Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Type O Negative - Dead Again

To this day, no actor or lookalike can capture the deranged facade of Rasputin, so finding his raggedy countenance on an album cover--particularly from a cold, frosty band like Type O Negative--just seems tailor made in the grand cosmos of dark heavy metal. Dead Again is actually quite the opposite, if you're familiar with Type O Negative, since it's frequently full of energetic bursts of angst, but straying from the record review, their choice to put Rasputin on their cover and give it their trademark green tempora (Note: Every Type O Negative album cover is bathed in green) makes it even more stark than the photo originally conveys.

Even more chilling is the picture of the Romonov sisters on the back of the CD artwork, and trust me, you won't be thinking of the sweetly Anastasia with her talking Slavic bat friend sugared up in the animated film. Are Peter Steele and his horde Rasputin fans? Given some of their snarling and frigied publicity photos, perhaps so. As stylishly tenebrous as Type O Negative's music is, Rasputin suddenly becomes a poster boy for the genre. How is it that only Type O recognized this?


Blogger bob_vinyl said...

It's definitely a good cover. It almost makes me want to listen to the album, but not quite.

May 15, 2007 at 11:11 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

I like it, but I have always avoided this band because I figured they would stink really bad.

May 16, 2007 at 5:53 AM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

After looking at this one some more, I think I want to revise my comment above. I like the picture of Rasputin and I like the green. However, the text makes the whole thing look like bad photoshop work. So I like the picture, but I'm not so crazy about the cover as a whole.

May 16, 2007 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Yeah, that's my thought as well. Great idea, a little lax on the execution. I was more taken by the Romonov girls on the back on the CD. It kind of scared me more since I know their story.

I used to avoid Type O as well, but only this year have they really resounded with me. They're brutally heavy with a Goth twist, kind of like Sisters of Mercy meets Killing Joke meets doom metal.

May 17, 2007 at 4:55 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

Great, great cover picture; I agree on the text. Too bad the vocals are, imo, so bad.

-- david

May 18, 2007 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger dschalek said...

Frankly, it's amazing that no one thought of Rasputin as a theme before. He would fit just about any depressive sub-genre of metal, plus a number of other non-metal music forms, as well.

May 19, 2007 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Exactly, dschalek, I should've thought of the Goth, trance and slow alt rock genres.

The vocals don't put me off like they did when Type O first debuted on the original HBB in what, 1989 or 1990? Something like that.

May 22, 2007 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger taotechuck said...

Ray, trance is largely about finding a peacefully energetic mindspace, so I don't see your association between it and Rasputin. Like house music -- and virtually all of the musical forms that can be directly traced through places like the Paradise Garage and the Warehouse to the NYC Loft parties that started in the mid-1960s -- trance is a musical form that is intended to be uplifting and inspiring.

May 23, 2007 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

It depends, Chuck. I agree with you wholeheartedly on the intent of the sound, but there's some real weird underground stuff that would employ this for shock value. Coldwave, certainly, industrial, absolutely. Trance music--and you probably have more than I do, though I have a decent amount of it--can be either peaceful or disruptive, depending on the chaotic tendency of the artist and the propensity of the hardness of the loops. Just an opinion, anyway.

May 24, 2007 at 6:05 AM  
Blogger taotechuck said...

I could see Rasputin as the poster boy for coldwave or industrial, but I just don't hear that darkness from even the coldest of the post-happy-hardcore trance producers.

Perhaps you could mention some examples of the underground trance to which you refer, or better yet, point me to some MP3s. I've developed a fondness for deep house in the past few years and most trance is a bit too fluffy for my taste right now, so I certainly may have missed some dark evolutions within the style.

May 24, 2007 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

When I got into music journalism, I started out with this magazine called Legends that did electronic, Goth, punk, etc. so I kind of cut my teeth there. I got sent so much underground craziness, particularly in coldwave, that the whole Rasputin thing just seemed a perfect fit. I'll sift through and see if I can find some dark trance to point you to. I know there's a lot of French trance artists who really broaden the concepts.

On a side note, since you're a fan of electronic stuff, I got two excellent CDs a couple weeks ago, Bassnectar and Mark Farina - House of Om

May 24, 2007 at 11:18 PM  

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