TOOMIO’s TOP100: 1. Type O Negative – October Rust

Producers: Josh Silver, Peter Steele
Released: 20.8.1996
Label: Roadrunner

#7 in Finland, #26 in UK, #42 in USA.7. Sold exclusively in the US for more than half a million albums.

– Love You To Death
– My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend
– In Praise of Bacchus
– Cinnamon Girl

Why this is a number one? What makes this better than Life Is Killing Me? Musically necessarily nothing. The duo crossed the finish line quite even. October Rust have more memories in its pocket, more teen-age mysticism. Nostalgia, which don’t move so dark waters.

The album is high precisely because of its atmosphere. It reaches perfectly the essence of its name and cover art. Autumn spheres, which can be sunny, gloomy, rainy, or just muddled. A lot of the dark, with a warm glow in orange, yellow and brown shades. A lot of things is refined through the running or my own band for me. This album has a big role in both.

The beginning of October. New year plan. A cooling air. Finnish forest in its best colours. Dark evenings and weekends, when carrying on musical instruments and amplifiers into rehearsal shack. Dearest friends, and the feeling how all the best is often much smaller things than we wanted to admit.

Album recordings was started after Bloody Kisses breakdown. The band was on everyone’s lips. Peter Steele wanted to do better. At this point of Steele’s career, he still had a day job. He cared park areas in New York. From this fact has left his nicknames Green Man, Green Giant. He used alcohol only rarely and live very healthy life.

Steele and his band mates submitted the October Rusy to Roadrunner. The record company people were amazed. So light, so magical, so clean. Still, they knew that this would be selling huge amounts. But it would take a tour of what Steele has wanted not. He wanted only to compose music in his basement and make albums. Not touring.

The album begins with the band’s strange sense of humour. A mere voice disorder. After this, the boys of the band wish to welcome the listener. After this, the straight dive into album’s mood. Nature and women. Love You To Death was dedicated to Peter’s most important girlfriend. The text exudes erotic, Gothic style. It’s based on the very simple guitar riff. This is coloured by Josh Silver‘s echoing pianos and quiet organs in the background. The whole song is like Coldplay sold its soul.

Be My Druidess presents Type O Negative‘s bewildering guitar- and bass sound. Its programmed drums come out very well too. The first half of the song is close to U2. However, the final Be My Druides is gloomy, but still so beautiful painting. The texts will continue the theme of the preceding paragraph, only deeper under the skin. Or maybe in this case, deeper between the thighs. Sighing will bring genuine emotion closer.

In Green Man Steele dive even more into his character and through nature. In this time, he made long hikes in nature. You can see glistening pine forest in autumn sun, which in some places still feel warm. Cranberries begin to be suitable for a hungry winter to eat.

From joy they go to gloom, which weighs tons. Kenny Hickey’s trade mark, slides on guitar strings. Red Water (Christmas Mourning) tells the loss of loved ones. Peter and Josh’s lost a lot of close people those days. The tempo is so slow that it could play in a funeral. Worthy of the name includes a piece something Christmassy. The song is almost the best song of the band. The next two phrases are chilling:

” My tables been set for but seven,
just last year I dined with eleven.”

Hit but not very big hit, My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend will return to the erotic side. It’s a little clichéd fantasy. The song exudes a lewd lust. However it includes all the necessary, like cars and modulation at the end:

”In their ’62 ‘vette
Sharing one cigarette,
In a black light trance then”

Die With Me begins so gently that it is almost a sissy. After a while, the atmosphere breaked with raw Black Sabbath-riff. Black Sabbath-riffs bring sinister themes to the songs. They embody Steele’s character perfectly. The beautiful song can cleverly include words such as KLM, AT&T and the UK post system. That’s what I call Steele. This will continue with Burnt Flowers Fallen, which is based only two four-sentence cluster, which repeated more than six minutes. This is nicely disguised as a whole song.

One of the singles, In Praise of Bacchus is a complex and vaguely abrupt song. It’s surprisingly praise of Bacchus, god of wine, ecstasy and fertility. The track will mourn mysterious female character named Val Ium. Type O Negative has certainly been a role model to HIM and Ville Valo. These are much the same, but Type O Negative makes everything much bolder and lustfully.

Type O Negative has covered some artist on the every album with the exception of the last Dead Again. In this album the cover selection is Neil Young’s Cinnamon Girl, which is one of the album’s highlights. An acquaintance of mine said that the band “is nothing more than Cinnamon Girl and Steele’s screwdriver!” It’s not that simple, but it’s quite understandable that the band stopped after Steele’s death. In addition to the lack of screwdriver there’s a lack of quite unique sense of melody. In fact, I miss that latter.

Next name monster, The Glorious Liberation Of The People’s Technocratic Republic Of Vinnland By The Combined Forces Of The United Territories Of Europa is only a snack before Wolf Moon (Including Zoanthropic Paranoia). Again, the band moves in the Gothic themes. This time they tell about werewolf. Actually this is the case of a man who turns into a wolf as a result of fellation. Cello and Silver’s keys are handsome to be heard along with Steele’s fretless sounding bass. At the end song will turn to a full blooded pop-piece.

Before the ending words there’s a very dragging Haunted, which is not heavy, sad or prolonged. It’s just too tired to wake up:

” Alone and awake but exhausted I lie
Oh how I hate the morning.”

Black humour, which cultivates the band, doesn’t always turn on more than disgust. It doesn’t, however, detract from the fact that the songs are great. I like Steele’s voice, Silver’s sound worlds with keyboards and guitar licks of Kenny Hickey. I also like Kelly’s drums. Although they are programmed, it won’t be annoying. I actually didn’t even know it, before writing this story. No any other band has a such sound world. Steele’s voice is the perfect contrast of the other clickings and very personal guitar sound, which of course include the noisy bass sound too.

Headphones, dark room, a cottage and a fireplace. Whisky and dark chocolate.

Love You to Death –
Although this is a very pop, this is also an excellent piece.
Red Water (Christmas Mourning) – Darker than dark, even racking.

TOOMIO’s TOP100: 2. Type O Negative – Life Is Killing Me

Producers: Josh Silver, Peter Steele
Released: 17.6.2003
Label: Roadrunner

#5 in Finland, #39 in USA.

-I Don’t Wanna Be Me
-Life Is Killing Me

Type O Negative had practically exists to me only by October Rust. The band gave a positive sign to me with this album. It told that the band still has something great to spread to the listeners.

The album is more or less serious, even sad and depressing, but the music is clearly happier than its predecessor. Sure, it’s shrouded in a band characteristic black humour. Peter Steele was depressed, badly addicted to cocaine and medicines or otherwise he couldn’t get excited about just anything. However, for some reason, a man woke up for the composition process. Making texts was more challenging than before, but composing is still working.

Production was sort of the former. The sounds were thoughtful and discriminately mixed. all the albums of the band rehearsed and composed in a home studio of keyboardist Josh Silver, and eventually recorded in Systems Two studio. Steele took 20 songs to Silver’s home studio, which then began to rehearsals. This method had worked well, so why to chance it.

Type O Negative is always described as a gothic-band. For me, it’s more of a crossover band, which differs in many styles of music. There’s that heavy bass and guitar sounds, but Life Is Killing Me is being connected to the best of Black Sabbath and The Beatles. This isn’t surprising, because both bands were important for Steele.

The album starts with strange humour of the band. It’s a version of 1960’s cult series “The Munsters” theme song. Steele’s ability to make the lyrics by two blades comes clear in the second song I Don’t Wanna Be Me. Populist “suitable for all” and at the same time his own life manners. He often could fit these blades even in the same song. I Do not Wanna Be Me, which was certainly a hit, but at the same time could be a truly harrowing description of Steele’s own mental state. On the side, it will take a position on how difficult is to be yourself in today’s world. The message of this song often remains under its excellent video.

I Think there’s signs from Seal in Less Than Zero. Chord progressions is very much similar to the atmosphere. The chorus melody, and keyboard sounds great. Amazing backing vocals by Josh Silver and guitarist Kenny Hickey. Songs includes many levels, which tell the professional skills of recording situations. Song lyrics tells about the shell, which Steele was wearing on tours:

”Of this man of Steele
Nothing is real
The truth be scant
Lord of idiots”

Todd’s Ship Gods (Above All Things) is a song to the memory of his father. Type O Negative is full of certain types of mannerisms that follow the band everywhere. One of them is Steeles pronouncing the letter R. It is an art. Again, this song would be completely ready pop song if it’s played without distrotion.

Before the album’s release happened so that the album was stolen and it spread into the net. Thus, in the name of some of the songs is a parenthesis and within the song name before that the illegal spread. Album name was supposed to be The Dream Is Dead initially. However, it was changed. The change was not due to an information leak, but the fact it changed because it suggested that the band may finally be ending.

On the fifth, considered by some to be heard homophobic piece comes I Like Goils is not it. It is a parody and provocation, but also the true story of Steele’s role as a sex symbol. He suffered harassment from both women and mens. Friends told that Steele was very kind to everyone, regardless of skin colour or sexual orientation. After all, he himself has Polish blood.

… A Dish Better Served Coldly gliding as a snack between two beautiful piece. Placement could be elsewhere, because the melody is so excellent. How Could She? is song where Steele lists of famous women or female figures by names. In fact, he says the song rhyming to have been particularly difficult. The reason for making such a song, he said: “I don’t want to write texts of death, sex and depression. The invention of the text with new ideas is difficult.”

Before this album recordings Peter had already been a couple of times a detoxification phase. Travelled anguish throughout his life in the giant began to lose faith in everything. The second single and title track of the album tell the medical institutions of duplicity and people’s right to decide about their own lives. Or their deaths. Peter Steele was not afraid of his own death, but was afraid of her mother’s death. More than anything else. He was lived in the basement of his home throughout his life. He wrote this Nettie to his mother although she was not yet dead. Peter sings Nettie perhaps the lowest voice than ever before. However, the sound is not modified.

(We Were) Electrocute is mostly like the Beatles in Penny Lane. Drum beats tightly and is carrying the song forward with brass and strings. By the way, the drums in this album was programmed. John Kelly was programmed, not played thme. Electrocute was one of self-discovery words of Peter Steele. This song is once again about lost love. The band turn a beautiful piece on its head in the last stanza:

“Even though I still miss your lips
You’re about as real as your tits”

IYDKMIGTHTKY (Gimme That). That’s the name of the song. The name comes from the words of the chorus. It’s a typical Type O Negative song with peaceful mid-section. The chorus rolls to crush all possible with its guitars. The final will bog down the same riff, which is seasoned with another riff and polyphonic singing.

Angry Inch will bring its chorus after the first ten seconds. The song is a cover of a song from the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Nonetheless, it is just awesome song. Just wicked hard live song. I don’t know, was band ever play it live, but that would fit like a fist in the eye.

Album ends with luxury three-piece group. First we hear Anesthesia, which maybe the best song in this album. Beautiful, even happy pitch notes tells a deep depression. The song was so grim that Steele couldn’t present it each night. Two simple sentences sound more ruthless than ever, anywhere.

“I don’t need love
I don’t feel anything”

Drunk In Paris is a short instrumental. Steele told that he first compose songs and the vocal melodies and then tasting the feelings for long time. He gave the song to impersonate. “I expect that the tunes will tell what kind of story the melody could be”. This chapter explains all the essentials without words. The last The Dream Is Dead is a mixture of gothic rock and doom. In some way the song also reminds me of a band called The Cult.

These Type O Negative songs could be played even acoustic. In Type O Negatives music and lyrics can still re-discover a lot of things that have not been previously realized. Sure, these sections also include other band making, for it’s true that the band’s long coexistence brings stability to production. Only the drummer has changed, and that as early as 1994. It’s sad that Steele is gone. The band would have been much to give. Such a style not many have ventured.

Long album, but rarely has such a long album so easily heard. It may be that the public just loves this album not. But I do.

Enjoy this in the dark autumn weather. It rains, and everything is not OK.

Anesthesia –
Beautiful and murderous doom pop.
I Don’t Wanna Be Me – Addictive song.

TOOMIO’s TOP100: 3. Devin Townsend – Physicist

Producer: Devin Townsend
Released: 26.6.2000
Label: HevyDevy

#80 in Japan. The line-up of musicians featured on this album is identical to that of Strapping Young Lad.

This album is perhaps the biggest turning point in my musical life. A lot of it has also been influenced my playing style. I bought this album only because of its special cover art. Progressive music was my favorite thing then, so I thought this is guitar shredding-album. It wasn’t. Everything had changed.

Album starts with explosive Namaste. Anything like that I had not heard before. Sure I’d heard Slayer and other thrash bands, but this was more. The following tracks are so aggressive that Planet Rain sounds slow.

Rage and energy is very strongly there. Mixing is strange. Devin Townsend himself don’t like this album, just because of its mixing. For me, the mixing is The Thing! I remember the first time I took the CD from its case and pushed it into the player. The aim was to gently cleaning up my room with technical guitarwork… I cleaned my room for about half an hour. Such an energy this album spread.

The second Victim is reasonably robust smashing. How Gene Hoglan will be able to bang the drums as his habitus and with those boots? Mainly very well, but still have to wonder about it. Lyrics telling something else for sure, but for me it’s a perfect music for the preparation of running race. Whistle calls runners to the starting line. The tension almost unbearable before the starting gun is triggered.

On this album, the term “wall of sound” is very close to materialize.

Material has slightly more positive basic tone. Its splendid horns are just that “something new” the album brought to my musical thinking. The following Kingdom are one of the highlights of this album. I think Devin himself likes Kingdom, because it’s been re-recorded for Epicloud. This is the original, but much better version. Here is rougher edges on it.

Kingdom has a number of excellent details. For example, the drums in background of its ferocious verse. You should also listen to the verse starting about 1.15. There’s a small, but necessary “click” in there. Glorious! At the same time Devin sings:

”OK, I know, I missed it
The point I mean, I missed it good
And if I could
Good God I would”

On the fifth comes tumultuous Death, where Devin shows how to put a beautiful part into very extremely song. Musical composition has been assisted by drummer Hoglan, to whom the song name has other meanings. Gene played on two albums of legendary Death. The lyrics of the song are morally dubious, but there’s a something very genuine. Next track Devoid is very strange, but that minute and a half has fully entitled place on the album.

Devin’s insane vocal capacity will be shown on The Complex, which during the first stanza are heard all the possible ways to use voice. Also in this chapter drummer man Hoglan is involved, somehow these men co-operate works damn good.

Irish Maiden and Jupiter are little snacks, although they are not bad. Especially Jupiter is an indication of the Devin’s ability to compose catchy melodies. In the middle of a song can imagine that the singer is Björk, and then on a very smooth transition, band goes to a deep and jagged rock. The last official song on the album is Planet Rain. My mother said that it would fit the tempo of cleaning.

The album exudes a measure of stress and numbness. Although Devin himself don’t like this album, it’s a real milestone for me. Progressive music can be without trickery. Many albums that I’d listened before Physicist was very discriminatory. This album gave the opportunity to look for the subtle nuances of this wall of sounds. Prior to this, I listened to all the players individually. From now on, more and more, aiming to perceive the whole. It was liberating. On this album, the term “wall of sound” is very close to materialize.

This is best to listen especially in the car, driving dangerous speed and risking others.

Kingdom –
This track gives the best picture of the whole album average.
Death – Here’s something. I do not know what, but something.

This is just brilliant!

TOOMIO’s TOP100: 4. Magyar Posse – Random Avenger

Producer: Magyar Posse
Released: 17.5.2006
Label: Verdura Records

#27 in Finland

Saarijärvi. We were going to band rehearsals in January 2014. Traditional band meeting was a bit changing as regular drummer was not coming. The bassist was becoming the drummer and the aim was to make different kinds of music. My brother slapped this album into player and said that “should we do something like this?”

From that moment, Random Avenger has been one of the best albums I’ve heard. Why? Say it. There is nothing incredibly special. It’s instrumental music. All the sounds and tunes are on the right way synchronized. This album has something artistic too. Album’s cover art is also strange, but accurate. In line with the music.

Whirpool of Terror and Tension opens the album and breaks the “brain radio”. It remains to repeat the first riff at least for one day. Song video has been awarded couple of times. Ten years old album probing also today’s frightening atmosphere. Sudden Death continues threatening atmosphere in the same way, with simple keyboard pattern. Black Procession wakens melancholic feelings.

The entire album moves in the themes of breaking war. So in my imagination. It’s like a soundtrack of modern silent film. It’s even so good, that there’s no need of pictures. Instrumental music could very rarely tell so much.

European Lover passing imperceptibly with waltz rhythm, that great bass lines may go unnoticed. Magyar Posse rely on the simple progressive guitar and synth riffs, which it skillfully colored with violin, voices of woman and very accurate rhythm section. Fine example of that could be Intercontinental Hustle, which becomes very chaotic at the end. One by One offers a moment of truce until Popzag returns the album back up and running.

This is one of the toughest Finnish works.

Guitar sound is the best in the world. It bends anywhere. Breaks and shifts come as the first snow fall. As expected, but unexpectedly. Breaks will take listener there, where they should. Sandra Mahlamäki’s violin is foisted very softly in Magyar Posse’s music.

Playing isn’t over virtuoso. It’s skilled enough. I don’t deny that they would be proficient musicians. The music is progressive, but still smooth. It’s heavy without heavy guitars. It’s beautiful, even it uses harsh sounds and angular melodies. The music is like fatal drama. It would go completely in the background of films. The band could be influenced by movie music. Which band doesn’t?

The songs are similar, but completely different way from each other. This is one of the toughest Finnish works. Undervalued it still is.

Optimal listening place for this album is in the car at the very cold winter.

Whirpool of Terror and Tension –
As its name suggests, this song creates so tight tension, so that it could be cut with a knife.
Sudden Death – A good follow-up.

There’s no breaking point.