Think Tank: Where Are All The Bands Influenced By Type O Negative?


Unsuccessfully coping with the natural beauty of fading away.

In recent years, Type O Negative seem to have become the de facto autumn/fall band for the metal world. Their gothic sound and themes of sadness and death fit in well with the graying skies, dying leaves, and general sense of “ah, fuck everything.” It’s October? Time to listen to October Rust. It’s getting chilly out? Time to listen to Type O Neg and get bummed. Hungry for Cinnamon buns? Listen to their cover of “Cinnamon Girl”.

While I hesitate to say that Type O Negative are universally loved, they are very respected and well-liked by large swaths of the metal community. You always know when you’re listening to a Type O Negative song which is not something you can say for many metal bands. That can be attributed to many aspects of the band, whether it be Peter Steele’s unique and powerful voice, the creepy tone-setting keys of Josh Silver, the band’s ability to be slow and heavy and fast and vicious in the same song, or their undeniable sense of humor.

So how can a band so creative and beloved not have a legion of bands following in their footsteps? We hear all the time about newer bands being “Sabbath worship” or “Iron Maiden worship”. Even more contemporary and modern acts like Killswitch Engage clearly have younger bands aping their style and following their lead.

So where are the Type O Negative worship bands? It’s not like ToN were one-and-done for albums. They have an extensive discography, toured the world, and appeared on MTV when that still mattered. Same with appearing on the Howard Stern show and Jerry Springer. They created a theme song for the WWE wrestler Kane and have live report write-ups in Rolling Stone. I mean, they had an entire special on Headbanger’s Ball back in 1996. People all over the world know these “Four dicks from Brooklyn”.

A google search of “Bands that sound like Type O Negative” doesn’t yield a lot of good results. My Dying Bride? Danzig? Moonspell? Dark, brooding, and depressing bummer music to be sure, but do they really sound like Type O Negative? No, they don’t. We know they don’t, but it seems to be very difficult for people to peg down other bands that truly sound like Type O Negative.

The question that must be asked then is “Why are there no bands out there that sound like Type O Negative.” Is Peter Steele impossible to channel? Were they too funny? Was Type O Negative too unique? Is there nowhere else to go with that sound? Is the music just for cynical adults and that’s why young bands aren’t influenced by them? I’m not sure if there is a correct answer to that question.

While I wouldn’t want to see a new band come along and just copy everything that made Type O Negative great, I do feel that there has been a gap in the music world since Peter Steele’s passing 5 years ago. A band such as this shouldn’t just fade away. Will we ever see a return to that sound? Do we need a few more years before they’re considered “retro” and therefore deemed worthy to emulate? Are there bands out there already doing this, just waiting for the black lipstick and pale skin crowd to notice? Let me know.

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