June 2020 Feature Release - The Fallen Edition
It's now June which of course means that we'll be nominating a brand new monthly feature release for each clan. This essentially means that we're asking you to rate, review & discuss our chosen features for no other reason than because we enjoy the process & banter. We're really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on our chosen releases so don't be shy.
This month's feature release for The Fallen is 1996's classic fourth album "October Rust" from Brooklyn-based gothic metal outfit Type O Negative. It' saw the band taking a more commercially accessible direction than they had previously however it's a real favourite of mine so I'm keen to hear the various different opinions on it.
I did my review already, here's a summary:
Type O Negative was a band known for creating some of the most romantic dramatic gothic metal you would ever hear, first getting some impact in Bloody Kisses then later gaining lots of praise in this album, the impeccable October Rust, which is a major improvement in terms of direction, music, and a few Easter eggs. This album can relieve stress with a more gothic rock atmosphere and keyboards while the doom metal elements grow. Despite the suspicious drum machine, I still enjoy the drumming and don't care if its programmed. Josh Silver did a good job implementing pretty keyboards layers and samples, while Peter Steele and Kenny Hickey added choral distortion effect to their bass and guitars, making them more powerful. Peter also sings with more melody. Oh how I'm gonna miss his deep vocals... Many of the songs range from mainly catchy gothic singles to a few long doom monsters, plus a few pointless interludes. Fortunately, this album's perfect 5-star rating is never deducted. It's all about the unique creativity of the band and the album. The majority of October Rust is more gothic metal than doom metal, unlike the band's earlier albums, and has a greater diverse balance of darkness and humor. Type O Negative had never disappointed their fans. Enjoy this gothic metal masterpiece, and until next time, take it easy!
RIP Peter Steele
Here's my abridged review of October Rust:
A fantastic doom/gothic metal record that is a benchmark of atmosphere, dynamics and emotive force. This would be an easy 9/10 for me if it wasn't for the terrible production, cutting each song short. As I mention in my review proper, I doubt that they were pressured by time restraints, so this is either terrible recording, or a joke, something the band is familiar with, and not a funny joke at that.
Still, I can look over all of that because the music, environment/atmosphere and the themes are so well put together on the music that we do get. Twenty-five years have passed and there is very little rust on these parts!
I've never been too much of a Gothic Metal fan, with most of it either trying way too hard to be serious or being generally uninteresting to me. That being said I really enjoyed October Rust; it shows that I have some holes in my knowledge of the genre and it's more or less what I'm looking for when the Gothic Metal tag shows up. It's a genuinely emotional record that does a great job of selling its somber atmosphere while only being a little bit silly here and there, which is offset slightly by the fact that the band is in on the joke to begin with. The singer has a fantastic voice for this style and really sells the style they're going for and the guitar is surprisingly percussive with how the tone sounds and how the riffs are set up.
I've been enjoying this album even more the second time around, so I'll have to invest some more time to see if I can throw up an actual review at a later date. I do agree with Saxy's observation that each song appears to be cut short, which is a shame. i think the abrupt transitions work occasionally, like between "Green Man" and "Red Water (Christmas Mourning)", but I would have liked to hear many of these songs reach their logical conclusions rather than just end where they do. Incredible record that is extremely accessible and has become the cornerstone for the Gothic Metal sub-genre for me.
OK, I suppose I'd better show how out of touch I am with the general consensus, but I find this album excruciating. It's attempt at the whole laconic libertine act just makes me want to cringe and epitomizes everything I dislike about gothic metal, a genre I've always considered to be merely a gateway into the metal world that people grow out of when they've heard some real metal (or maybe if they're trying to impress a girl/boy who doesn't even like metal). Sorry, I don't mean to offend anyone, but I just feel embarrassed listening to this and find it very difficult to hide my contempt for it!
I must disagree Xephyr, I only very rarely find that gothic metal sounds sincere (and this ain't it). I do agree about the Idle Hands album, though - I just found it boring. However, I've just looked back at my RYM list for last year and I gave it 3/5. Wow, I must have really been in a good mood that day! It was still only #376 on my year list, though.