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Music / Type O Negative

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For information about blood types, see AB Negative.

"I went looking for trouble
And boy, I found her.."

"She's in love with herself,
She likes the dark,
On her milk white neck,
The Devil's mark.
Now it's All Hallow's Eve
The moon is full
Will she trick or treat?
I bet she will...
She will!"
"Black No. 1"

Founded in 1989 upon the ashes of Lead Bassist Peter Steele's earlier band Carnivore, Type O Negative's Signature Style was an unlikely mixture of Black Sabbath, Goth Rock, Prog Rock and Punk. They often used a distinct pop / indie sensibility most visible on the October Rust album. Notable for being one of the pioneers of Gothic Metal. They broke up with the passing of Peter Steele in 2010.

Band members:

Final Lineup

  • Peter Steele - Lead vocals, bass (1989-2010) (died 2010)
  • Kenny Hickey - Guitar, backing and occasional co-lead vocals (1989-2010)
  • Josh Silver - Keyboards, backing vocals (1989-2010)
  • Johnny Kelly - Drums, backing vocals (1993-2010)

Previous Members

  • Sal Abruscato - Drums (1989-1993)


  • Slow, Deep and Hard (1991)
  • The Origin of the Feces (1992) note 
  • Bloody Kisses (1993) note 
  • October Rust (1996)note 
  • World Coming Down (1999)
  • Life is Killing Me (2003)
  • Dead Again (2007) note 

They provide examples of:

  • '80s Hair: Keyboard player Josh Silver had this early in their career.
  • Anti-Christmas Song: "Red Water (Christmas Mourning)," which may just be the single most depressing Christmas song ever.
    "The table's been set for but seven; just last year I dined with eleven..."
  • Anti-Love Song: "Black No. 1" is about a man getting into a relationship with a beautiful Goth girl who turns out to be a Narcissist concerned with her looks as much as she "likes the dark". The man (Steele) compares loving that girl to "loving the dead", showing how exhausting it is to be with her.
  • Backmasking: "Creepy Green Light" features Steele reciting the prayer "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" in the intro, reversed. This is an ironic use of the trope as any Christian Fundamentalists looking for satanic backwards messages would find this one instead. It is quite low in the mix, so often missed by those without good headphones.
  • Barbarian Longhair: Peter Steele, full stop. His long, dark locks were what contributed to his vampiric image and overall sex appeal, to where he ended up attracting both women and men.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Combined with a The Beatles Shout-Out in "Can't Lose You" - The ending of the song includes a deliberately hard-to-understand chant that sounds similar to one heard near the end of "I Am The Walrus", which turns out to be "Everybody smokes pot / Monte Conner sucks cock". "Everybody smokes pot" is a common mondegreen for that section of "I Am The Walrus" (it's officially "everybody, up, up"), while Monte Conner was the vice president of Roadrunner Records while Type O Negative were on the label.
  • Black Comedy: Quite frequent in their lyrics, though not quite to the same extent as Carnivore.
  • Blatant Lies: Johnny Kelly being credited as drummer on October Rust, World Coming Down, and Life is Killing Me despite the fact that those albums use drum machines (However, Johnny has stated in interviews that he programmed the drums himself).
    • Lampshaded with The Origin of the Feces, a studio performance edited to sound like a terrible concert, which had a sticker on the front reading "NOT Live at Brighton Beach."
    • The band performed their own backing vocals, yet often credited "The Bensonhoist Lesbian Choir" for them.
  • Broken Record:
    • From "Christian Woman:" "Jesus Christ looks like me."
    • In "Black No. 1," the chorus and "Loving you was like... loving the dead."
    • From "Love You to Death": "Am I good enough for you?"
    • From "Be My Druidess": "I'll do anything to make you come."
      • Deliberately evoked on the joke intro track "Skip It" from World Coming Down, which is designed to sound like a CD skipping. The US cassette version has a version with tape chewing noises instead.
  • Call-and-Response Song: The chorus of "Unsuccessfully Coping with the Natural Beauty of Infidelity."
    "I know you're fucking someone else
    (He knows you're fucking someone else)"
  • The Cameo: You can hear Peter's voice on Biohazard's 2001 song "Cross the Line."
    • He also wrote the lyrics to Agnostic Front's "Public Assistance" note , however he didn't sing on the track.
    • He also co-wrote and sang "Just Say No To Love" on Tony Iommi's solo album Iommi.
  • Careful with That Axe: The intro to "Tripping A Blind Man" features a rather sudden and high scream from Peter.
    • "Xero Tolerance (Kill You Tonight)" is both a musical and lyrical example of this trope.
  • Color Motif: Most of the album covers feature green color prominently. Peter was nicknamed "Green Man" by children when he worked for New York's parks department for the green uniform he wore, and often wore a green tank top.
  • Concept Album: The Origin of the Feces is a fake Live Album (actually a studio album consisting mostly of re-recorded songs from Slow, Deep and Hard) of the band playing to an audience that hates them (yet still paid money to see them, as Peter noted). The band gets booed, the performance of "Prelude to Agony" (renamed "Pain" here) is interrupted by a bomb threat, and "Xero Tolerance" (renamed "Kill You Tonight") is disrupted by people throwing things at the band.
  • Covers Always Lie: Bloody Kisses and Dead Again have no songs about what their covers depict, The Origin of the Feces isn't a live album, and the pseudo-runic font in the October Rust booklet only means the album has not a single song about vikings.
  • Cover Version: They liked to do this once per album with the exception of "Dead Again."
    • "Hey Pete" (a reworded cover of Jimi Hendrix's version of "Hey Joe") on "The Origin Of The Feces". The 1994 reissue also includes a cover of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" as an extra track, which was recorded that year and rejected from the Nativity In Black Tribute album in favour of the group's version of "Black Sabbath" (which also has an alternate version called "From The Satanic Perspective").
    • "Summer Breeze" on Bloody Kisses, a cover of the Isley Brothers arrangement of the Seals & Croft song (although slower).
    • "Cinnamon Girl" (originally by Neil Young ) on October Rust.
    • A medley of The Beatles songs "Day Tripper", "If I Needed Someone" and "I Want You [She's So Heavy]" on World Coming Down. The group also performed "Back In The USSR", "Dear Prudence" and "Magical Mystery Tour" live.
    • "Highway Star" by Deep Purple on Nascar:Crank It Up.
    • "Angry Inch" from Hedwig And The Angry Inch on Life Is Killing Me.
    • A medley of Santana's arrangements of "Evil Ways", "Oye Como Va" and "Black Magic Woman" (all were, in themselves covers), on the CD included with the Symphony For The Devil DVD.
  • Darker and Edgier: Though the band has always had very dark lyrics, the albums Slow, Deep, and Hard and The Origin Of The Feces lightened it up with healthy amounts of (dark) humor. Bloody Kisses still had quite a bit of it, but included a significant amount of dark, self-loathing songs. They went full bore into this trope with October Rust, which, apart from a couple joke skits, is mostly entirely VERY dark, serious ballads about break-ups, betrayal, self-loathing, and death. This trope culminated with World Coming Down, an album which Steele couldn't even listen to due to it's personal content. Life Is Killing Me was a brief return to their earlier sound, (Though with much more vulgar humor) but Dead Again would return to the depression.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Peter Steele was renowned for his darkly sardonic humor, though losing many family members (and his pet cats) and his various psychological issues made him a Stepford Snarker.
  • Deal with the Devil: "All Hallows Eve" is about this.
  • Despair Event Horizon: World Coming Down is the epitome of this. Three of the four interludes are extremely realistic portrayals of death brought upon by cocaine, alcohol, and cigarettes, while all of the actual songs (save for The Beatles medley at the end) deal with depressing subjects.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Slow, Deep and Hard consists mostly of material Carnivore didn't get around to recording. It wasn't in fact, even intended as an album to start with - it was originally released as a demo tape under the Type O's previous name Repulsion. Roadrunner bought the rights off the group, then released it as their debut whilst what the group thought was the actual album was being recorded (hence why the group repurposed those rerecordings and newer tracks as the fake live album "The Origin Of The Feces").
  • Drowning My Sorrows: The title of "Red Water (Christmas Mourning)" indicates that the singer is drowning his sorrows with red wine.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Slow, Deep and Hard was very thrashy and, while possessing rudimentary examples of elements that would later become a big part of their sound, didn't have much in common with the rest of their discography. This is because the material on that album was largely comprised of Carnivore leftovers that Peter had sitting around and wanted to use anyways.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: All of the members ironically had to dye their hair black at Peter's request, to maintain a polished image for the band.
  • Epic Rocking: The rule rather than the exception, as the group was very progressive. 7 or 8 minutes is a typical length for one of their songs, but they have several songs over 10 minutes long. Their longest song is 'These Three Things' from Dead Again which clocks in at 14 minutes and 21 seconds.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Thanks to posing in Playgirl in 1995, Peter has quite a bit of attention from males (which eventually became the basis for "I Like Goils.")
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin:
    • "Bad Ground" is 30 seconds of 60Hz mains hum from equipment with a ground fault.
    • "Machine Screw" combined the sound of a woman having sex with machine noises.
  • Expospeak Gag: Most of the song titles on Slow, Deep and Hard. The 3rd section of "Unsuccessfully Coping with the Natural Beauty of Infidelity" even spells it out with its title of "I Know You're Fucking Someone Else." The lengthiest one is "The Misinterpretation of Silence and its Disastrous Consequences: I. Venus: Contrary Motion", a silent interlude about a man not understanding a woman's side of an argument.
  • Foreshadowing: During Peter's stint in Carnivore, he performed part of "Male Supremacy" with clean vocals, which struck fans as odd, since not too many people knew Peter could actually sing. A few years later, and his baritone vocals became... Let's just say fairly well known with Type O Negative.
  • Funetik Aksent: There are some humorous references to the band members' New York accents, such as the title of "I Like Goils" and the backing vocals being credited to "The Bensonhoist note  Lesbian Choir."
  • Genre Mashup: Pigeonholed as gothic metal, the genres that they mixed included crossover thrash, gothic rock, industrial, stoner metal, Doom Metal, '60s proto punk, and no small amount of pop (albeit in a very snide, mocking manner). The results spoke for themselves. It doesn't help that they were on a lot of soundtracks during the Nu Metal period, which led a lot of people to assume they were part of that movement, when they weren't.
  • Gentle Giant: Peter Steele stood at 6'8, but despite this and his rather intimidating voice, he actually came across as a very laid back guy in interviews. When he appeared on The Jerry Springer Show, he said he'd have to watch what he said because "his mother was watching".
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Exaggerated in "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend"; the singer goes into detail that not only do his girlfriend and her girlfriend have sex together, they both have sex with him too.
    "They keep me warm on cold nights,
    We must be quite a sight,
    In our meat triangle,
    All tangled,
  • God-Is-Love Songs: Parodied by "Christian Woman", by bringing out the mentioned-on-the-trope-page problematic aspects into the open: The song is about a woman harbouring Perverse Sexual Lust for Jesus.
  • Goth: "Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare All)" is a song mocking this subculture, which didn't stop the song from becoming a goth anthem.
    "Ya wanna go out cuz it's rainin' and blowin'
    Ya can't go out cuz your roots are showing
    So dye 'em black! So dye 'em black!
    Black, black, black, black number one!"
  • Gothic Metal: Trope Makers and Trope Codifier.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Two of them, one compiled by the band themselves, and another put together by their by-then-former record label, both largely covering the same material. In line with the band's occasional use of Self-Deprecation, the former was called The Least Worst of Type O Negative, and started with a completely silent filler track from one of their albums (the implication being that they considered 39 seconds of silence to be among their best work.) The Least Worst Of was a handy release for fans because it was almost half full of rarities. It was complemented by a bonus disc that appeared with the special edition of Life is Killing Me, which collected up the period rarities that hadn't appeared on The Least Worst, and added the newly recorded "Out of the Fire (Kane's Theme)." The Best of Type O Negative was not endorsed by the band, but it was chronological (unlike The Least Worst) and it included the band's rare cover of "Highway Star" (originally by Deep Purple) that had been done for a 2002 NASCAR compilation, which many fans were unaware of.
  • Grief Song: Quite a few, mostly off World Coming Down and Dead Again. "Everyone I Love Is Dead" is only the most straightforward example.
    • Others include "Bloody Kisses (A Death in the Family)" and "Red Water (Christmas Mourning)".
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: "I Like Goils" is this distilled into one song. As mentioned above, it was written after Peter Steele discovered (after posing in Playgirl) that an estimated 50% or more of Playgirl readers and subscribers were men, and that he had unintentionally become a minor gay icon.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Peter Steele is a rare male example.
  • I Am the Band: Averted. Though Peter Steele was without question the band leader and main songwriter, many decisions were made by other members (such as using programmed drums on the three albums recorded after Johnny Kelly replaced their previous drummer Sal Abruscato: October Rust, World Coming Down and Life is Killing Me; only their last album features Johnny Kelly playing actual drums.)
  • Idiosyncratic Album Theming: Several of the band's albums start with sound effect-laden or humorous intros, such as: "Machine Screw" on Bloody Kisses (a combination of machine sounds and a woman having sex,) "Bad Ground" and the untitled intro and outro of the band jokingly playing down the album on October Rust, and "Skip It" on World Coming Down, 10 seconds of sounds edited to sound like the CD is skipping followed by Kenny Hickey shouting "Sucker!" (the cassette version replaced that with editing to make it sound like the tape was being eaten.)
  • I Love the Dead: While not as explicit as one would expect from a songwriter with Steele's sense of humour (or decency), some songs ("Haunted" comes to mind) have shades of this.
  • In the Style of: Their cover of "Cinnamon Girl" is probably the best example.
  • Intercourse with You: "Wolf Moon." Seriously. Go back and re-read the lyrics.
    • Many of their songs on their October Rust album qualify. Perhaps most blatantly, "Be My Druidess."
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Peter had a deep fondness for cats and kept several as pets. When one of them, Venus, died after seventeen years, he wrote the titular song of Bloody Kisses in tribute to her. This wasn't made apparent, though — according to Peter, he had to make the song metaphorical because, in his words, "No one wants to hear a guy who's six-foot-eight with long black hair and fangs crying about his fuckin' cat."
  • Large and in Charge: Peter Steele is the frontman and Lead Bassist of Type O Negative, and at 6'8", he easily towered over the rest of the band. This also applies to the band Carnivore that Peter founded after the breakup of Fallout.
  • Large Ham: Peter Steele's singing has elements of this.
  • Lead Bassist: Peter Steele was Type B ("Singer") and C ("Face"). He was the founder of Carnivore and Type O Negative, and he served as singer and bassist in both bands. He's also famous for being incredibly handsome (to the point of attracting male admirers, to his dismay), his deep vocals, and his rather dark and self-deprecating humor. The band's music tends to be bass-driven as well, often using heavy distortion to make Peter's bass sound like a second guitar.
  • Limited Lyrics Song: "Can't Lose You" and "Burnt Flowers Fallen", with both lasting slightly more than 6 minutes.
  • List Song: "How Could She?" from Life is Killing Me is a list of Steele's favorite female TV characters.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: A Type 2: Type O Negative was Peter Steele, Kenny Hickey, Josh Silver and Johnny Kelly from 1993 to 2010, after original drummer Sal Abruscato left.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "We Hate Everyone," "Dead Again," and many others.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: "World Coming Down" alludes to this with the line "But the mirror shows me, an ingrate".
  • Mood Whiplash: Sometimes within a song, but sometimes over the course of an album, and usually deliberate. A popular trope of theirs is to have a track cut off before it was finished to deliberately create this effect when it moves onto the next song. For example, the first "Kill You Tonight", an otherwise horrifying song about the singer being consumed by his own hatred and rage, ends with Peter telling the audience to be upfront if they want to throw stuff at him and his band.
  • Murder Ballad:
    • "Prelude to Agony" is about a man who takes advantage of a young woman's naivety to brutally kill her, taking delight in the woman's pained screams and masturbating to her death.
    • Both "Kill You Tonight" and its sequel, "Kill You Tonight (reprise)" are about the singer discovering that his ex-girlfriend had gotten together with another man, and is so overcome with hatred and rage that he stalks her intending to kill her with a pickaxe. He states he plans to kill her new boyfriend as well because he's "an equal opportunity destroyer". Both songs were made part of another song, "Xero Tolerance".
  • New Sound Album: Bloody Kisses, which was where they found their signature gothic/doom sound while for the most part moving away from the Carnivore-styled thrash of Slow, Deep and Hard. "Dead Again" is a mix of all the group's styles, as it returns to the thrash-punk of Slow Deep And Hard whilst using a lot of progginess of Bloody Kisses and the melodicism of "October Rust" and some of the guitar tone from "World Coming Down". It also has the longest song in their discography in the over 14-minute long "These Three Things".
  • No Ending:
    • Many of their songs end with a sudden digital cut-off, rather than a proper ending. This makes sense when one considers they were influenced by The Beatles. Furthermore, their "Day Tripper" Beatles medley ends with the riff from "I Want You (She's So Heavy)," and the band can't resist abruptly cutting the recording off the same way the original does.
    • The Concept Album ''The Origin of the Feces" gives no indication of how the hostile audience responded to the band finishing their set. "Kill You Tonight (Reprise)" ends instead with a piano chord (similar to the end of The Beatles' "A Day in the Life") and chirping crickets.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Pops up often in their songs, most prominently in "Bloody Kisses" and "Haunted".
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Suspended In Dusk.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Wolf Moon.
  • Perverse Sexual Lust: "How Could She?" humorously discusses this.
  • Polyamory: "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend", presented with a heavy dose of Girl on Girl Is Hot. Especially the video, where Peter spends most of his time either being fawned over by two beautiful women, or watching them fawn over each other. He obviously hated this, and said so on the ''After Dark'' DVD commentary.
  • Postmodernism: Tracks like "Bad Ground" and "Skip It" have no other purpose than to be "meta."
  • Pun-Based Title: The Origin of the Feces, "We Were Electrocute" and "The Profits of Doom".
  • Rated G for Gangsta: The Bloody Kisses album shamelessly mocks this phenomenon by way of Mood Whiplash, October Rust is a seemingly straighter example, and World Coming Down an inversion. When they apparently tried this genuinely with Life is Killing Me... another Creator Breakdown happened and they made the dark, aggressive Dead Again.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Peter's lyrics/themes introduced to the band definitely count. Fans familiar with his earlier stint with Carnivore weren't surprised and knew his remarks were tongue-in-cheek, since that band openly wrote songs with titles like "Jesus Hitler," "Male Supremacy," and "Race War," while people who only knew Type O Negative thought the band was sexist/fascist in nature due to the aforementioned offensive lyrics and themes. As a result, the band wrote "Kill All the White People" and "We Hate Everyone" to dispute these claims.
  • Self-Deprecation: Their favorite source of amusement.
  • Sensual Slavs: Peter was allegedly 1/4 Polish, 1/4 Russian and 100% sex appeal.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: They have songs all over this, from "Christian Woman" at the extreme silly end to "White Slavery" at the far extreme of the serious end.
  • Song Style Shift: Many songs have multiple distinctive sections, to the point where the band's wiki has a list of them.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Peter Steele's smooth, resonant bass contrasts quite well with guitarist Kenny Hickey's more aggressive style of singing. On the other hand, Steele himself comes strikingly close to filling both roles on certain tracks — see "Nettie," in which he sings the chorus melody in three different octaves over the course of the song.
  • Spoken Word in Music: A couple of examples, the most notable probably being the opening of "Christian Woman" and untitled intros and outros of October Rust.
    • Also tends to show up in the middle of a song and act as a vital part of it, like in "Haunted" or "Blood and Fire."
  • Stage Names: Peter Steele's real name was Petrus Thomas Ratajczyk, although he was known as Peter well before he had a career in music.
  • Stealth Parody: The band's Signature Song, "Black No. 1," is an indictment of the entire Goth subculture. Which, of course, didn't stop goth kids everywhere from adopting it as their anthem.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Kenny Hickey has a co-lead vocal on at least one song per album, with the exceptions of Slow, Deep, and Hard and October Rust. He and Peter are pretty much a Vocal Tag Team on Dead Again.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Peter stood at 6'8", and was quite a handsome Hunk whose vampiric looks led to people portraying him as the ideal Goth boyfriend... despite him mocking the entire Goth subculture with "Black No. 1". A stint as a playboy model ironically turned him into a guy magnet, which annoyed him so much that he eventually wrote "I Like Goils" in response.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Peter was known for sarcastic, self deprecating humor as well.
  • Title-Only Chorus: The chorus of "Black No. 1" consists of the band singing its title repeatedly.
  • Tortured Monster: The narrator of "Suspended In Dusk" is a bitter, jaded Vampire who had grown weary of his own undead immortality, unable to do things like enjoy the sunlight or take comfort in a lover. He also hates how his Vampiric nature compels him to kill people and drink their blood in order to survive. A sympathetic bystander, likely a priest, takes pity and begs God to forgive the narrator, "for he knows not what to do".
  • Troll: The band were known for doing this very frequently, and not just by having deliberately offensive lyrics. "Skip It", for example, was intended to make the listener think their CD player was broken, just before Kenny Hickey loudly shouts "SUCKER!"
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: Peter gives Till Lindemann a rrrrrun for his money in that department.
  • Updated Re-release: The group put a digipak version out of Bloody Kisses which was intentionally worse than the original.It removed the tracks "Kill All The White People", "We Hate Everyone" due to people taking the lyrics too literally, as well as the interludes, changed to an almost completely different track order (closing with the single Black No 1), and changed the cover to make it look like a bootleg. The only plus was that it added the previously omitted track "Suspended In Dusk", although this also appeared on the "Christian Woman" single.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Peter mostly sings normally, and in the Spoken Word in Music bits, shows an obvious Brooklyn accent, but in some songs ("Todd's Ship Gods (Above All Things),") especially when performing in the ridiculously deep voice, it sounds like he's singing in an accent stuck between "Noo Yawker" and "Vaguely Uberwaldian."