|04-15-2010, 11:54 AM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: In a van down by the river
For You Other Metal-folk...RIP Peter Steele.
Type O Negative vocalist/bassist Peter Steele (born Petrus T. Ratajczyk on January 4, 1962 in Brooklyn, N.Y.) has died of heart failure at 48. The first report came from Fuse TV host and metal scenester Juliya Chernetsky, who posted "Peter Steele passed today. I loved my friend...our idol...my heart is with his band and family..." on Twitter. She followed that up with "he passed of heart failure today. Just spoke to Kenny" [Hickey, Type O Negative's guitarist].
Revolver magazine editor Brandon Geist also posted about the subject overnight, saying "Hoping [the rumors] are not true, but the source is good."
It was initially reasonable to doubt, though, given that back in 2005, the Type O Negative website's front page featured a gravestone with the words "Peter Steele - 1962 - 2005 .... Free At Last" carved on it. That time, Steele was very much alive and the gravestone was merely a joke referring to the band's split with longtime label Roadrunner Records.
Sadly, it's now been confirmed.
For those who don't know the story, Steele first came to the metal world's attention with his thrash band Carnivore. Crude (lyrically and musically), the band played a sort of D.R.I.-meets-Biohazard back-alley roar, with songs like "Male Supremacy," "Jesus Hitler" and "Race War" that were apparently intended as jokes, though not everyone was laughing. They released two albums - a 1986 self-titled debut and 1987's Retaliation - before breaking up. (A totally different lineup of the group, with Steele being the only common factor, toured in 2006.)
After Carnivore's breakup, Steele took a couple of years to reappear - when he did, it was with a much heavier, slower, and more musically sophisticated band. Type O Negative made its dark sense of humor more obvious, and over the course of seven albums -- "Slow, Deep and Hard," "Origin of the Feces," "Bloody Kisses," "October Rust," "World Coming Down," "Life is Killing Me" and "Dead Again" -- they explored numerous styles, from the Gothic doom that was their primary stock-in-trade to the '60s-style psychedelia of their semi-hit single "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend" and trudging covers of Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" and Seals & Crofts' "Summer Breeze."
Steele's basso vocal style was unique in metal and hard rock, frequently sounding more like the groan of a burial vault door creaking open than a human voice, though he always enunciated his lyrics, never opting for an "extreme" Cookie Monster style. In his personal life, he battled drug addiction and depression, and spent time in prison and rehab. His darkest period came around the time of "World Coming Down," when personal tragedies led him to write songs like "Everyone I Know Is Dead."
Artistically and commercially, Type O Negative was very successful, particularly in the early to mid '90s, and retains a strong cult following today. I have no doubt their reputation will endure for a long time to come.