When you speak about a band like Type O Negative, just about everyone will have an opinion of them, no matter what. That’s because Type O Negative was an immense contributor to a new wave of gothic metal by incorporating intense sounds borrowed from doom and thrash metal as a result of frontman Peter Steele’s previous band Carnivore. The best example of this mix of influences comes with Type O Negative’s debut record Slow, Deep and Hard, which turns 25 years today.
This 1991 album was the bridge between Steele’s crossover band Carnivore and an introduction to his new band. Originally released as a demo under the band’s former name Repulsion, Slow, Deep and Hard became a pivotal release in their career, bringing them massive attention by the media at the time.
Type O Negative’s dark sense of humor was very prominent on the album, even though Steele describes the concept as the discovery of his partner at the time cheating on him, leading to him killing her, her new partner and himself out of rage. Although the lyrics and the band itself were not to be taken seriously at any level, the band received a lot of backlash, particularly in Europe, for songs like “Der Untermensch” which gave the impression of being a right-wing racist song against immigrants. There were also other factors that led to the band to be perceived negatively, like Steele’s comparing the band’s popularity to Adolf Hitler’s during an interview with a German magazine. And while it’s definitely Type-O’s heaviest album, you can see some sparks of what the band would become, with the poppy, infectious “I know you’re fucking someone else” chorus of “Unsuccessfully Coping With the Natural Beauty of Infidelity.”
While the album became an important part of Type O Negative’s career, setting the stage for 1993’s gold-selling Bloody Kisses, Steele himself wasn’t too fond of it, as he explained in an interview with The Roc Mag:
TRM: Why the change of attitude between Slow, Deep & Hard and Bloody Kisses?
Steele: I think that 3 years would do the trick. We kinda grew up. We don’t listen to hardcore any more, and shit like that. And when the band first got together I guess it’s safe to say, was in the ashes of my old band Carnivore. We had to do a demo really quick so I wrote these songs in one night. So it was hardcore and sludge and shit like that.
TRM: You sound as though you regret the album.
Steele: I do because it was only supposed to be a demo. I was drunk and pissed and I wrote the whole thing in 4 hours. Little did I know that demo would be pressed into an album. So we were pretty much trapped into something I wrote in a span of a few hours. That’s why there’s such a gap between Slow, Deep & Hard and Bloody Kisses. If I had to do it over, Bloody Kisses would be the first album. I gave the world a really warped idea of what TON is.
While the man himself wasn’t too happy about releasing Slow, Deep and Hard as part of Type O Negative’s discography, others found inspiration on it, like Crowbar’s frontman Kirk Windstein who grabbed influence from the record when writing 2014’s Symmetry In Black:
For some reason I started listening to a lot of Carnivore’s Retaliation and early Type O Negative during the writing process. I do that. I’ll go on a Motorhead kick for a month or an old Kiss kick or Saxon, Twisted Sister whatever, I’ll get on a kick of something and Type O is really the last band… like Slow, Deep and Hard is the last record that actually influenced me. While Crowbar was going on, we had just formed and Carnivore’s Retaliation was such a big influence on Crowbar’s sound. Slow, Deep and Hard… I had an advance copy of that that Phil Anselmo or Kerry King gave me. We had a copy before it was called Type O Negative. It was Sub Zero and then Repulsion and then he found out they had a band called Repulsion and he changed it to Type O Negative. We had a copy on cassette way before that album came out. So that album lived in my cassette player before it was released. That’s the last bit of real influence that I needed by that time. By that time, Crowbar had found its own sound.
And to me, after [frontman] Pete[r Steele] passed away, I was writing a song and I was like I want to write a Carnivore-type song and it just came out to me that it sounds Carnivore and old Type O-ish. So I thought about it lyrically and I stole a few words and a few lines that he used sometimes and the title of the song is “Symbolic Suicide.” I remember reading something years and years ago and I think that he had talked about cutting his wrists or something in a feeble attempt to commit suicide and he said “To me it still had meaning, it was a symbolic suicide.” For whatever reason, it was something that made him move forward from whatever was going on in his life so I took that and to me the song exemplifies that vibe. So it’s not about him, it’s just dedicated to the legacy of Peter Steele because he was such a big influence on me.
After 25 years of existence, Slow, Deep and Hard brings back the nostalgia of those who got to know Carnivore at its prime but creates a perfect blend between the crossover band and the monster Type O Negative became and should be a must-own in any TON fan’s collection. Check out the album and tell us what you think about it.