First Impressions: Type O Negative – Bloody Kisses
Although we at the Toilet ov Hell are dedicated to bring you the freshest, choicest cuts of new music each and every week, we periodically wax nostalgic about the good old days. Continuing on a tangent from our wildly successful Groundbreakers series, we bring you a new Toilet ov Hell feature for 2018 – First Impressions!
Look, we get it. You’re very cool, xxtremely tuff/badass, and 666% more metal than us here at the TovH. You’ve heard all the classic albums from every genre, most of them ages before everyone you’ve ever met, and some even before their release date. Which is quite the feat considering you were also simultaneously stealing our lunch money, beating up our Dads, and banging our Mums.
Unfortunately, not everyone is so #blessed. Some of us have gone through life completely clueless as to the importance of some albums; some have even been wilfully ignorant of entire sub-genres. Eschewing related discussions out of some kind of absurd feeling of shame or fear of having their Metal-Cred™ card revoked by Jose Mangin himself, they lurk amongst you, some within this very latrine we call home. Fucken posers, amirite?
Well, in 2018 we’re going to set this shit straight. We’re going to seek out some classic albums and give them a shot. This will serve two purposes. One is to get a bunch of people to listen to some of metal’s quintessential records for the first time. The second is to give everyone else a chance to revisit and discuss some of their favourites from years gone by. Rather than the standard metal community dick-measuring contest plagued with illusory superiority and derisive scorn, this series will give everyone a chance to compare their first impressions and stroke their nostalgia boners instead of the flaccid phallus of faux-elitism.
So today for our first edition, I’m going to visit an album from a band I’ve not given the time I believe they deserve. Having heard a few of their tracks here and there back in my formative metal years (late 90’s/early 00’s), but never being compelled to look any deeper, I asked Joe and Dubs which Type O Negative album they considered to be essential, with the intent of giving it a first listen, some 25 years after its release. Within a few seconds, a conclusion was reached; I would be delving into the band’s third record, Bloody Kisses.
Obviously it would be quite self-aggrandising and essentially futile for me to give the album a typical ‘review’ at this stage, so I’ll stick with just a straight-up running commentary ad-hoc style format. But before I embarrass myself any further, I’ve asked a couple of our writing staff who hold the album dear to cast their minds back and give us a recount of their first impressions of today’s record – Type O Negative’s groundbreaking 1993 album Bloody Kisses.
“Like many, I’m sure, my first taste of Bloody Kisses came from the video for “Black No. 1″ on Headbangers’ Ball. It was just a shade darker than anything else I’d ever heard–i.e., irresistible.”
“As darkly romantic and tastelessly acerbic as it is heavy and brooding, Bloody Kisses is the rare type of metal album unafraid to explore the expanse of human experience in its entirety. Guided by Peter Steele’s sonorous voice, itself an anomaly amid the burbling death growls and high-flung falsettos so common to metal, the record sails through a rich world of color, emotion, and weight. To this day, no band (aside from Type O themselves) has yet topped the gothic experience of Bloody Kisses.”
Alright, so whether this is your hundredth or your first time, let’s all hit play and spend some time with Bloody Kisses and then discuss below.
0:00 – Of course it starts with the typical 90’s heavy-handed attempt at insta-shock courtesy of a woman’s erotic groaning. Aside from knowing the 80’s were super dated and subsequently lame as hell, the one thing the 90’s knew for certain was that the 90’s were cool as shit, and never got things wrong.
1:09 – These vocals are starting out a little wylde.
4:28 – Finding it difficult to not picture Alice Cooper when Pete sneers.
6:20 – So far, this is much more heartfelt than I anticipated, unless it’s some kind of ironic stab at glam? Wait, did he just say “inside of her, deep inside of her”? I recant the heartfelt bit. These riffs are taking me to generic 80’s divebar boredom city, real quick. Maybe everyone who was influenced by this just bit the style and were responsible for making it sound so generic and toothless. Either way, it’s still tedious for me right now.
12:40 – Now he’s crooning, but kinda like Dracula would if he wanted to woo a 16 y/o goth girl waiting in line at a Danzig ‘Meat n Greet’ [sic].
13:56 – Ok that harpsicord-sounding effect is actually a nice change-up, probably hated by fans at the time(?).
21:00 -The weird bongo interlude and ‘Kill All The White People’ certainly brought some much needed vitality to proceedings, but before long we’re back to square one. Probably would have turned this off by now. Alas, I owe it to… well I guess no one.
Day 25 to 40 – Each song drags on in a way that I’m sure is pleasing to those who enjoy Steele’s dulcet throbbing voice-dong being thrust repeatedly into their head, but imagine for a moment that you’re going to do something abstract and judge this solely on the music rather than through the nebulous nostalgia cloud obscuring your objectivity gland. Go on, try. I’ll wai- nah, fuck it. He was one good-looking bastard.
40:58 – Hold on, what’s this? Track 10, the title track [‘Bloody Kisses (A Death In The Family)’] opens with some spectral-sounding organs, the guitars kick in and it feels like we’re heading into funeral doom territory?!? Even if we’re not, this is still a pleasant surprise at this point of the record. Shame it has taken the best part of an hour, but still at least it wasn’t a total loss for me. Maybe they have other albums that exhibit more of this sort of dirge-y vibe (?), because I clearly am too dumb to appreciate the humour and too un-goth to get the goth.
As it stands, I feel somewhat vindicated in my willful ignorance of this album/band as it just is not my thing. Not then, not now.
69:03 – As the album fades out with a highly incongruous sitar overdub, a feeling of relief sweeps over me. Not in a smartarse “glad it’s over” sense, but rather in that I don’t feel regret for missing out on 25 years of enjoyment that a classic album can bring to your life.
So now it’s your turn, what did you think of this album the first time you heard it? Let’s hear about it in the comments below…