Groundbreakers: Type O Negative – Bloody Kisses

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The entire purpose of the Groundbreakers series is to honor and revere those albums and bands that have shaped the course of heavy metal history. Type O Negative are one such band, though as my pal 365 Days of Horror pointed out in his Think Tank, tracing their heritage is a tricky process. There are no bands that play in a style that is completely derivative of Type O. As Ron Deuce put it, “Type O is one of those bands that is in a category all their own. Some band from the future will tap into it and capture the vibe. That’s the only thing I can think of.” Despite their uniqueness, Type O Negative have a tangible impact on the genre. Allow me to explain how.

Type O Negative are a distinct product of the Brooklyn environment in which they were born. The early albums would be heavily influenced by the raw, bleak humor of frontman and visionary Peter Steele’s previous crossover thrash band Carnivore. After Carnivore ended, Steele recruited childhood friends Sal Abruscato, Josh Silver, and Kenny Hickey to play alongside him in a new band that would be reflective of his work in Carnivore and the native, Gothic Grandeur of New York, but in a wildly different style. The end result was Slow Deep and Hard, a torturous, although somewhat comical, exercise in lavish doom with a distinctly New York sense of style and humor. The band certainly began to hit their signature sound with this debut, but it wasn’t until the band’s second proper full-length (Origin of the Feces is technically a live album) that Steele would fully incorporate his punk influences and bring the band’s sound to its perfect form.

Bloody Kisses is a unique album. Introduction and interlude tracks not withstanding, the songs themselves vary wildly from retro-psychedelia to hardcore punk to romantic ballads to somber doom. Typically speaking, metal bands that attempt to incorporate such diverse sounds fall flat because they are never able to establish their own sonic identities. This was not the case with Type O Negative. Though the songs on Bloody Kisses range drastically from short to long, fast to slow, somber to jovial, they are all bound together through two signature elements: Peter Steele’s domineering voice and tongue-in-cheek humor. Whether discussing the band’s incendiary political leanings in a satirical, punky polemic (“We Hate Everyone”, “Kill All the White People”) to expounding on the trials and tribulations of dating a mall goth unable to leave her house because her non-black hair roots are showing (“Black No. 1”), Steele’s deep, sonorous voice injects every line with equal parts emotion and humor.

No other album in the band’s discography would achieve the perfect balance of elements found on Bloody KissesOctober Rust would lean too far into the melodic romanticism, forsaking some of the harder punk edge and heaviness in the process. World Coming Down, driven by Steele’s deep (and understandable) feelings of loss and remorse, would veer back toward the dirge-like vibe of Slow Deep and Hard but without the tongue-and-cheek self-awareness that made songs like “Bloody Kisses (A Death in the Family)” on Bloody Kisses both sad and infectious. Life Is Killing Me would recapture some of the humor but lacked the energy of previous efforts. Only Dead Again really comes close to Bloody Kisses, but even it lacks some of the alluring romance and mystery of today’s Groundbreakers entry.

Put simply, Type O Negative created a perfect album with Bloody Kisses, and every other album in the band’s discography acts as a bit of an exploration into one of the many elements contained on their second release. Perhaps it is this unique blend of heaviness with catchiness, dour affection with comedic spite, and roughness with polish that is the reason no other band has been able to mimic the unique sound of Type O Negative. Yes, there are some acts that have capitalized on one or two of these elements. Woods of Ypres were able to embellish some of the Gothic thoughtfulness found in the Type O sound. Rammstein frequently employs the same type of glib personality Peter Steele delivered so well. Even the heavy low-end rumblings so characteristic of Steele’s bass-playing can be found in modern doom bands like Pallbearer. However, no one one else has been able to conjure the same perfect alchemy that forged Bloody Kisses.

Therein lies the reason this album should always be considered a Groundbreaker. It was so wholly unique that its constituent parts have each inspired any number of modern artists without ever being replicated. I imagine that bands will continue to find inspiration from Type O Negative, mining out some new element to replicate and incorporate into a new offshoot. Perhaps the wealth of creativity and genius on this album will never run dry. Just look at the band’s fan base. If fans of black metal, death metal, doom, punk, goth metal, and thrash metal can all agree that Type O Negative rules, it seems obvious Bloody Kisses will continue to loom large and inspire future metalheads.

For creating the perfect blend of diverse components, each of which inspired later acts for entirely different reasons, I am proud to induct Type O Negative’s Bloody Kisses into the Toilet of Hell Groundbreakers Hall of Fame.


Groundbreakers is the Toilet ov Hell’s Hall ov Fame where we induct some of the most important and influential metal albums of all time. Catch up on previous entries into this hallowed bowl.

Neurosis – Souls at Zero
Death – Symbolic
Fear Factory Demanufacture
Voivod – Killing Technology
Today is the DayTemple of the Morning Star
Avenged Sevenfold – City of Evil
The Moody Blues – Days of Future Passed
Acid BathWhen the Kite String Pops
Ministry – The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste
Vulcano – Bloody Vengeance
Sleep Holy Mountain
Kreator – Pleasure to Kill
Kayo Dot – Choirs of the eye
Thin Lizzy – Thunder and Lightning

  • I have a Bloody Kisses shirt. People (especially women) always compliment it, but I’m pretty sure they just like the 2 ladies and not the band.

    • Women compliment your shirt that has two ladies kissing each other on it? Are you sure they do not like the band?? haha

    • KJM, Shake Zula

      I’ve never seen more hot women in one place than at a Type O Negative show, so don’t be so sure.

      • I saw them in Providence. I’m sure.

        • KJM, Shake Zula

          2 times in Boston(Avalon) and 2 times at The Palladium.

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    For the better part of the 2000s my online handle was BlakNo1. Too bad there are no haloscan archives available through Google. I’d love to read all that again.

    • RepostedAvengedSevenfoldFan2

      I use this as background music while surfing Ebay for goth clothes. Just thought I’d let you all know.

      – KreeZafi, 2 weeks ago

  • Mvthvr Shvbvbv 8

    I think the Think Tank topic of why there have yet to be imitators also has something to do with Peter’s unique voice/charisma. Even when he doesn’t sing with Type O, there’s no mistaking that man’s voice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VXpZ8QHc-E

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    I enjoy this album more than all the others. They did a great cover of Summer Breeze which was the most radical departure from its source material I’ve ever heard. I regret being unable to see them ever.

    • ME GORAK B.C.™

      GORAK SEE ONCE!!!!! NOT ENOUGH THOUGH!!!!!

      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        You could see them 20 times and it wouldn’t be enough.

  • Based Pingu

    I’ve been told countless times to check these guys out. I have tried, but just can’t get into them.

    • you and me both. we are like brothers. from different… mothas.

      • Based Pingu

        Spoiler alert: I’m actually your dad.

        • Dave? Is that you, Grohl-meister?

          • Guacamole Jim

            Did somebody call me?

          • Buffalorider!

          • Based Pingu

            No one called you. GET BACK IN YOUR HOLE!

          • A whole avocado contains 200-300 calories and is a good source of vitamin A, C, E and the B vitamins, as well as fiber and potassium.
            #GuacFacts

        • Mvthvr Shvbvbv 8

          Spoiler part two: your aunt has balls. She’s actually your uncle.

          • Based Pingu

            Technically correct since I only have three uncles. Dunno which one of them likes crossdressing.

          • Mvthvr Shvbvbv 8

            This one:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXIWRan3XGY

            Look at that, a perfect segue to keep on topic.

          • Max

            The last band I was in covered that song. It’s a good song, but our version sucked, basically.

        • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

          That would mean that Timo Tolki is his grandfather.

    • ME GORAK B.C.™

      TUXEDO BIRD SHOULD CHECK THEM OUT!!!!!! CARNIVORE TOO!!!!!!

      • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAAAAAA

      • President Chester A. Arthur

        I saw Carnivore on the reunion tour in 1995. Good lord that was fucking great.

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          You seem like a cool president.

      • Tuxedo Bird should definitely check out “Jack Daniels & Pizza” by Carnivore.

        • ME GORAK B.C.™

          NO GIF PLZ!!!!!

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          That’s a really metal song. Fucking brutal.

        • Based Pingu

          Is it supposed to be funny?

          • I don’t know man. It just… IS.

          • JamesGrimm

            IF you don’t get, you wont get it. Its not something to intellectualize over. Kids these days.

      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        Carnivore is one of my favorite thrash bands. How the hell did they not become the next big thing? At least Type O became relatively big.

      • Based Pingu

        TUXEDO BIRD NO LIKEY!!!!!!!!

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          You are wrong.

          • Based Pingu

            Minä olen oikeassa

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I don’t speak Finnish. This is America damnit!

          • Based Pingu

            I don’t believe in America. There is only Finland.

          • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

            Which in reality is Sweden.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I like Sweden. All the good melodeath is from there.

          • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

            Pingu worships Sweden. Literally.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Who doesnt? All the best things come from there.

          • OldMetalHead

            I like it too, but what about NeO’?

          • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

            He said “eeny meanie chili beanie, the spirits are about to speak”.

            http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_wcPjj8AKZU/Tz_DtatcbNI/AAAAAAAAf6k/qh0FcrKVywg/s1600/Rocky+&+Bullwinkle.jpg

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I love Rocky and Bullwinkle! The movie was awesome as were the cartoons.

        • ME GORAK B.C.™

          GORAK LIKED LOTS MORE AFTER SEE LIVE!!!!!!

    • Honestly, I find the music to be near lolbuttz-level.

      • I find it hard to believe I am off so much with so many people here. Everyone collectively “mehs” the new Nile and then everyone collectively “horrays” these guys. I just don’t understand it.

      • Based Pingu

        You and me both, sis.

        • I’m internet high-fiving your little oily flapper thing so f’ing hard right now.

        • you both have at least one Corgi
          #sisterfacts

          • Based Pingu

            I have two, so I’m the leader!

      • RJA

        there are some lolbuttz moments to be sure –
        I think I was 13-14 when this came out so the shtick/persona was intriguing to me at the time, but yea it wore off over time. I can still jam though.

        • I was only 3 when this came out, so that is probably why it sounds like this to me.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Christ, I feel fucking old… *Get off my lawn!*

    • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom
  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    Never really got into these guys.

    • Hit or miss for me. The drum machine does not help.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Fucking drum machines ruin so much shit.

        • It doesn’t even make sense for them to use one. They have a drummer. It’s fucking baffling to me, plus it’s not complex drumming at all.

      • Vote for Jeb

        I thought you said you like Bloody Kisses last week?

        • That was Dead Again.

          • Vote for Jeb

            Ah, gotcha.

          • The only album they used real drums I think. But, that album in general just kicks ass.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Shit, doc, I don’t know what’s up or down half the damn time.

          • Vote for Jeb

            There are too many of you people to keep track of.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            What do you mean by “you people”?

          • Vote for Jeb

            “you metal blog reading people”

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            What do you mean by “metal”?

          • Vote for Jeb

            cesium, mostly.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Now we’re cunting getting somewhere.

        • Óðinn

          He meant actual bloody kisses.

    • Same, I feel left out sometimes since most of my metal friends seem to really love at least one of their albums

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Same here. But then I just put on (fill in the blank band) and don’t give a fuck.

      • Well, when I’m at bars it’s usually one of the more safe metal things to play on the Juke box. That’s about the only time I’ll play them.

        • If the Jukebox uses one of the phone apps, i just sit and queue up bolt thrower tracks from my phone

          • I have a dumb phone bro.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            I always put on Dissection. And they always turn it out down. Cunts.

          • Fuckers. I just stop going to bars like that anymore. College towns suck when it comes to music at bars.

            EDIT: Music in general.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Going anywhere with humans can be a laborious affair.

          • Home is where the hatred is.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Domicile of Doom.

          • Dagon
          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            Obligatory Gil-Scott SuperHero(n) like.

          • yet they’ll always be content with a nickelback song. time to end it all.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            You’re catching on dude.

          • 3leggedDog

            Bars turn down pnatera metallica and lamb of god. I know I’m a bad metalhead but ya. Costa Rica has tons of metal bars. They talk about slayer maiden and sepultura. You’d be a hit if you wore a.dahlia or cattle decap shirt.

  • President Chester A. Arthur

    Their live album is simultaneously one of the funniest and scariest things I have ever heard.

    • Dude, killer name!

      GL

    • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

      I remember watching him coked out of his mind on a death metal documentary years back. That was, well, bizzare to say the least, and I could make out maybe 1% of what he was mumbling.

      • sweetooth0

        Was it the one Bill Zebub did? That was some funny shit. Odd that he was even on it. I guess it had more to do with Carnivore but I wouldn’t say they were anywhere near death metal.

        • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

          I think that was the one. It was simply called Death Metal: A Documentary. Very low budget.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            That sounds like Bill Zebub.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJDZ6C2M_EU

          • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

            Yep, that’s the one!

          • Fester B. Gone

            Yup that’s Bill Zebub he’s the king of low budget=no budget

          • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

            That Peter Steele interview was odd as fuck. He seemed more or less sober when I met him. Still looked pale and sick as hell though.

          • Fester B. Gone

            He was on again off again for years with his drug habit because of his bi-polar tendencies which would ultimately lead to the heart issues that killed him.

          • Iron Spagheti’O Nose Hair Doom

            And it seems that his meds wouldn’t work anymore because they tend to build a tolerance over time.

          • Fester B. Gone

            it was quite sad he looked very healthy in his very last interview for another indie low budget documentary i seen, however he died a few months later.

    • I saw them live on the Bloody Kisses tour. It was one of the funniest and scariest things I ever heard 😛

  • Dagon

    I like Type O. They’ll always have a new meaning for me since our friend passed. Funny thing is, I don’t even remember him talking about them that much.

    This was a good read, and you made a great case to include Bloody Kisses alongside When The Kite String Pops and maybe Choirs Of The Eye as the groundbreaking albums that were highly influential yet never imitated.

  • I didn’t think about it during the discussion of the dearth of Type O imitators but the Twitching Tongues dudes take a lot of inspiration from Type O and they’re trying the whole singing thing… It’s just embarrassing and awful.

    • Dagon

      They appeared on my spotify recommendations way back this year when I was jamming Tierra y Libertad on the regular. I didn’t care for them at all.

      • Vote for Jeb

        I keep getting emails about them. To the recycle bin!

        • Dagon

          I was a bit hyped cause they’re listed in Metallum as a “doom/stoner/rock/hardcore” band and I thought it could be interesting… but the sound was disappointing.

        • Did you get the promo for the new album? Everything I’ve heard so far from it is lolbuttz/10

          • Vote for Jeb

            Nope. I’m not on the MB promo list.

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        Heard some of the new, the old ones are supposed to be a little different and a lot better. But I ain’t gonna spend one more second with that band.

    • I know I checked these guys out once because a hype train was going on about them. Total snooze fest.

  • This album is unique for its commercial success. The ladies in particular really liked it. Must’ve had something to do with swole Peter Steele and his Dracula voice seducing them.

    • Vote for Jeb

      Maybe that’s why I love it so much. It’s a very sensual record.

      • Dagon

        You are indeed a sensual man, Bush. Your whole family, I’d say.

      • I like to be sensual.

  • xengineofdeathx

    For every Type O song I like, there is one that seems to drag on for too long and wear out its welcome. But I still enjoy this band immensely when I’m in the mood. Their whole discography has been in heavy rotation for me this month.

    • Dagon

      I think they’re definitely mood specific music.

    • Vote for Jeb

      I feel that way with October Rust and Life Is Killing Me. Still like them, though.

      • xengineofdeathx

        Life is killing me has been a tough one for me, October rust seems kind of inconsistent moodwise. Cuz you have Red Water, and then fuckin Cinnamon Girl. Flawed but very enjoyable still.

  • xengineofdeathx

    Another thing, I can’t even imagine the dick that has been slung because of “Be My Druidess”

    • Vote for Jeb

      This is probably the best comment this thread will receive.

      • xengineofdeathx

        Thanks brosickle!

  • Guppusmaximus

    What some people loved about Type O Negative others hated about Crash Test Dummies.

    • I’m not entirely sure I fully understand this comment but I lolled regardless.

      • Guppusmaximus

        IMHO, it was Steele’s voice that could be construed as groundbreaking not necessarily the music. Same with CTD…again imho.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          That vampire voice was always silly.

          • Guppusmaximus

            With the exception of a few hits, I wasn’t a fan of Type O. There wasn’t a lot to hold my attention.

        • Gotcha. Aside from that, a thing that’s always stuck with me about Type O is how weird and thin the guitar sounds.

          • Guppusmaximus

            The 90s alternative scene was strong in terms of production.

            edit: wasn’t

        • Vote for Jeb

          I think Type O’s appeal has always been Steele.

      • Mvthvr Shvbvbv 8

        Neither do I, so here’s this:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42IL0O6pPqQ

  • CT-12

    Though “Bloody Kisses” is the album that always gets the most hype, this article at least gives the best explanation as to why it should be so revered. Kudos Dubz, I’m always down to read anything about Type O, even if it’s just opinion.

    • Óðinn

      I have to admit that I find everything about Peter Steele to be lolbuttz. I could never take him seriously. He just seemed like such a clown.

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        He would agree with you 100% and applaud your view of him. I have several close friends who’ve met him and all say he was the funniest person they ever met and most of the time, he was the butt of his own jokes. I regret not having the chance to meet Peter. He died on my 43rd birthday. I miss him.

      • Fester B. Gone

        That was the point.

        • Óðinn

          Okay, great.

          What about Stephen Harper? Actual Canadian douchebag, or brilliant performance artist? 😉

          • Fester B. Gone

            He does look like a Lego Man.

  • more beer

    Having seen both Carnivore and Type O numerous times. I always have and always will prefer Carnivore.

    • KJM, Shake Zula

      OT: Today’s new(to me) strain is Blue Widow. He’s also got something called Silver Jack that I have to get next time.

      • more beer

        The Blue Widow is very good I`ve had that strain a few times. Silver Jack is probably something like Super Silver Haze x Jack Herer. Just a guess but that would make sense.

        • KJM, Shake Zula

          He also had Fire Haze and Black Diesel. He likes to have a good variety.

          • more beer

            I have to go get more tomorrow when my paycheck comes. I like to have several strains around at all times. I had some killer OG Kush and a couple of other things while I was in California. All 3 were very good.

    • KJM, Shake Zula

      As far that goes, I don’t tend to go into music looking for something I can “relate” to. I just like good hard rock with killer riffs.
      However, I can relate to every fucking syllable of ‘World Coming Down’. Peter understood real, genuine DEPRESSION. He knew it wasn’t soft silly “oh I’m so sad!!” bullshit, but a near literal monster whose purpose is to destroy your will to live.

      • more beer

        We`ve had this discussion before. I just prefer Carnivore. In truth I think the demo they put out before Slow Deep and Hard was the best thing Type O ever released.

        • KJM, Shake Zula

          It’s easy for me to blabber on about ‘World Coming Down’. It’s an all-time fave of mine.

  • Waynecro

    Great write-up, W. I like Steele’s sense of humor, but I just can’t get into Type O. Apparently, the only Gothic thing I like is architecture.

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Nicely written. RIP green man.

  • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

    Good post. Type O Negative is one of my all-time favorite bands, and Peter Steele is sorely missed.
    “Jesus Christ looks like me…”