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Alternative Gothic Metal - 95%

Petrus_Steele, November 25th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2003, 2CD, Roadrunner Records (Limited edition)

Life Is Killing Me took quite the process to make after an interesting but devastating release from World Coming Down. Stated as this album is meant for the "true" fans or to get back to the style of Bloody Kisses and October Rust, I think it's quite insulting or unnecessary, when World Coming Down is the band's best work - at least from the doom metal standpoint, and it's good in its own right and delivered in the unknown expectations. Life Is Killing Me might be bad, pointless, or underwhelming compared to the likes of the last three records - which is something that the majority might say, but it does have amazing material, with still a lot of songs that are underrated and still maintaining their humorous spirit. It's my second-favorite album, and quite frankly it introduced me to the band when I was just ten years old, thanks to I Don't Wanna Be Me. Not only it immediately hooked me up to the band as a kid, but I was also aware of the strong humor and had a lot of interest in the music, the lyrics, and the experimental music. Out of all the seven albums the band has recorded, Life Is Killing Me is the most experimental - and part of the reason why 'Alternative' is in the title is because of the album's commercial direction (at least that's how it sounds).

From the lyrical themes, you have the humor from the likes of I Don't Wanna Be Me, Less Than Zero (<0), I Like Goils, IYDKMIGTHTKY (Gimme That) (which ridiculously titled "If You Don't Kill Me I'm Gonna Have to Kill You"), and Angry Inch, to the personal, serious, and mature themes of Todd's Ship Gods (Above All Things), the title track, Nettie, and Anesthesia, and songs like ...a Dish Best Served Coldly and The Dream Is Dead, where they take shape from both ends. With the rest of the unmentioned songs and the prelude and instrumental tracks, this is the band's longest record track-wise since October Rust and as the rating suggests, it succeeded. Then, of course, the second CD includes four bonus tracks that are already available from Bloody Kisses, which I will not talk about, and in addition, you have the poppish version of Cinnamon Girl - flat out pointless. My only two interests from the second CD is the band's longest instrumental track, Out of the Fire (Kane's Theme), implying this is the band's cover of Kane's WWE theme, which gets a huge applause for being my favorite giant, yet sounds very unique than all of his themes, and the "per" version of Haunted, which has few musical difference and vocal ranges than the original.

The vocals themselves haven't shown any new layers of the sort other than the growly and sometimes whispering ones. But, they're more melodic, in songs like Todd's Ship Gods (Above All Things), How Could She?, the title track, Nettie, Anesthesia, and Haunted. As for Kenny's addition and the co-lead vocals which add more substance, he has his moment in How Could She?'s bridge. The bass becomes completely clean during the intros of Less Than Zero (<0) (including the bridge) and ...a Dish Best Served Coldly, which is a rare thing for the band's sound. Other than that, the chorus pedal finds itself in a melodic fashion in Anesthesia and during ...a Dish Best Served Coldly's choruses, but weak. But as always, the distortion effect dominants the majority of the album with riffing bass lines, albeit not as powerful as its predecessors. While the guitar offers its fair share of riffs to promote more of the bass's sound, it has its unique moments in the album that broadens the style of the band's music further. I Don't Wanna Be Me is the strongest guitar input from the band; blazing short, distorted melodies, wah effect in How Could She?, a powerful chorus effect during the second verse of the title track, as well as short melodies in Angry Inch, a simple but unique guitar solo in The Dream Is Dead, and the explosively shrieking notes in Out of the Fire (Kane's Theme). Other than that, there are few acoustic guitar implementations here and there, and the sitar is back on Less Than Zero (<0).

As much as I've enjoyed all the keyboards and the samples from the band's repertoire, I think the instrument outdid itself in Life Is Killing Me, and for the person behind said instrument. I Don't Wanna Be has a light but effective keyboard layers in the second verse, and dark ambient-ish melodies during the song's long outro. I don't know exactly how to describe it, but this sort of effect sounds celestial, after the chorus and onto the third verse of Todd's Ship Gods (Above All Things). For the most part, ...a Dish Best Served Coldly creates a calming atmosphere, which is part of why it's my favorite song on the album, and you could say the same for Nettie, Anesthesia, and Drunk in Paris. How Could She? is filled with a few layers and can be significantly heard in the song's pre-choruses. The title track would offer the most of World Coming Down's type of layers and samples that made the song very valuable and comparable to said album.

This is the last album where the band used a drum machine, and it feels like it was a lesson learned in this last attempt or effort. As good as this album can get, it's the worst that I've heard when it comes to the drum machine; much worse than the last two records. Just by hearing those cymbals in all of the songs artificially, it can be quite distracting. Of course, there's no denying the drums' true nature when the songs of this album are performed live, but still...

Overall, as I said, this album was pretty much part of my childhood, growing up. I can only wish I've listened to it much early; as early as this album was released and realize it instead of after the age of ten. The greatness in this album's nature is simply the experiment, as every album from the band is truly special and pretty damn poetic, Life Is Killing Me is not to be disregarded. It definitely paid off for going back to the band's gothic root, despite the initial statement of "giving the true fans what they deserve." The majority of this album is incredible from the band, as always. Choosing the best songs that really made this album what it is including the underrated ones, would be I Don't Wanna Be Me, Less Than Zero (<0), Todd's Ship Gods (Above All Things), ...a Dish Best Served Coldly, the title track, Nettie, IYDKMIGTHTKY (Gimme That), and The Dream Is Dead.

A fun old time - 80%

Napalm_Satan, July 24th, 2019

In common with every Type O Negative album, Life is Killing Me represents a major departure from what precedes it; a total 180 in fact. World Coming Down truly is depression captured flawlessly in auditory form, with it being comprised of nothing but dirge after dirge of sheer despair. It is also their most complex and most difficult to digest album, with a lot of the material being elaborate, wilfully ugly, and nightmarish. This meanwhile is a considerably more scaled back album, and while TON's distinct personality and musical talent does shine through most of the time - admittedly very brightly at some points - what results is easily their weakest album (The Origin of the Feces is a joke, not an album.)

What brings this album down several notches is that as stated the material here is scaled back in every way imaginable; the scope, musical and lyrical depth, atmosphere and presentation of these songs are all toned down considerably. There is very little approaching outright doom metal here like World Coming Down, rather nearly all the material is very straightforward goth flavoured rock songs with some strong pop leanings like some of the tracks off Bloody Kisses or perhaps October Rust, though they typically do end up sounding a bit heavier than the latter album as they lack the same highly spacey, lush, reverb-laden production or as much of a keyboard presence. There are even a few tracks here (most notably 'I Don't Wanna Be Me' and 'I Like Goils') that are remarkably punky and fast, these represent the most uniformly speedy songs the band would ever write barring the likes of 'Kill All the White People'. These songs are altogether much more straightforward, shallow and predictable musically. The music isn't particularly heavy or complex or atmospheric, it doesn't challenge the listener and it doesn't deliver anything too unique beyond Pete's distinctive bass-baritone voice.

In general the entire album is very easy to listen to and digest; you can't get lost in its atmosphere and it doesn't throw many curveballs at the listener. All of the material here is perfectly good; this is about as fun and upbeat as the band's music would get, even more so than 'My Girlfriend's Girlfriend'. This is a good pop metal album for sure, with something like 'I Don't Wanna Be Me' or 'Less than Zero (<0)' being excellent examples of making this inferior formula work by simply being entertaining and exciting. There are a few songs here that do stand up to their older works however; absolutely massive songs like the very lush, keyboard-heavy and agonising 'Anesthesia' (a top 5 TON song), the moody and downtempo 'Nettie' or the doomy 'The Dream is Dead' are loaded with atmosphere and excellent riffs. They feature the best arrangement and usage of keyboards on the album, as well as deepest and most heartfelt lyrics here, which all goes a long way to giving them the atmosphere that is so lacking here. Sadly however, songs like these and the nostalgic '(We Were) Electrocute' are the minority.

The issue is that for most of the album's tracks, even compared to the most rocking or pop-leaning moments of past albums, there is a lack of the larger than life atmosphere and grand presentation of something like 'Can't Lose You', let alone a 'Black No. 1' or 'Love You to Death'. This is a first in TON's discography; every album prior was dripping in atmosphere and genuinely sounded massive. Tracks here like 'How Could She?' or the title track are all fun and good while on, like everything else here thanks to the songwriting talent of the band and their ability to write a good hook, but as soon as they leave you find they don't leave much of an impression. World Coming Down is a hammer blow to the heart, October Rust is enchanting and hauntingly beautiful, while this isn't anything approaching that. The shallowness of the lyrics don't help; not that the topics here can't be relatable or poignant but instead of sensual romance or 11 minute dirges about self-loathing and suicide, it's all fairly simple matters or otherwise not-that-serious takes on what could be deep topics (revenge, not wanting to be yourself, Pete's deceased father.) A big part of TON's music has been the lyrics, they are critical to setting the mood and atmosphere of the album and so with simple and shallow lyrics this album doesn't have much emotional depth to it.

As a piece of entertainment, this is very good. In some ways it's like Metallica; a restrained, less ambitious album that is mostly missing the spark of the classics that preceded it, but one that gets by on simple entertainment value of well-written, catchy songs. This is still more than worthwhile, as it is a nice listen with some real gems and it certainly won’t offend, but the band could definitely have tried harder as evidenced by how good the bright spots here are; they are good enough to go toe-to-toe with their finest albums. The issue is that not a lot of the material stands up too well when thought about for a bit, as you realise it leaves you cold like nothing else in their catalogue. All this said, even with the music at its most shallow and simplistic this beats out a lot of other music out there; a true testament to the talent of this band.

Without warning, heart attack - 90%

hippie_holocaust, September 3rd, 2012

Every Type O album is a strange and poignant journey and most of them contain 70+ minutes of material, this being no exception. Life is Killing Me is a story of self-loathing, cynicism, and "a red-cross hell, the hospital."

If "Thir13teen" doesn't get your attention then get out now before it's too late. This instrumental opening track is pure fucking doom, and I just wish they had played it longer. The riff is so damn heavy. These opening moments of oppression and suffocation are the perfect introduction to the masterpiece "I Don't Wanna Be Me." This is what I love most about this band. They say the the things that we all feel but don't speak aloud. How many times in my life have I been sick of myself? Answer: innumerable. The fact that Type O can so effectively convey this message over a D-beat and happy melody proves their mastery as musicians. "Ever throwing, at his home. Two glass houses, twenty stones. Fourteen yellow, six are blue. Could it be worse? Quite doubtful." Pure poetry from the immortal green man.

When I got this album I was kind of surprised that these guys were still alive. World Coming Down, the band's Vol. 4 and cocaine album, truly felt like a swansong. After the huge success of Bloody Kisses and October Rust expectations were high, but Type O stuck to their creative guns and did whatever the fuck they felt like doing. Although World Coming Down is quite possibly their heaviest work, it wasn't what the people wanted, because nobody wants to come down. So they emerged from their hangover to deliver Life Is Killing Me, rejuvenated and revitalized as one would feel after a massive and greasy breakfast to soak up the drugs and booze of the night before. This album's crux is its melody and wit, and it feels like an eye-opener when stacked up next to their back catalogue.

Though my copy of Life Is Killing Me is on CD, it seems to be formatted for vinyl or divided into two sides, side A culminating in the title track, with side B feeling rather, well, anesthetized. (Of course, with the amount of material here this would be a double LP.) Leading up to the titular song we are told tales of Pete's childhood ("Todd's Shipyard Gods") gay-bashing (the awesome "I Like Goils") and the perils of relationships ("A Dish Best Served Coldly" and "How Could She?"). The song "Life is Killing Me" is the centerpeice, and in my opinion one of Type O Negative's finest offerings. The samples of hospital noises and beepings, coupled with the lyrical idictment of said industry, cause the listener to feel the drugged haze of the medical patient. The bridge offers up that stomping triplet groove that is best done by two bands: Black Sabbath and Type O Negative. "Overpayed meat-magicians" is a line that could only have been conceived by Peter Steele; his perception was 100% no-bullshit. The tasteful nod to Sabbath with the title of this record is another shining attribute of the Drab Four. In the words of Steele "it's like Pink Floyd meets Black Sabbath. We call it Stink Floyd." Beautiful.

Another riff of utter destruction can be found on "A Dish Best Served Coldly." Brutish power chords rounded out with muted crunching will knock your dick in the dirt amid the bellowing of "Rotting bodies of enemies cannot smell sweet enough to me!" It kicks in with a Tom Warrior-esque death grunt on the downbeat at 3:09. Don't miss it. "How Could She?" is an arrangement of the names of female TV personalities in order to make a syllabic match to the rhthym of the tune, and it is the logical pre-empt to "Life Is Killing Me." The mid-section of the song is one of the doomiest on the album and it leads nicely into a part that is reminiscient of the thrasher riff in the middle of "Into The Void."

"Nettie," a song about Pete's mother, features some of the deepest vocal range acheivable by a human being. The only song I can think of where he sings any lower would be October Rust's dismal closer entitled "Haunting." This man undoubtedly had one of the most memorable voices in metal, or in all of music for that matter. Side B of this record maintains the humorous themes, especially with "Angry Inch," a tribute to the Broadway play about a botched sex-change operation. Six inches forward and five inches back, indeed. Peter Steele's relationship to the gay community was simply never the same after that infamous Playgirl spread. "IYDKMIGTHTKY" (If you don't kill me I'm going to have to kill you) is another highlight and work of lyrical genius here. The honesty of Pete's pen was absolutely relentless.

Life Is Killing Me was originally going to be titled The Dream Is Dead, after the closing track of the album. The dream was not dead, however, as Type O went on to deliver the punishing Dead Again, and there were even plans for a follow-up to that at the time of Steele's death. This is not a stop-gap between World Coming Down and Dead Again, but rather a deviation from the norm. The music is catchy and memorable, and the lyrical content is some of Steele's most comedic. I think this an oft-overlooked record, but if you enjoy expert song-writing and poetic lyrics, look again.

They can (and typically will) do better - 69%

Noktorn, May 9th, 2008

As far as Type O Negative goes, 'World Coming Down' will always be their pinnacle and pretty much nothing is going to top it. I guess it makes sense that after that monolith to all the terrible things in Peter Steele's life that they would make a relatively happy album in the form of 'Life Is Killing Me', which I assume is designed to retrieve all the brainless goth girls who got scared away by songs with messages and long words and things. So Type O Negative did the natural thing: create a whole album of 'Black No. 1's to please the crowd. It sucks that they made that choice, but fortunately they're a band who're talented enough on the songwriting front to make solid, catchy music that isn't entirely irrelevant even in its most shallow moments.

The massive doom dirges of the previous work are gone in favor of fifteen smaller tracks (in both stature and size), and the tempo is no longer as universally plodding as that found on 'World Coming Down', actually moving up to a fairly brisk pace on punkier tracks like 'I Don't Wanna Be Me', 'I Like Goils', or 'Angry Inch'. There is no equivalent to 'White Slavery' on here; this is practically a pop album by Type O Negative's standards. Actually, who am I kidding, this is a total pop album. There's nothing very abrasive or inaccessible about this music as long as someone can stomach a little guitar distortion and unsavory lyrical themes like transvestitism and revenge. That doesn't automatically make it a bad album. It does, however, automatically make it less relevant than previous works. It could be argued that 'Life Is Killing Me' is probably Type O Negative's least consequential album from a musical and lyrical perspective, and I can't say that I disagree.

The good, apart from the simple fun of the straightforward pop/rock songs: 'Nettie' and 'Anesthesia' are excellent downtempo tracks (the latter of which benefits from some incredible synth arrangement), and '(We Were) Electrocute' has a pretty amazing nostalgic feel to it (despite how a friend described it as 'insurance commercial music'). 'Drunk In Paris' is fantastic and should have been extended into a full track, and closer 'The Dream Is Dead' is a great end to the album, with all of Type O Negative's trademark elements intact. The rest of the release... pretty eh. Songs like '...A Dish Best Served Coldly' and 'How Could She?' are fun while they're on, but I feel no motivation to listen to them. Maybe the lack of real substance to this album harms it more than I thought, because I really do only find myself drawn to the tracks with more lyrical depth than the others.

I understand that Peter Steele is a tortured soul and everything, but would it really have hurt to go a step further with this album? The good songs are excellent, as they typically are when Type O Negative really tries, but overall the album is sort of tepid and doesn't have the sense of unity of releases like 'October Rust'. I don't regret picking this up, and it's a fun listen from time to time, but it in no way manages to stand up to Type O Negative's more relevant and exceptional works (which are many). Chalk it up to a cocaine-fueled burst of cheerfulness from Steele, a man who's at his best when laying in a gutter somewhere.

Not THAT different, really - 78%

Sean16, May 13th, 2006

From the first notes of the very rock-ish I Don’t Wanna Be Me one may say something has changed. What happened to our beloved gothic-doom-who-knows-what metal band Type O Negative? Almost high-paced songs, only two tracks clocking at more than seven minutes, no more indus/noisy interludes (apart from the end of I Don’t Wanna Be Me), and basic verse-chorus structures. Add to all this that even if guitars still show a slightly raspy sound, all distortion seems to have been banished, the overall production being rather clear. Is TON trying to reach a wider audience?

But actually by listening a bit more carefully there’s nothing really new there. More than selling out, this album may well be, on the contrary, a return to the band’s roots. The punk-influenced songs are back, with I Like Goils or the hilarious cover Angry Inch, and at some points one almost feels like having gone back to the times of the two first albums, only with cleaner sound.

Similarly, two other main influences for TON had always been Black Sabbath and The Beatles, and indeed through years the band has covered several songs of both acts, so again it’s not astonishing to find parts reminiscent of these bands. Less Than Zero or How Could She may be the songs which exhibit both influences most blatantly: The Beatles bring the sitar, the psychedelic vibe and sometimes even the singing style, Black Sabbath brings the riffs. This last band indeed seems to have inspired most of the tracks here, some parts almost sounding like literal rip-offs, what anyone who loves doom metal a single bit won’t certainly complain about. Actually TON seem to have renewed with their melting of different genres in an album as well as in a single song, what sometimes leads to quite messy tracks (e.g. How Could She).

Slow, oppressive tunes have not been forgotten though, with the wonderful A Dish Better Served Coldly, reminiscent of the Bloody Kisses era. And even if titles like Life Is Killing Me, Anesthesia or The Dream Is Dead are (slightly) higher-paced, that doesn’t prevent them from being perfect pieces of depression, with their deep down-tuned guitars and as-sick-as-ever backing keyboards. Lyrically, after the a bit far-fetched World Coming Down, the guys seem to once again go back to their traditional themes like deceived love (A Dish..., Anesthesia, The dream is Dead...), while humorous tracks have not been forgotten, like when Peter pokes fun about homosexuals (I Like Goils) or transsexuals (Angry Inch). Even if some songs seem to approach more “serious” questions like euthanasia (Life Is Killing Me), overall there is no revolution here as well.

Unfortunately the band also renewed with its long tradition of fillers, which is a pity as the album is, as usual, overall good. Todd’s Ship God (Above All things), (We were) Electrocute and IYDKMIGTHTKY (Gimme That) have for them their hilariously stupid titles, but it’s the best part of all of these songs. Apart from this they are mostly unnoticeable, too long for what they are and, in the case of IYDKMIGTHTKY, particularly repetitive. The very pop-ish Nettie shows an uselessly whiny Peter Steele, and Drunk in Paris is only a funny instrumental intro to The Dream is Dead so it doesn’t really count.

Granted, Life Is Killing Me may be the catchiest Type O Negative album, but it’s still not selling out – it sounds more like the logical evolution and summary of the band’s whole career. As such, it definitely constitutes the best introduction to it, even if it may stand a tiny step below October Rust or World Coming Down.

Highlights: I Don’t Wanna Be Me, Less Than Zero, A Dish Better Served Coldly, Life Is Killing Me, Angry Inch, Anesthesia, The Dream Is Dead

Doesn't anyone get that this is a Joke??? - 90%

ADLombard, July 28th, 2004

This album is a joke. I don't mean that in a bad way at all, but look at the structure of the songs, the themes of many of them, and the situation Type O was in when they wrote this album and it becomes clear: this album is Peter flexing his funny bone.

First for the structure of the songs. Unlike in many of Type O's previous albums (October Rust especially), Peter and the boys wrote alot of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, verse structured songs this time. In fact one of my buddies and I were listening to Life is Killing Me and all of a sudden it hit us that Type O was using the same rif structure in every song in the middle of the album. The songs are shorter, and gone are the expansive and sometimes abrasive soundscapes that allways bothered casual Type O fans. All of this and makes the album sound intentionally comercial. Why would a creative and original band like Type O do this? Read on.

The themes and genres of the songs, both the originals and covers are a departure from the lyrical themes of Peter's recent albums. In fact "I Like Goils" sound just like a mellower Carnivore ditty. In past albums Type O has covered songs from decidedly unmetal and ungothic sources, but they played them like a dirge metal band, now "Angry Inch" really sounds like a credible punk song. The whole album has a much punkier feel than anything since, well i was going to say Slow Deep and Hard but that has a distinctly diffrent feel than this. Life is Killing me is almost upbeat at times. Weird, but not inexplicable.

Finally we come to the reason I beleive all of this is a joke and not just a musical departure from the norm by Peter, when Type O released this album they were fighting with their shitty lable Roadrunner. Roadrunner wanted records that sold big, and wouldnt promote anything that didn't. I imagine Type O finally got fed up and said fuck it, lets put out an album with our tounges in our cheeks. Make the tempo upbeat and bouncy cause hey that sells *wink wink*. And lets comercialize and dumb down our riffing and song structure and laugh all the way to another lable. Forget writing another song lets cover something really comercial like a punk song (sarcasm).

Ultimatly if Peter, Jonny, Kenny, and Josh want to laugh at the record industry thats fine with me. After all the album they put out is still good music, and touched with enough of the spirt that infuses all Type O's work with something special. After all we've seen their angry side on their first two discs, their gothic side on Bloody Kisses, their contemplative side on October Rust, and the bottom of the barrel in World Comming Down, now its time to pay homage to Peter's dry self depricating sense of humor. (Come on like you don't think its funny to have a man who posed in Playgirl, a magazine sold mostly to men, singing about having a one inch dick, or saying he's glad he doesnt have hemhoroids like his gay fans.)

I like goils - 96%

NightOfTheRealm, May 25th, 2004

I was excited when I learned of Type O Negative’s upcoming album, but I never expected it to be this damned good! With a 4 year drought since their last full-length album, WORLD COMING DOWN, it is great to hear TYPE O NEGATIVE sounding as good, if not better than they ever have in the past.

A couple slight changes (and these being for the better) are evident right away. First, the length of the tracks is decreased, the longest clocking in at 7:35. Second, the band has mastered the blend of ultra-heavy doom riffs, melancholic goth atmosphere, and unusual experimentation in songwriting and musicianship. This album really stands out to me as the culmination of everything that was good on BLOODY KISSES, namely the heaviness and doom, with the wonderful atmosphere and melodies from OCTOBER RUST. Throw in ample helpings of Type O Negative’s taste for the grim tongue-in-cheek humour and affection for the melancholy, and you’re set for a fine album.

What Type O Negative album would be complete without an intro of some fasion. Instead of static and noise, “Thir13teen” goes right ahead with a few Sabbathy riffs before plugging into the almost popish “I Don’t Wanna Be Me.” This song is a fast one, and significantly more upbeat that Type O is used to delivering. I find that this one has a killer punked-up feel to it, with both Pete and Kenny putting some good chug behind the riffs and bass. The chorus is simple and repetetive, but hey, I’m digging it. “Less than Zero” starts off on a very bizarre note, with a trippy atmosphere, fuzzed-out vocals, and a sitar, much in the vein of a track by The Beatles. The second half picks up some sludge riffs, but still maintains the far-out atmosphere. What a strange song. “Todd’s Ship Gods (Above All Things)” is the best tune on the album. I absolutely love the juxtaposition of the heaviness of the riffs from Zakk Wylde’s school of heavy guitar combined with the soft vocalizations with the chorus. We’ve still got some of the trippy atmospher and fuzz-vocals from the last track, but I’m totally headbanging to this one. At about the 2:30 mark, Pete delivers some of the gloomiest vocals that he has ever put down.

“I Like Goils” (That’s Brooklyn-ese for “I Like Girls”) punks it up again for an ultra-fast track. What’s not to love about this one? The main riff is both heavy AND catchy, the chorus is certain to get you singing, and the keyboards are silly enough to set the fun atmosphere of the track. Oh, yeah, the lyrics are hillarious, about Pete Steele’s reaction to homosexual come-ons.

I could go on with a track-by-track review of the rest of the songs, but they’re all great. There’s quite a variety in the remaining ten songs, from “...A Dish Best Served Coldly,” “Nettie,” and “Life is Killing Me,” which take the BLOODY KISSES doom-and-gloom to heart, to more far-out tracks like “IYDKMIGTHTKY (Gimme That),” or “The Dream is Dead.”

Aw, hell. I’m having too much fun with this album to skip over some other hella-cool songs.

“(We Were) Electrocute” is a totally crazy song with some wild synth-horns and other effects, reminding me more than a bit of The Beatles again, this time “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.”

“Angry Inch” is another hillarious track, fast and reminiscent of “I Like Goils,” but this time, it is a cover from a musical titled HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH. I’ll let you folks look up that reference, but I’m sure you’re perverse enough to figure it out.

“Anesthesia” is probably my second favourite tune on the disc. I don’t know how Pete and Co. managed to do it, but this is utterly brilliant. I think the synth/piano backing has a lot to do with the success of this song, along with Pete’s convincing vocal delivery.

LIFE IS KILLING ME has by far exceeded every expectation I had coming into the album. Here is an album that is musically diverse, yet consistent in quality throughout. Fans of Type O Negative will almost certainly love this one, and it would be a great introductory point for those new to the band. This one just keeps getting better with each listen, so don’t be surprised when it comes back to haunt my top 10 of 2003.

(originally written by me for www.metal-rules.com, July, 2003)

Different, but that's NOT a bad thing. - 93%

DEEK, June 22nd, 2003

This a really good album, hands down. Through their 12 year history, they have changed. None of their albums were the same from one to the next. But this is their most different album. Gone are the big epic songs (the longest song on here is around 7:35). The songs are much more to the point this time around. But that's not a bad thing my all means. This is a great album. Very forceful. Still heavy. Just awesome. They experiment a little on this album, using instruments they haven't really used before (a sitar and tambura on "Less Then Zero", for example, and the tambura is on a few other songs). "How Could She" has some great guitar solo work. Most would think that the sight of 15 songs (and only one interlude track, and the intro track) and a 74+ minute length would be tiresome, and it's not. The album keeps you interested throughout. Many tempo changes, too. The only song that seems weak is "(We Are) Electrocute." Still a decent song, but could have done without. This album just plain rocks. And "Angry Inch" is back to the early days, fast punky song. Kind of like "Kill All the White People," but not. Easily one of their best, if not their best.