hard to believe it’s already been almost 5 years since the pride and joy of Bensonhoist, Peter Steele, passed away at the age of 48. in the pantheon of dead musicians, none has hit me harder. I was fortunate enough to see Type O Negative three times, and there was nothing like it. Pete was a towering individual (standing approx. 6.5 feet tall) with a commanding stage presence, and deep baritone vocals that captivated the entire audience. but behind that, was a man who at one time struggled with his own demons including drug abuse, and was also known to be a bit of a recluse. at one show I was at, he coped with his social anxiety by nursing a bottle of wine in between songs. his self-deprecating sense of humour was the stuff of legend. so without further ado, here’s my retrospective of the TON discography:
07 – SLOW, DEEP, and HARD (1991)
a concept album based on Peter’s real-life experience with a cheating girlfriend, and his revenge fantasy of carrying out a murder/suicide. an incredibly raw album that sounds more like his previous band, Carnivore.
06 – LIFE IS KILLING ME (2003)
this is the poppiest-sounding album in the TON discography. I Don’t Wanna Be Me was a minor commercial hit, and We Were Electrocute was featured on the Freddy vs. Jason soundtrack. overall, it’s a pretty decent album, just not one of their better ones.
05 – ORIGIN of the FECES (1992)
the backlash was so strong following “Slow, Deep, and Hard” that the band decided to showcase their softer, comedic side, by releasing a “live” album featuring reworked versions of songs off SD&H. this is a studio album whereby the band used only one mic for the recording, and piped in street noise to simulate a live audience. the banter Peter comes up with is creative genius. from chastizing the crowd for spending money to see them play, to an audience member bleeding on-stage, and there’s even a bomb scare thrown in for good measure. to this day, I still love quoting this album.
04 – DEAD AGAIN (2007)
Dead Again was their seventh and final studio album. it was maybe the most introspective album Peter ever wrote, with songs focusing on his spiritual side, and dealing with topics such as religion, abortion, and remorse. perhaps, he knew his time was running short and he wanted to say his proper good byes to the fans.
03 – BLOODY KISSES (1993)
the album that became an instant classic in the goth genre. Black No. 1, and Christian Woman were staples in their setlists right thru to their final shows in 2009. deeper cuts like the title track and Too Late: Frozen are my personal favourites, and they do a great, much slower version of Summer Breeze by Seals & Crofts.
02 – WORLD COMING DOWN (1999)
World Coming Down is TON’s heaviest and most depressing album. the interludes chronicle Peter’s interpretation of the ways the band members would die (Liver = alcohol abuse; Lung = cancer; Sinus = OD) there’s also a medley of Beatles covers thrown in for good measure. White Slavery and Who Will Save the Sane are my personal favourites.
01 – OCTOBER RUST (1996)
I didn’t really like October Rust at first, but the more I listened to it, the more I grew to love it. the band is also in a pretty jovial mood, as witnessed by their joke at the beginning of the album. it represents the band at their artistic peak. production-wise, songwriting, all the elements are there. badass Neil Young cover (Cinnamon Girl), check! radio-friendly hit (My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend), check! in spite of every other song clocking in at 5+ minutes, there’s not a single one that feels like it drags at any point. the whole album is phenomenal, but I’d say Red Water and Wolf Moon are the cream of the crop.