Typeonegative1 3549
Type O Negative
Band Info
Genre(s)Doom metal, gothic metal, Heavy Metal
Label(s)Roadrunnner Records, SPV Records
Associated ActsA Pale Horse Named Death, Danzig, Black Label Society, Life of Agony, Carnivore, Fallout, Seventh Void

Type O Negative was an American gothic metal band formed in Brooklyn, New York City in 1989,[1] by Peter Steele (lead vocals, bass), Kenny Hickey (guitar, backing vocals), Josh Silver (keyboards, backing vocals), and Sal Abruscato (drums, percussions), who was later replaced by Johnny Kelly. Their lyrical emphasis on themes of romance, depression, and death resulted in the nickname "The Drab Four"[2] (in homage to The Beatles' "Fab Four" moniker).[3] The band went Platinum with 1993's Bloody Kisses, and Gold with 1996's October Rust, and gained a fanbase through seven studio albums,[4] two best-of compilations, and concert DVDs.

On April 14, 2010, lead vocalist, bassist, and principal songwriter Peter Steele died, reportedly from heart failure[5][6] brought on by an aortic aneurysm. Members Kenny Hickey and Johnny Kelly stated in a November 2010 interview with French music magazine Rock Hard that the band would not continue.


Origins (1980s–1991)Edit

Former Carnivore frontman Steele,[7] along with childhood friends Sal Abruscato (later replaced by Johnny Kelly after Abruscato joined Life of Agony), Josh Silver and Kenny Hickey, formed Type O Negative and signed to Roadrunner Records. Shortly after signing in 1991 the band released their debut, Slow, Deep and Hard.[8]

Slow Deep and Hard and The Origin of the Feces (1991–1992)Edit

Type O Negative's first album Slow, Deep and Hard[9] incorporated dragging dirge riffs, maniacal punk-metal outbursts, and droning industrial and gothic atmospheres. The songs were long, multi-part theatrical epics, with lyrical topics ranging from heartbreak to getting revenge on a cheating lover, and even contemplating suicide.

They began creating a new album that was supposed to be live. The subsequent 1992 album was entitled The Origin of the Feces and a warning label was put on the album cover: "Not Live At Brighton Beach".[10]The album contains faux-live recordings of songs from Slow, Deep, and Hard, as well as previously unreleased songs such as "Are You Afraid" and "Hey Pete" (a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe" with altered lyrics).

Bloody Kisses and October Rust (1993–1998)Edit

Type O Negative's third album, Bloody Kisses, was released in 1993 to critical and listener acclaim, and eventually became the first record for Roadrunner to reach certified Platinum status in the US.[11]

Bloody Kisses mostly addressed loneliness and heartbreak, with songs like "Too Late: Frozen", "Blood & Fire", and "Can't Lose You". The organ-driven "Set Me on Fire" is vintage sixties garage rock, while "Summer Breeze" covered the 1972 Seals and Crofts hit. "Christian Woman" and "Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)" became the most popular tracks, after having been edited down to radio-friendly lengths (the album versions were 9 and 11 minutes long respectively). In order to promote the album, Type O Negative embarked on a two-year world tour. During this time, the band was featured on MTV, VH1, and in Rolling Stone. In the midst of this media blitz, drummer Sal Abruscato quit the band to join another Brooklyn quartet, Life of Agony. Johnny Kelly, the band's drum technician, was therefore hired as a full-fledged member. Bloody Kisses was re-released a year after the original release in a limited-edition Digipak form, including eight of the musical tracks from the original (omitting the "filler" tracks) and the previously unreleased "Suspended in Dusk".

Type O's October Rust picked up where Bloody Kisses left off, this album continued to explore themes of sex and sensuality, explored in a humorous sense on the single "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend" and then taken much darker with "Love You To Death". This record also saw a cover of Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" as well as the fan favorite, semi-serene "Green Man". While not quite as successful as Bloody Kisses, the album was certified Gold[12] in the US, and was the first Type O Negative album to enter the top half of the Billboard Top 200, debuting at No. 42.

World Coming Down and The Least Worst of Type O Negative (1999–2001)Edit

With the completion of another successful world tour, writing for a fourth album began. In the period immediately following the release of October Rust, resulted in 1999's World Coming Down (working titles included Prophets of Doom and Aggroculture).World Coming Down debuted at No. 39 on the Billboard Top 200 charts. World Coming Down featured a much darker, bleak tone than its predecessors,[13][14][15] having been written after a series of deaths in frontman Peter Steele's family.[16]

A best of album followed in 2000, entitled The Least Worst of Type O Negative. Although most songs appear on previous albums, many are unreleased remixes or B-sides of previously released singles. Along with these songs are some unreleased numbers from the World Coming Down sessions, the band's cover of "Black Sabbath" by Black Sabbath (Peter Steele's version with different lyrics, written from the perspective of Satan), and a cleaner version of "Hey Pete" (originally released on the mock live album The Origin of the Feces).

Life Is Killing Me and Dead Again (2002–2009)Edit

Type O Negative's sixth studio album, Life Is Killing Me (originally called The Dream Is Dead after the closing song), was released in 2003.[17] For this album, the band picked up the pace of their sound from the dirgeful slowness of World Coming Down. Songs such as "Todd's Ship Gods (Above All Things)", "(We Were) Electrocute", and "I Don't Wanna Be Me" convey the band's classic elements of melody, though the song lengths were much shorter on this outing, the longest being the 7 and a half-minute "How Could She?", a list of female character names from television shows. The album includes a humorous cover of the song "Angry Inch" from the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, detailing a sex change operation gone terribly wrong.

Type O then left Roadrunner for SPV Records and released Dead Again. Dead Again debuted at No. 27 in the United States;[18] the band's highest chart debut to date. They also continued to tour through October of that year, including a performance at the Rock am Ring festival in Nürburgring, Germany.[19]

Peter Steele's death and the end of Type O Negative (2010)Edit

On April 14, 2010, frontman and bassist Peter Steele died, reportedly from heart failure.[5] The following statement concerning Steele was released April 15 on the band's official website:[20]

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Type O Negative front man, bassist, and our band mate, Peter Steele passed away last night of what appears to be heart failure. Ironically Peter had been enjoying a long period of sobriety and improved health and was imminently due to begin writing and recording new music for our follow up to "Dead Again" released in 2007.

The official cause of death has yet to be determined pending autopsy results. The funeral services will be private and memorial services will be announced at a future date. We’d like to share our thoughts and those of Peter's family below. We are truly saddened to lose our friend and appreciate the tremendous outpouring today from around the world.

Josh, Kenny and Johnny

In a November 2010 interview with Rock Hard magazine, Johnny Kelly and Kenny Hickey confirmed that following Steele's death, Type O Negative had definitely split-up.

Roadrunner Records released a box set of all the band's albums (with the exception of Dead Again) for Back to Black Friday 2011, a spinoff of Record Store Day, on November 25, 2011. Each vinyl cover has no text and The Origin of the Feces uses its original cover art. The box set also contains various bumper stickers related to the band.[21]

Influences Edit

Steele cited Black Sabbath and The Beatles as main influences on Type O Negative. Other influences are psychedelic rock bands Pink Floyd and the Doors, hard rock and metal bands like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Judas Priest and AC/DC, as well Hardcore groups like Agnostic Front and goth rock/post punk bands such as Bauhaus, Joy Division, Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance.[22]


Final line-up
Former members



  1. Peter Steele, of Heavy Metal Band Type O Negative, Dies at 48 (April 20, 2010). Retrieved on August 22, 2012.
  2. Martin, Dan (March 16, 2007). "Type O Negative: Dead Again". NME. Retrieved on August 28, 2012. “Brooklyn's Type O Negative, or 'The Drab Four' as they're probably known to their friends...” 
  3. King, Jackie Lee (April 9, 2007). Type O Negative at Metro Chicago. Retrieved on August 28, 2012. “...while referring to themselves as the Drab Four (in homage to Beatles.)”
  4. Kaufman, Gil. Peter Steele, Type O Negative Singer, Dead At 48: Singer reportedly died of heart failure, according to manager.. Retrieved on August 22, 2012. “Type O released seven studio albums, with their most recent being 2007's Dead Again.”
  5. 5.0 5.1 Peter Steele, of Heavy Metal Band Type O Negative, Dies at 48 (April 19, 2010). Retrieved on November 3, 2012.
  6. TYPE O NEGATIVE Keyboardist Confirms PETER STEELE's Death – Apr. 15, 2010 at
  7. Stingley, Mick (April 15, 2010). Type O Negative Frontman Peter Steele Dies. Retrieved on 22 April 2013. “Born in 1962, Steele played in a number of hardcore bands around his native Brooklyn before starting Carnivore,...”
  8. Stingley, Mick (April 15, 2010). Type O Negative Frontman Peter Steele Dies. Retrieved on 22 April 2013. “Their first release, 'Slow, Deep And Hard' (1991, RoadRunner) was notable for both its long dirges and thrash breaks, and dark, humorous lyrics.”
  9. Yahoo Music - Exclusive New Music and Music Videos. (2011-04-20). Retrieved on 2014-04-24.
  10. Type O Negative - The Origin of the Feces (Not Live at Brighton Beach) - Reviews - Encyclopaedia Metallum. The Metal Archives. Retrieved on 2014-04-24.
  11. Kreps, Daniel (April 15, 2010). Type O Negative Singer Peter Steele Dead at 48. Retrieved on August 27, 2012. “Type O Negative became one of the most unlikely bands to break into the mainstream in the 1990s with their third album Bloody Kisses, which became the first album released by Roadrunner Records to go platinum.”
  12. Type O Negative flows into central Iowa - Iowa State Daily: Home. Iowa State Daily (1997-02-04). Retrieved on 2014-04-24.
  13. Matt, Metal (September 22, 2015). Remembering World Coming Down: The Fall of Type O Negative.
  14. Type O Negative - World Coming Down (album review 3) - Sputnikmusic.
  15. Manny-O-War (September 30, 2015). Retrospective: Type O Negative – "World Coming Down".
  16. # TYPE O NEGATIVE # Interview with... Peter [wywiad #].
  17. Wiederhorn, Jon (April 15, 2010). Peter Steele Of Type O Negative: A Remembrance, Frontman's dark image belied his friendly, humorous personality.. Retrieved on August 22, 2012. “In 2003, Type O Negative released what turned out to be their penultimate album, Life Is Killing Me.”
  18. [[[:Template:BillboardURLbyName]] Type O Negative Billboard Chart History]. Billboard. Retrieved on 7 September 2013.
  19. Marek Lieberberg Presents: Rock-am-Ring 2008!. (December 23, 2009). Retrieved on March 18, 2010.
  20. Type O Negative' Official Computer Email Page. (April 15, 2010). Retrieved on August 17, 2011.
  21. Official Record Store Day Website. Retrieved on November 11, 2011.
  22. Interview with The Vampire: Peter Steele of Type O Negative. Retrieved on October 13, 2014.
  23. 23.0 23.1
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