Type O Negative is not only a universal blood type, but they are a Goth-rock band that formed in New York with a focus of sexual, vampiric ecstasy. The band is a walking display of Halloween, the dark themes and overall sound is off-putting at times, but engages the listener and attempts to move closer to the heartstrings. It is simply beautiful in moments of Bloody Kisses, the third installment from Type O Negative that would touch into genres of something that feels like the Cure with a bite.
Led by Peter Steele, both lead vocalist, bassist, and playgirl model, Josh Silver on the keyboards and backing vocals. Sal Abruscato handles the percussion and does an excellent job with the spacious style, while Kenny Hickey directs the guitars and backing vocals. The band would tap into the funeral style and the scenery of a Hammer Film. It was these movements that made the first musical track, “Christian Woman” an anthem that reigns eight-minutes in length.
“She Needs… Corpus Christi” Steele explains, behind the growls and choir heavy influenced backing vocalization. Type O Negative manages to be painted black, but has a beautiful sense of direction behind them that glimmers with higher pinned keys and synths. With the sudden acoustic guitar that cuts halfway through, “Christian Woman” becomes graceful with a slight interlude before leaping back at the throat of the listener. Steele moves to explain, “Jesus Christ looks like me” before having a revving guitar from Hickey form with a church organ that cascades throughout the mix. Type O Negative keeps an interesting perspective on the outlook of their music and appearance of the band. With a 6’7” Steele guiding the band through the satirical lyrics and the band containing a 90’s Goth overcoat, Type O Negative was able to back their stage presence with a full sound.
Displayed through “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare –All)” Type O Negative contains this vibrancy that becomes a conductor behind the crowd. While immensely stylish, the band is actually approachable and radio-friendly with “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare –All)”. It is not until the halfway mark where Steele explains “Loving you is like loving the dead” as Type O Negative suddenly becomes a symphony of sound that overpowers and becomes driving. It is short lived as the mood changes again and becomes less of a drive and more of a laid back grind of a guitar and keyboard solo. The harpsichord sound that suddenly erupts takes the band through a nose dive, keeping the action of the track feeling more alive than ever with different stages to a final end of percussion and atmospheric sound to fade the band into much shorter cuts than previously shown.
With the rugged jump, “Kill All The White People” is aggressive and becomes a feedback ridden piece of anthem punching. The death growls and samples of “Kill them all” that crashes through the music with thunderous crashes strikes a different sense of fear than previously displayed. Focusing more on the horrors of war, Type O Negative clashes into a hardcore-esque percussive beats and attacks that finishes with a barrage of sampling until “By any means necessary” floods the frame.
Other tracks like “Dark Side Of The Womb,” “Machine Screw,” and “3.O.I.F.” are strictly atmospheric and feature no instruments or singing. They are breaks in the action that actually become disturbed and act more as separate entities within Bloody Kisses.The album that stretches well over an hour comes to a final close with “Can’t Lose You”.
A final touch from the black beauty that is Type O Negative, “Can’t Lose You” is a final beg and plead that taps into the strange instrumentation and style that the band had. Bloody Kissesis an example of experimentation that works and still has that fine balance of being able to move between atmospheric and glorious, the strange with the desirable. It is a gothic dream that launches well and showed success in the final stages, just as the album began.