Hailed by everyone from Black Sabbath's Bill Ward and Pantera's Philip Anselmo to the members of younger bands such as Code Orange and Twitching Tongues, Type O Negative remain one of heavy music's most formidable creative forces, packing big riffs, bigger hooks and a Brooklyn-bred sense of black humor into classic music that has stood the rest of time. Sadly, main man Peter Steele's death in 2010 put a permanent end to the band, but their songs, of course, live forever. With that in mind, we gave you the fans the unenviable task of picking Type O's single greatest cut — see the top five vote-getters below.
2003's Life Is Killing Me was polarizing for many fans, with its poppier songs and less dark sound, but its seventh track, "Anesthesia," has all the touchstones of Type O's classic, doomy sound and morbid vision as Steele's rhapsodizes an emotionally numb existence in that immortal croon. "Betwixt birth and death, every breath regret," he intones, "I pity the living, envy for the dead."
From its lumbering doom-laden opening to its whispery, piano-laced verses to its explosive chorus and sing-along bridge to its Sabbathian outro, this bleak World Coming Down standout manages to be heartfelt, nihilistic, sardonic and totally fun all at the same. That it rings especially poignant in the wake of Steele's death only adds to its power.
Of course, "Black No. 1" made the cut here — the only surprise is that it only landed in the three spot. Type O's best-known song is as classic as it gets, and deservedly so. A sarcastic send-up of goth narcissism, it's packed with inescapable hooks, witty lyrics and playful references, such that even in its 11-minute-plus uncut version, and even over 25 years later, it never gets old.
Bloody Kisses' first proper song is technically three songs in one — the first of which, in its four-and-a-half-minute edited form, was a breakthrough hit. Musically, the fan favorite owes its infectious hooks to Eighties New Wave — "I always like to refer to Type O Negative as 'Flock of Assholes,'" Steele joked — but its blasphemous lyrics had anything but a radio-friendly origin. "She was a Roman Catholic, much as I am," Steele recalled of the Christian woman who inspired the song. "But she would get off on breaking the rules a little bit. She would ask me to dress up as a priest and, well, I guess you can just imagine what would happen after that. So, I guess you could say I have a bit of a priest infection."
Sexy, romantic and goth as fuck, October Rust's monumental opening cut — well, after two 30-second tracks of dicking around — is as close to a straight-up love song as anything in the band's esteemed catalog. But as with all their music, there's always a touch of self-awareness and a bit of tongue in cheek. As Type O's Kenny Hickey told us in 2010, "October Rust was intentionally sensual. That was Peter's 'pimp record,' and it worked. It's a great record, but it was designed to score him women." Well played, sir.