TYPE O NEGATIVE are one of the elephants of Metal, with a quite own style in Gothic Metal, the unmistakeable presence of fronter Pete Steele and a whole ton of success with their previous albums "Slow, Deep And Hard", "Bloody Kisses", "October Rust" and "World Coming Down". And after many pured some criticism over the last one, "Life Is Killing Me" has been expected as only few other CDs this year.
Four years it had taken the New Yorkers to release a new studio sign of life and from the outside nothing has changed, it is still reigned by green and the corner logos for band and title. But how does the inside look like, the music?
It is so dark, so catchy, so melodic and so TYPE O NEGATIVE as it could be, no more complexities or light experiments as on the previous album, but going into the ear right away, straight and to the point. After the intro "Uncle Freddy Died" "I Don't Wanna Be Me" brings us a driving and super catchy song in the typical TON style, of course borne by Pete Steele's very own voice, which you will recognize among at least if not more others. In more or less crass contrast we then get "Life Is Killing Me", purest Gothic Doom Metal with Steele's grave voice, before the chorus brings the whole thing into the heavy mid tempo again, while "Anesthesia" could almost go through as ballad, with piano and emotional vocals, very good.
At "The Dream Is Dead" at times BLACK SABBATH shine through, riff laden and doomy, while "(We Were) Electrocute" jumps into your ear with a playful easiness and "I Like Goils" is a good bit faster and deals with the same sex consequences of Steele's photo shoot for "Playgirl" in a really amusing way. And in "Angry Inch" an a lot more punky side breaks through the TYPE O NEGATIVE sound, originally (which I do not know) from the musical "Hedwig In A Box". Strong song and could make for an interesting musical, hehe.
Even though the promo says that the mixes of the tracks are not final yet, the sound already is clear and powerful, just like you would expect from a release of this class and that also leaves the songs the room that they need to unfold. And that they have found their old catchiness again is a definite plus, but with that they do not copy their big successes like "Bloody Kisses", but still show an evolution and that is good!
All in all TYPE O NEGATIVE have managed to come up with a strong release in "Life Is Killing Me", which definitely will catapult them high into charts worldwide and should not disappoint any fan! (Online September 4, 2003)