's uber-deep, Dracula-like crooning providing the eulogy (which, based on an interview, was actually about his cat that recently died).

Bloody Kisses is a surprisingly diverse album, even for Type O Negative, who obviously canvas a range of different styles and influences throughout their stellar discography. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'd say Bloody Kisses is definitely their most diverse album. The song styles range dramatically, from long monochromatic dirges ("Bloody Kisses"), to full-on 70s pop/rock ("Summer Breeze" and "Set Me on Fire"), punky/thrashy numbers ("Kill All the White People"), an odd but humorous tribal joke song ("Fay Wray Come Out and Play"), and finally a mixture of everything in between ("Too Late: Frozen"). All of them Type O-ified, mind. Bloody hell(kisses)....this album is god damn bi-polar, but considering so was Pete, it shouldn't come as a surprise.

The two centerpieces of the album occur at the very beginning, obviously after the obligatory joke intro, and we all know them well; "Christian Woman" and "Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)”. These are the two most recognizable Type O Negative songs, and are most associated with the "Type O Negative sound", clearly and comprehensively displaying all of the attributes and idiosyncrasies that make this band so unique. Right from the opening spoken line of "Christian Woman", we can tell this is a different Type O Negative from the two previous efforts. Peter Steele's vocals are unusually deep, lush and intensely soulful, and this is essentially the first time we ever hear this side of Peter Steele’s voice. There were brief occurrences previously, which displayed his impressively low range, but not to the extent found on "Christian Woman". Peter Steele's vocals are deep, and by deep, I mean REALLY deep....and slow (and hard?). Most of the entire song utilizes his mid to low vocal range dealing with eroticism and Jesus, quite creepy. Pete's vocals, which are the focal point here, are backed by slow, crawling simple doomy chugging riffs/chords and somber, melodic keyboard lines--you know how it goes; "AAAAHHHHuuuuhhhhAAHHuuhhhAHHuuuuhhhhAAHHUUHHuuuuhh". Yeah, something like that. "Christian Woman" is broken up into three distinct sections (typical for a TON song), the first being discussed above. The second is an acoustic-heavy interlude with Petrus T. Steele reciting; "She'd like to know, love, feel....her....God....deep inside of her", etc. et al. And to conclude the song, the slow chugging riffs and melodic keyboard lines (now sounding like a church choir in the background) return, with the mighty Steele declaring that he does indeed look like Jesus Christ, and NOT Adolf Christ (while this woman Pete speaks of probably resembles Helen of Troy).

The other epic centerpiece is the lengthy gothy number entitled; "Black No. 1", which was adored by practically every little teenaged goth girl from the 90s. The accompanying music video made Type O Negative propel into platinum selling status eventually and a household name (sarcasm), due to its getting put into play rotation on MTV for some time, and even making a brief appearance on Beavis & Butthead, where they approved (god damn right they better, or I'd have stuck Todd on them). Ah yes, there was a time when MTV wasn't filled with utter repugnant shit like it is today, and has been for the entire 21st century. Hell, I even remember seeing a video of Samael’s “Baphomet's Throne” on YouTube, recorded from MTV, meaning Samael appeared on MTV! That certainly shocked me, and now look at MTV, a real shame--but I'm digressing again. The point being that "Black No. 1" was TON's "hit single", if you could ever say they had one, and was predominately responsible for exposing them to a larger audience. The song opens with Pete's catchiest bass line ever and deep vampirish croon, then the guitars kick in after about a minute, and alternate between a higher-pitched melodic riff and lower doomy chugging. Pete sings with a wide range on "Black No. 1", especially on a particular live rendition, and as you might have guessed, the vocals in "Black No. 1" alternate frequently between both his lower croons and higher wails from verse to verse. According to The Range Place, a live version of "Black No. 1" (performed at the Bizarre Festival 1999, found on TON’s DVD from 2006) has Pete singing a range of B1 to E5, which exceeds three octaves. However, the full extent of Peter Steele's range was absolutely remarkable, and truly illustrates just how special and unique his voice and singing ability was. The Range Place has him labeled as a bass with a modal range of F#1 to F5, practically four octaves—but that alone doesn't illustrate the incredible quality and uniqueness of his voice, you must experience it for yourself.

Now to conclude on a more serious note; I had promised myself that I would write a TON review once a year, every year, around the middle of April, until I had reviewed all of TON's body of work. Unfortunately, I was unable to last year due to a number of things going on in my life (specifically and most importantly; job stuff) and had I been able to, Bloody Kisses would have been next on my list--since I consider it their third best album. I'm mentioning this because in no way has my love for TON waned over the years, on the contrary, I love them more than ever, and still consider World Coming Down the greatest, most somber and meaningful piece of music I've ever heard, and in all likeliness, ever will hear. I'll be listening to World Coming Down until I die....and probably ask that my copy be buried in my coffin with me (unless I get cremated, obviously). However, Bloody Kisses is not a perfect album, as there are a few songs I rarely feel the need to listen to, but it also possesses the most definitive and recognizable Type O Negative songs, while also laying the groundwork for the unforgettable masterpiece that would subsequently follow; World Coming Down. As for Peter Steele, from everything I've seen, studied and heard about him, he was an often misunderstood, yet warm-hearted and deeply caring person. Never displaying a shitty rock-star attitude, or standing over (even though he did tower over everyone) and condescending down to people. In fact, from everything I know about him, he was the utter antithesis of this and honestly didn't seem to understand why anyone thought Type O Negative was a big deal, or even any good. Oh but you were Pete....Type O Negative changed the lives of so many people around the world and helped them get through tough times--I'm certainly among them. So thank you Pete, for the timeless music and sonic therapy of Type O Negative.

Tl;dr - Peter Steele is forever awesome.

RIP Pete, miss ya.

An erotic funeral - 85%

TowardsMorthond, August 28th, 2012

Bloody Kisses marks a significant shift in style for Type O Negative. While the particular stylistic elements of Slow, Deep and Hard (gothic, doom, hardcore punk, heavy metal, industrial) remain intact as combinatory aspects of the sound, there is a considerable departure from the violence and emotional torment of the debut, advancing a far more accessible, rock-oriented approach greatly reducing the repulsive savagery, frantic character and grim derangement of their original sound.

"A crimson pool so warm and deep
Lulls me to an endless sleep
Your hand in mine--I will be brave
Take me from this earth
An endless night--this, the end of life
From the dark I feel your lips
And I taste your bloody kiss"

These are mostly gothic metal songs, lengthy and constructed of various movements like the first album, with stronger emphasis on Beatles-style vocal harmonies, cleverly inserted and well-versed in the tradition, complete with excellent chorus anthems, some of which are enhanced by militant gang-shouts. On the whole, composition is more developed, and songs are powerfully arranged and distinctly engaging, though the abundant theatrical events, both between tracks as bizarre sound-scapes and within the structure of actual songs, is inconsistent in quality of employment and atmospheric effect. They are masters of musical drama within this stylistic context, but their genius in this regard is not always employed to its highest potential. "Christian Woman", "Black No. 1", and "Bloody Kisses" are the album's best representations, long songs featuring a number of conceptually reflective dramatic shifts following the course of the seemingly eternal conflict between rational awareness and passionate impulse. Slow psychedelia complete with sitar closes the album with "Can't Lose You", but the oppressive doom in ultra-slow dark descents of the first album are more ephemeral and relegated to fewer passages. "Kill All the White People" and "We Hate Everyone" are the exceptions, both reactionary hardcore punk songs retaliating against accusations of racism and intolerance from a variety of sectors in response to the confrontational and politically incorrect stance of the debut.

"The left they say I'm a fascist
The right calling me communist
Hate hate hate hatred for all--one and all
No matter what you believe
Don't believe in you--and that's true"

Steele uses a low-toned, melancholic singing voice for most of the album, with the barking and screaming of the first album reserved for the two hardcore songs. His baritone and distinctive expression carries an erotic quality providing this music a potent sensuality. Peter Steele is certainly one of the best gothic rock vocalists of all time, but his imaginative sense of vocal phrasing and articulation goes beyond his vampyric seduction, brilliantly playing off the music's drama in a diverse range of expressive character. His bass guitar, massive in sound and excellently performed, frequently functions as a second guitar in a variety of tones, engaging with Kenny Hickey's slow, Sabbathy guitar riffs with intuitive chemistry. Hickey's playing is more melodic on the whole, with more distinctive solos and pronounced acoustic passages. Abruscato's drumming is more measured in pace than before, spicing his simple beats with inventive patterning and intuitive transitions. Josh Silver's expertly arranged and performed keyboard again supplies a powerfully dramatic presence through a variety of sounds. Piano, church organ, chimes, bombastic orchestral backdrops, and a diverse range of ambient sound-effects, adds richness and suspense at every turn. More than just an ambient instrument, it is vital to the intensity of the sound, consistently stressing the contrast between the ominous and elegant at the heart of this album's musical objective.

"A cross upon her bedroom wall
From grace she will fall
An image burning in her mind
And between her thighs"

The religious sacrilege of "Christian Woman" is in the name of dark erotica, particularly marking a conceptual shift from psychotic murder fantasies to vampyric treatments of lust and suicidal fantasies. Emotional vulnerability, particularly in the context of romantic affairs, is explored with a sense of weakness rooted in the fear of abandonment and the pessimistic anticipation of disappointment. A certain degree of maturity is evident in the expanded awareness of the lyrical observations, but the cynical humor keeps their audience wondering how much of it is sincere, especially the mocking of conventional gothic subculture in "Black No. 1".

"She's got a date at midnight
With Nosferatu
Oh, baby, Lilly Munster
Ain't got nothing on you"

Sporting a more representative production than the debut, Bloody Kisses is a deeper immersion into the morbid and mournful for Type O Negative. It suggests a move towards the funereal, with a sound more forlorn than angry. For that, it is no less fueled by profound desperation, though this time around the anxiety is expressed with a stronger sense of compulsion and actuality despite its mostly somber disposition. Its strong songwriting, individuality, and creative variety are its primary areas of distinction, making it one of the best efforts from this incredibly talented and imaginative band.

First real Doom - 80%

grimdoom, June 15th, 2008

After releasing what is perhaps one of the best jokes every played on the recording industry in 'Origin of the Feces', TON returned with a new studio album and a new sound. This album utilized more of the band's Doom Metal influences where as the first two releases were more Crossover with Doom interludes. This album was also the album that put not only TON but Roadrunner on the mainstream map.

The production is good considering the "shit" that came before it. The guitars are very slow and melodic. The bulk of the heaviness is in the bass. Sometimes the guitars sound buried in the mix when played with the bass. There are a few "solos" but they are mostly leads. There are several guitar/bass/keyboard dirges, but they aren't as long or as numerous as on the first two albums. There are a few cleaner parts/effects used but it’s mostly distorted. There are even some acoustic moments.

The bass acts as both rhythm guitar and bass as Peter goes from clean to overdrive to distorted at any given time. His playing is very good as he and Kenny play off of each other more often then not. The drums are very creative, perhaps the most the band has ever had. The beats and timing are brilliant. The keyboards are lush and dense. They are more than just atmosphere here. Josh really knows what he's doing and adds all the beauty to contrast the ugly of the rest of the band.

The lyrics are more serious and fit Peter's voice all the more. He utilizes his deep, bass filled baritone vocals to sing/shout his way through the album. The songs themselves are incredibly depressing with perhaps a few somewhat happy/joyful moments (see 'Sets Me on Fire') interspersed within.

This album does have some short comings in the form of the samples and sound bites that are between all the songs however. These were thankfully eradicated when the digipack came out. There are/were three versions of this album to come out according to the bands old website. Most people are aware of the first and the digi, the third is more of an EP missing about half of the recording. In any event, aside from an altered track listing and the loss of 'We Hate Everyone', the digi also added a new track 'Suspended in Dusk'. This track, along with the title track are perhaps the closest that TON will ever get to a concept album. The first is a story along the lines of 'Interview with a Vampire' the other is about a girl that commits suicide and her lover joining her shortly there after.

This album also contains some of the oldest fan favorites in the form of "Black #1", "Christian Woman", "Frozen" & "Blood & Fire". This was also one of the bands most drugged out recordings as there is a noticeable stoner influence in places (and not just because of the sitar). According to various interviews they were either drunk, stoned or both during the creation of this album. For the following two they were clean.

This is certainly a mixed bag, as over all, the songs are very strong with perhaps the only questionable tunes being "Summer Breeze" by Seals and Crofts (of all people) and "Kill All the White People" as its just a stupid and repetitive song. In any event, this is a very good album and recommended to all that are new to the band and/or Doom Metal in general.

The Real Adams Family - 95%

blackfiremonkey3, March 28th, 2008

Rarely will you find an album that compares to Bloody Kisses by Type O Negative in more ways than just instrumentally. I first heard about this band on Beavis & Butthead who described this group as a cross between Megadeth and Danzig. This can be argued however as much more diverse influences can be found in this great album. At first, I expected this album to be nothing more than a mere gothic metal album, not nearly as special as other metal albums but I was wrong.

This album combines melancholy beauty, found in songs such as Christian Woman, common metal brutality, found in songs such as Too Late: Frozen, and - get ready for this - even hardcore influenced craziness found in songs such as my personal favorite off this album: We Hate Everyone, which fuses 80's hardcore punk with a doom metal midsection with the greatest of ease.

On top of everything, you have the powerful bass sound courtesy of three elements: the bass drums, the double bass that Peter Steele uses (in fact, he actually holds it like a normal bass), and lastly, Peter Steele's voice. As well as have the common harsh metal vocals and screams, Peter Steele manages to galvanize the gothic atmosphere by adding a nearly inhumane vocal sound to the mix.

Sufficed to say, a fan of just about any form of extreme music be it metal or hardcore can probably find something that they like on this album since this album manages to fuse all these different types of music together and then envelope it in a gothic atmosphere (in fact, even a fan of dark comedy can enjoy this album because of the dark humour found in some songs - yes, even people with minds as dark as the members of this band will have a sense of humour one way or another). Enough of my yapping, just pick up this album.

A Curious Phenomenon. - 91%

hells_unicorn, May 4th, 2007
Written based on this version: 1993, CD, Roadrunner Records

Back when I was in my early teens and struggling with my own musical identity, I had a musical collaboration with a bunch of musicians who could be described as eclectic. They played everything from Sabbath and Maiden to Save Ferris and The Offspring. In many ways I owe my current musical identity to this band because they succeeded both in exposing me to earlier heavy metal and simultaneously turn me off to the style of rock that was mainstream at the time (recycled 70s punk rock with a pop twist and punk-ska). One album that was recommended to me was this one, mostly because my drummer at the time was a sex maniac and couldn’t resist the urge to peruse studiously the rather beautiful and sensual cover art. I must admit I have a soft spot in my heart for lipstick lesbianism, especially of the Gothic persuasion, although there is obviously more to an album than its cover.

I was not aware of singer Peter Steele’s previous band “Carnivore” at the time, so I was quite dumbfounded at the duality of this album, as at the time the full version (not the digipack) was more widely in circulation. The character of the lyrics of the entire LP depicts a person who can laugh at the silly/hypocritical politics of the thought police and cry at the suicide of a lover. This speaks nothing for the original placement of the various tracks, jumping back and forth between high tempo punk/thrash anthems of angst and doom laden hymns of melancholy woe. Hell, in addition to organ and harpsichord sounds, we actually hear a rather beautiful sitar line on “Can’t Lose You”.

More recently I picked up the digipack version of this album and I came to understand why the later albums weren’t so eclectic, as well as why punk inspired classics like “Kill all the white people” and “We hate everyone” were dropped. Although not one to be straight jacketed by the will of the mainstream, Peter was most likely bored with the older thrash style he first played, which was likely the case with the host of other bands (minus Overkill and a few others) who decided to jump ship and either go for the groove metal sound or some grunge variant. This boredom could also explain the sheer amount of differing influences that have been pumped into this album, a combination that was quite unique and helped pave the way to a new sub-genre of metal.

The instrumental interludes are skip worthy, they are funny the first few times, but like any joke when you hear them dozens of times it loses its effect, one of the upsides of the digipack version. “We hate everyone” and “Kill all the white people” are quite entertaining, particularly the former which is probably the last example of a thrash/crossover epic holdover from the early days, albeit one with a lot of keyboards and some interesting studio effects. Some of the mid-tempo songs on here exhibit a larger amount of pop/rock influence, the most obvious example being the Seals and Crofts cover, which has had its dimensions completely darkened, yet somehow maintains its lighthearted nature. “Too Late: Frozen”, “Blood and Fire”, and “Set me on fire” contain elements of the same lighter spirit, particularly during their melodic verses and choruses, although the first of the three has an eerie doom middle section.

The rest of the tracks on here are the most indicative of the later 90s material that Type O Negative is most associated, taking doom influences to their slowest and darkest conclusion with the occasional humorous interlude to shed some moonlight on an otherwise pitch black sound. The title track is by far the darkest, dragging at a tempo slow enough for a resurrected corpse to dance to and featuring a dreary church organ line fit for the funeral home. Peter’s vocal delivery is inhumanly low and somber, depicting a mourning lover almost to the point of becoming a caricature. “Black No. 1” and “Christian Woman” share similar doom influences, but also contain some up tempo sections and Peter’s seemingly bi-polar sense of dark humor. I have a special affection for both of these songs as my band at the time covered both of them, albeit with the lack of a true bass to accurately recapture the spirit of Peter’s ghoulish vocals.

To any prospective buyer, which version of this album you should seek out depends largely on how eclectic your tastes are. If you are only familiar with their later works, namely “October Rush” and “World Coming Down”, I would advise picking up the digipack because it is far closer to that sound. Anyone who likes their metal slow and doom inspired as opposed to fast and thrash-like are also advised to go for the digipack version. However, if you have a wildly and seeming inexplicable ability to tolerate drastic contrasting styles jammed together into one album; give the full version a go. I possess them both and they each have their individual charms, the digipack including a bonus track more suited to the doom fan, the original release possessing one of my favorite punk injected speed metal anthems in “We hate everyone”.

Gloomy Kisses - 77%

Sean16, April 30th, 2006

[FOREWORD: Please note I’ll be reviewing the digipack version (as it’s the one I own, as simple as that). For those who are too lazy to look at the additional notes, this version features a different tracklisting order, the extra song Suspended in Dusk, but lacks the noisy interludes as well as the tracks Kill All the White People and We Hate Everyone]

With Bloody Kisses Type O Negative almost entirely abandoned the aggressiveness and punk-ish vibe of their two first albums – the only songs which could still fall into this category are actually the two which have been removed from the version I’m reviewing – to concentrate on the gothic-doom metal style they are now well-known for, and which fits them better in my opinion. Without of course forgetting the other various influences they feed every of their works with, from pop/rock to industrial music.

As always this strange mixture leads to gems like the opener Christian Woman, which shows the band’s more melodic side, especially in the mostly acoustic second part, as well as its special brand of humour, like in the “Jesus Christ looks like me” part and its religious choirs background. Lyrics are as often double sided, between religious and sexual ecstasy. Totally different is the mood of the second track – the title track: a desperately gloomy and hideously slow doom tune, on which has been added the guitar distortion and the occasional eerie keyboard melody characteristic of the gothic sound. And just when you thought the song couldn’t go lower in depression, almost every instrument but the drums stop for a chilling spoken middle part, backed by sound landscapes and heart-breaking laments. Needless to say it’s a masterpiece.

The following Too Late: Frozen always gives me the impression of an unjustly overlooked TON tune, because it’s without any doubt one of the best songs here as well. Granted, the opening pop-ish verses would show nothing really interesting per se. BUT. Around 2:30 the song suddenly incredibly slows down to enter again the realm of gothic doom metal, with this time the guitar as well as vocals distortion being put a step further, to finally end on Pete’s agonizing voice endlessly repeating “frozen... frozen... frozen...” while, believe me, the listener really gets the impression that the air is getting colder. Then, guess what? One falls back into pop music again – and the song abruptly ends. The famous TON quote (which, on a sidenote, doesn’t appear on this digipack version) reads “Don’t mistake lack of talent for genius”, and HERE is the genius, in the perfect mixing of apparently incompatible musical genres. Another gothic band could certainly have written Bloody Kisses, but only TON could have written Too Late: Frozen – and, of course, Black n°1.

What leads me to this well-known TON song, which this time appears at the end of the album, what is not a bad thing as it’s the longest track. Quite frankly the most noticeable things on this a tad overrated tune are the hilarious lyrics making fun of 15 year old gothic chicks, which really rank among the best Pete has ever written. The music otherwise is not bad, but the song sounds too much like a weaker version of Christian Woman, with the emphasis put on the melodic parts, this time with too much repetition. Nevermind, a track with a chorus like “Black, Black, Black, Black number ooooooone” can only be a winner...

Then, there are the other tracks, and I may once again play the same old refrain about TON writing enormous songs and then filling half of their albums with totally unnoticeable fillers. Blood and Fire is some small rock-ish tune, not unpleasant but far from being mind-blowing, Can’t Lose You and Set Me on Fire are [yawn] simplistic and repetitive as fuck, Summer Breeze is a forgettable pop-ish cover – and then comes the track specific to this edition, Suspended in Dusk.

Seriously, this song was originally the B-side of the Christian Woman single, and should never have been more than that. Bloody Kisses (the song) is slow, but this is slower. Bloody Kisses already has a strong gothic feeling, but this is far more gothic. Actually this sounds like another version of Bloody Kisses, taken to such an extreme it becomes almost unlistenable, with its load of sighs, sound effects, church choirs and keyboards. Verses are exclusively spoken, and indeed are awfully LONG. And come on, Peter Steele singing about a VAMPIRE? Please, Pete, keep on telling us about your broken love affairs, dead relatives or whatever you want, but abandon vampires to CoF girls you described so well in Black n°1!

To sum up, a mixed bag, as usual. But after all, if every track here was like Bloody Kisses, I’d have certainly killed myself before reaching the end.

Highlights: Christian Woman, Bloody Kisses (A Death in the Family), Too Late: Frozen, Black n°1 (Little Miss Scare-All)

The pinnacle of Type O Negative - 94%

Black_Metal_Bastard, April 10th, 2004

This is Type O's 2nd full length (Origin... was just a fake live album) and my god have they matured so much as songwriters. This is probably their darkest, doomiest release, maybe only second to World Coming Down. It's definately their most goth release though, and not faggoth either. Peter Steele is certainly no mall goth type person and it's funny how he pokes fun at those types with Black No. 1.

The music can go from extremely doomy to very fast thrash in no time it seems. The lyrics are at times very humorous to very depressing at others. As I mentioned before, the band has vastly matured as songwriters, especially Steele, whom I think writes most of the lyrics.

There are songs dealing with perverted religious fascinations as in Christian Woman, which then makes its way into Jesus Christ Looks Like Me, which ends the song. I find it funny that if you look deep enough, this person may just have a fetish for Steele. Black No. 1 is making fun of goths all the way, but at the same time it is glorifying them. There is the down tuned heavy doom of Summer Breeze (a 60's cover), and the pop, almost Beatles like Summer Girl.

Then there is Kill All the White People, a nice thrash-all-the-way song with it's little break in the middle where the band yells "All hail black power, destroy white boy!" Classic. We Hate Everyone is a thrashy, almost punk song that is an answer to all the people who accused Steele of being racist, a nazi, a commie, and anything else. There are also some little interludes that are funny to listen to, especially the opener Machine Screw.

IMO this is Type O's best release. It is the second doomiest only to World Coming Down and it is certainly their darkest, most depressive release. Strongly recommended to doom fans, goth fans, and metal fans in general.

Peter Steele at (near) his best - 92%

ADLombard, March 10th, 2004

Type O Negative's Bloody Kisses captured a moment in pop culture that will never come again. Thank the gods we wont have to deal with that many annoying little middle school goths running around telling us we dont understand our music. At the same time part of what allowed Type O's second most commercial album (Life is Killing Me is poppier although I suspect it was intended as a joke) was Steele's sense of humor. True one sees more of this in Origin of the Feces, but when listening to Bloody Kisses, you cant help but get the sense that sometime's Peter Steele's tounge is in his cheek. After all, doesn't it seem fitting that Steele's Black #1 and Kill all the White People are seperated by only one track. Steele thumbs his nose in a catchy gothic way at the very people who would make this album so popular precicely because they didn't realize Black #1 was making fun of them while it painted their tribute. As for Kill all the White People, Steele has been accused of hating just about everyone, and being everything from a Nazi to a Bolshevik, as he points out in We Hate Everyone, but untill this point he hadnt said anything aginst whites. Well he fixed that problem in true Carnivore-esque fashion. Steele's vocals and bass are as usual the best part of the album musically, and they shine on Christian Woman, bloody Kisses, and the ironically classic cover of Summer Breeze. That being said there are some songs on this album that simply don't measure up. The last three just get too groovy and catchy. Theyre all saying the same thing and it gets old. It's kind of odd that Type O goes from the climax of the album in Bloody Kisses where his love dies, to three songs that almost formulaicly plaeding for her to stay. The soundscapes on the original were removed on teh digipack with some reason. While they add to the feel of the album they break up the flow sometimes annoyingly so. Inspite of this Steele's sense of humor, and anger, coupled with his very emotive sorrow, make Bloody Kisses more than a worthy addition to anyones collection.