It’s been a long time since I’ve taken time to go back and listen to classic albums that totally influenced me and lead me down The Path that Rocks! (As opposed to the Path of Righteousness.) But it’s something that I should do more often, and it started today when a buddy of mine over at the WMA Forums posted his now playing: Type O Negative – Bloody Kisses. I was suddenly overcome with a compulsion to go back and listen to this masterpiece of metal from when metal wasn’t even remotely cool, from a period where having long black hair and digging Iron Maiden meant sort of living in the closet–well, at least if you were a middle-school kid in the Midwest, anyway.
Despite that, however, Type O Negative managed to write one of the most compelling, irreverent and awesome records ever written. I’ve never been a huge fan of doom metal, and yet somehow this album totally has managed to stick with me through everything. Many of the bands that I really idolized from the time period are bands that I don’t listen to anymore at all (Biohazard, Agnostic Front, Sepultura, Korn [at least I’m a big enough man to admit it]) and even have a serious distaste for–yet somehow I go back and listen to Bloody Kisses and all I want to do is scream along with every note, bang my head and I have trouble not laughing my ass off thinking of the antics of these dudes. I remember watching the After Dark DVD, for example and nearly laughing until I was crying through a lot of it (it got even better with the DVD commentary, some will remember–“jackass!”–including much discussion of Peter Steele’s “Ladder Rung o’ Love“).
Bloody Kisses, and even to some extent October Rust, were classic and influential albums in my life (I also was quite fond of Origin of the Feces). For one, it made me think that low vocals were awesome, and it kind of taught me that bands can be awesome without guitar solos–something a lot of new bands could probably learn from, given this focus on the modern guitar hero, despite it being really just boring half the time now. But not only that, these guys just didn’t ever really take themselves seriously. They never got into the rockstar bullshit in the same way other bands did, and I think that shows through their diverse influences in their music, their ability to make jokes about themselves (“Do not mistake lack of talent for genius”) and the reason that this record feels so fresh all these years later.
I’m particularly fond of this record–but I’m especially fond of the second half of the record. From “We Hate Everyone” onwards is still what does the most for me. Going from the joking, impertinent nature of that song all the way to the very serious, doomy “Blood and Fire” and “Can’t Lose You,” the album had a feel that cannot be reproduced–and never has been. And that in spite of the record being 73 minutes long!Â How many bands can produce a 73 minute record these days that a person honestly wants to listen all the way through these days?
In sum, I’d say that this album, while not my favorite album ever, is definitely still deserving of the first spot in my Classics section because apparently 16 years later, I’m still not over it.