Interview: Marc Heal

“It’s funny, having worked so hard to make a living out of music I found once I’d got there that I’d broken myself in the process. I needed a break to do some, uh, emotional housekeeping.”

Interview: Bestial Mouths

“The newer material is very personal in nature as it directly relates to the experiences and emotions I had been going through and feeling. Those experiences set the direction for the album title and cover art.”

Review: Cease2xist – 'Zero Future'


Review: David Bowie – 'No Plan'


IVM's Best Albums Of 2016

Check out our 30 favourite albums of 2016

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Review: Freakangel – 'How The Ghost Became'

'How The Ghost Became'

Despite starting life as a side project, Freakangel has coalesced into a monster of a band in its own right. Over the course of seven years the band has developed from a dark ebm project into an industrial metal powerhouse. The band's fourth full-length studio effort, 'How The Ghost Became', is their heaviest offering to date, like punch through a brick wall heavy. Sounding more like NDH guitars meets Nothing Records grooves, with a sprinkle of modern aggrotech electronics, the band have have become a bludgeon of raw and frantic emotion.

Songs such as 'Witness The Fall', 'Insight', 'Make Me Disappear', 'In The Witch House', 'Death walks With Us', 'Kingdom Of Fire', and 'Devotion' exemplify this sonic formula best with their heavy guitars, throat-shredding vocals and strangely enticing electronics hinting at their club-friendly past, but pushing harder than ever before into that metal scene. The development, no matter how this may disappoint anyone who prefers their early incarnation, feels totally organic and right, much in the same way that the recent releases from Cyanotic, Combichrist, and Dawn Of Ashes have.

There are the odd songs that retain an almost dance feel such as 'Giving Up The Ghost', and 'Hell And Back', but even these are firmly punctured by heavy guitars rooting them in the metal end of the band's sound. But that's not a bad thing. There is still that strong electronic presence that while not be 100% dance-friendly isn't a total about turn from their roots.

Being a metal album the production is geared towards balancing the guitars with the aggressive vocals and making sure the electronics aren’t swamped by either. The band, know their stuff, and despite this significantly heavier approach achieve this balance with relative ease with no one element dominating another to its detriment.

This is perhaps the strongest and most well-rounded Freakangel outing to date. In fact it really sounds as though they have found themselves on this album. Everything seems to have come together to create a confident, heavy album that perfectly balances their aggression with their electronic prowess. It has been a well-paced evolution to this point, but this album feels like year zero, from which they can launch a wider assault on the metal scene. Time will tell how they attempt to evolve the sound further, but 'How The Ghost Became' will certainly be looked on as a pivotal moment.  

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Monday, 24 April 2017

Wave Gotik Treffen – The Review // 25th Anniversary

Wave Gotik Treffen – The Review // Preview 25th Anniversary to 26th

Going to Leipzig can be a metaphysical question for some. Placed in the Former DDR heartland, the place breaths German avant-garde meets Chernobyl, as the city has space; scorched earth policy type space. However this is the charm about this town. If it is not the beautiful Baroque architecture that has your skin smelting in awe to your trad-Goth fabrics. It shall be the sheer scale of the soviet era buildings that dwarf many sectors of the city. These are a portion of the venues that will play host to the largest festival for the Goth sub-culture.

Becoming the 25th occurrence in this festival is a monument to it withstanding the test of time, and there really is nothing like it anywhere else. Yes you may hop on a flight to Köln or Berlin for a quick gothic weekender at a venue. However WGT acquires the entire city from Thursday night till Tuesday morning. This is conveyed with two festival schedules, which are each three double-sides of A4.

The Belantis amusement park was centre stage for the opening of WGT. VNV Nation performing to DJ sets from the UK’s Slimelight Steve and other members of the European scene cranked up the volume to shift the festival into GO!

Enjoying the full luxury of the WGT forum’s accommodation page, myself and my better-half were able to multitask breakfast & bathing, as the kitchen was also the bathroom. “Nothing better than reviewing the financial times over a pot of coffee; whilst gandering at a bit skirt before noon”. Love it. If you are proactive there are plenty of well-priced hotels, who are happy to bleed you of your fine coin on this peak demand period. However I would recommend going house sharing. It is a lot of fun, and I believe the best way to experience the festival. The locals are very welcoming of the event, as it has become an acceptance from an economic to a fun point of view.

Usually on Friday the very well-known Victorian picnic is a sight to be seen, though if you would rather sit on a chair, have a glass of sekt and a nice pinch of antipasti to go with the glass. Then the ‘Viktorianisches Viliage’ at the Arena am Panometer shall hit the spot! An open area location; it shields you from the outside world, yet with beautiful sky views, with a roman feel. The prices for a drink are rather acceptable, and if you would like to avoid the large scale crowds of the Victorian picnic, with some upper class decency (Less Mud) where the alcohol comes to you, then glance over here.

Moving a century or two forward. The French duo of Dernière Volonté bestowed me with my first visit this year to the Volkspalast Kuppelhalle. A grandeur building of the DDR that has a circular stage. The French artist had their live performance dominated by the bass of large drums (yes they are very big), as the vocals of Geoffrey D combined militaristic rhythm with a pagan/folk enchantment that engorged the hall.

On Saturday evening the venue plays host to ‘The Obsession Bizarre’; which embroils leather & latex. A trusty combination that will see you additionally queuing and sweltering. Indeed very nice performances, yet the greatest advantage to my eye is being able to dress as an elegant slut on a warm June evening, whilst hearing tears of electronic bass vibrate through your neck. However… the toys to play with are not worth the waiting time. Opinion; kinky posing…  LX-E’s recommendations prior to attending is to have a clear cut glass of cold Valt Vodka.  Also to be noted, WGT is a Goth event and dressing like an elegant slut is generally accepted the whole time. Obsession Bizarre is a moment for bass hunting vibrations up your skin in well tight fabric.

Moving onto the main stage Die Krupps brought their new live act from their new album V - Metal Machine Music. Already industrial enough with Jurgen Engler's scaffolding xylophone; they decided to see all of the stage disappear. Guitars went flying and a clang of steel pipes fell from the stage and the Agra Halle resembled a music demolition site. Die Krupps really showed a new jolt of youth!

Sunday was a clear calm recovery mode; or so one thought… You know that beautiful sensation, when from the prior evening of dancing. You know; where battery acid is filling the muscles, and that additional benefit when you have washed your face, to know the tanz sweat exfoliated your skin… Priceless. However this was not a morning for sitting around. Toss the Financial Times in the bin and lets go with that skirt for a another dose of Met and keep the body moving.
I named EBM/ electronica day to Sunday, as with the rain and wind the only thing that was going to keep me moving, excluding Ardbeg whisky was going to be man-made.

Taking a winding tram route to the western rim of Leipzig, where the patrons thin out; we eventually made it to the Patenbrigade:Wolff themed Stage. The NONTOX LE.E.V is construction site meets stage. So to expand external stage & little shelter, however braving the horizontal rain to Lights of Euphoria, it has of course Patenbrigade:wolff necessities… Beer Tent with builder size cups of tea, can’t compete with that!

The trio of Torben Schmidt (Suicide Commando), Singer Jimmy Machon and drums Thomas Gaarn brought on killer performance that did its upmost to get the crowd warm, however the only thing that was going to be blown away in this dismal weather was the beer tent.

Getting a move on, back down 3 Strassenbahn route, we hit the next venue and brought the EBM to the Täubchenthal.  ‘Somatic Responses’ got the earth warm as their early ‘Architect’ noise distorted the crowd. A first glimpse at their work, the track ‘Wherever’ brought in that attractive feel of desolation. The great thing about the venue, was it smelt and felt like a Goth club. Utter darkness once inside, heat, confusion and condemning melody.

Dirk Ivens broke the desolate mood left by Somatic Responses. Cracking open the muscles with a Best of show. It began by bleeding the rough cut muscle of the audience with Dream Hunter, and then cooked the room with the speed of ‘Sidewalk Sinner’. The EBM newtons of energy took their addictive toll, as I found myself in the EBM mosh pit for the remainder of the act. Chelsea boots and EBM Germanic work out turned out to be a winning combination. My toes would beg to differ on that.

The Sunday’s current EBM frontline, was brought to a standstill. As the Danish melancholy ‘Of the Wand & the Moon’ submerged Altes Landratsamt in their Scandinavian tribe. The band’s performance was good, however there was something in the air that really made it not great, I think it was the acoustics.

The discovery of the year was Göttertanz. A tribal and folk club event, that went on until the very early morning in Haus Leipzig. For one DJ to play such a well-balanced wave of compositions, with pace was very outstanding. Kudos was really give to ‘ToM Manegold’ for this endurance ballet that was well received until 6am.

Monday – Classical Aftermath

A neofolk recovery began at 12pm; closing the window shutters to shield from all natural light, and those baths where they were all for nothing, the only God today was coffee. However one last big leap into the black unknown we do.

To stay safe; the Heidnisches Dorf and Agra, were in good walking distance of each other. The medieval village, acted as perfect recovery. Serving flesh and Met, the combination hugged the stomach like an animal finding water in the desert.

The Heidnisches Dorf stage, takes on myth, folk and Viking type musical taste. For me it is the slightly rougher part of the festival on the corners. However also the most easy-going down to earth part, as a more metal feel is here and the delicateness of Gothic upper nose is a million miles from here.

Back to the Agra and Neuroticfish opened the artist set for Monday, making the crowd ride a huge future pop wave to the sound of Sascha Klein’s voice. The band brought a set of new work from ‘A Sign of Life’ and entertaining all by switching to some of their old school EBM tributes such as ‘Is it Dead’.

The sound of Velvet Acid Christ live unfortunately did not do the studio sound justice. The first time I saw the band live; yet I think it would be the last. I think Velvet Acid Christ in daytime will never work.

The Monday, for me is always the hardest as the shop owners at the agra begin disassembling the stages and already the wind down is happening, as Leipzig slowly returns.

What the 25th anniversary marked clearly to me in point, was that the festival management was strong and sound. Able to deal with the additional organisation and cost associated with an anniversary and meet expectations. The collapse of 2000 which saw the failure of the festival is left to rot in the cupboard, as here is a well-tuned machine only getting better.

Stay tuned for announcements on the 26th Wave Gothic Treffen 2017!

Dominic Lynch aka DJ LX-E

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Alestorm releases self-titled single from 'No Grave But The Sea'

Pirate metal band Alestorm, from Perth, Scotland, are about to release their 5th full length album 'No Grave But The Sea', set for May 26th via Napalm Records, but as a preview of what it will sound like, this Friday, April 21st, they showed the first single, which is also self-titled. Watch it down here!
Chris Bowes, the lead vocalist and keyboards of the band, says that he: "hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed filming it. It features all the classic elements that people have come to associate with Alestorm: beating up little people, explosions, and the Serbian countryside. The song is pretty good too."

The official tracklist for 'No Grave But The Sea': 

1. No Grave But The Sea
2. Mexico
3. To the End of the World
4. Alestorm
5. Bar und Imbiss
6. Fucked with an Anchor
7. Pegleg Potion
8. Man the Pumps
9. Rage of the Pentahook
10. Treasure Island

In support of their new album, Alestorm will be on tour this year with shows in the States and Europe, including the legendary Vans Warped Tour. If you want to be present in any (or all if you're a hardcore fan,) visit Napalm Records' website and save the dates they provide!

Visit the Band at:
Or write a direct email to them at:

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Thursday, 20 April 2017

Review: Caïna / Cara Neir – 'Split'


Split albums can make for strange bedfellows, but there is something that just works on this latest 7” from Broken Limbs Recordings. On the one hand is the UK's most impressive and original post-black metal act Caïna. With phenomenal albums such as 'Mourner', 'Temporary Antennae', 'Hands That Pluck', and 'Setter Of Unseen Snares' walking a fine line between ambient, shoegaze, black metal, post-punk, and industrial sounds each release hinges on creating a unique and independent listening experience.

The other sees Texan Blackened Crust merchants Cara Neir, who with their own impressive legacy due to releases such as 'Portals To A Better, Dead World', 'The Overwatch', and 'Perpetual Despair Is The Human Condition' have crafted their own unique and creative voice within their genre.

The coming together of two such unique forces is always a joy to behold and despite differing styles, with Caina's 2014 cut of sprawling and ambient infused black metal on 'Rhosneigr', and the short, sharp and groovy cut 'stained Grey Bones' from Cara Neir, are perfect companions.

The production is no-frills and rough across both tracks, but neither are unlistenable. Long gone is that “necro chic” of the black metal scene, and even lower budget doesn't mean low quality. The songs are visceral and direct. There's no room for polish or pretence, just raw and passionate music.

The end result is a fine split release that sees two great bands come together and create something genuinely pleasurable. Caina may be being put to sleep, but with this, the vinyl re-release of 2007's 'Mourner', and a solo album from
Andy Curtis-Brignell due later this year we can take solace in the fact there is still more to come. As for Cara Neir, they are an act who's star is still very much on the rise and despite nearing their ten-year-anniversary, this is a perfect introduction for those who haven't had the pleasure yet. 

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Review: Dawn Of Ashes – 'Daemonolatry Gnosis'

'Daemonolatry Gnosis'

After last year's spectacular return 'Theophany', it's good to see the Californian black metal / industrial outfit capitalise on their newly found momentum sooner rather than later. The result of which is another incendiary and heavy offering in the form of 'Daemonolatry Gnosis'. The symphonic elements this time are pushed to the fore while the black metal backbone is once again pushed harder than ever before.

The vocals are the most demonic too date and any resemblance to their earlier hellektro style is now 100% lost to time. There are still industrial elements floating within the electronic textures, but once again under the guiding hand of Anaal Nathrakh's Mick Kenny, the band continue to metamorphose into a more brutal and extreme incarnation.

The album is an unrelenting discourse in modern black metal. Sumptuous symphonic elements frame a core of blistering drums, violent guitars and throat wrenching vocals. Songs such as 'Gods Of The Antimonian Path', 'Guardians', 'Sermon From The Horned God', 'I Am Nephilim', 'Rulership Of The Inner World', and 'Magick For The New Aeon' provide the album with a solid metal back bone that shows a great leap forward in their song construction and execution. While tracks such as 'The Initiation', and 'The Ritual' provide nice, if short, counterpoints to the metallic mayhem with their sinister symphonic industrial construction building tension nicely.

The only track that doesn't really work is the pretty straight cover of Mayhem's 'Freezing Moon' which, while heavy in its execution, lacks a lot of the individual stylistic elements that makes the previous eleven tracks really pop. It may have faired better hidden after an outro that book-ended the core tracks to be discovered.

The production is nice and heavy. It's always great to see the signature of someone such as Kenny so perfectly interwoven with a band's sound so as to create something big and bold in its own right. 'Daemonolatry Gnosis' picks up pretty much where 'Theophany' left off, but pushes everything harder and faster this time round.

This is a big step, perhaps even a milestone in the development of the band. Whereas 'Theophany' was an exciting and visceral push forward, 'Daemonolatry Gnosis' is a consolidation of their intent into a focused and brutal assault. Dawn Of Ashes are very much a black metal beast now. And while it would be interesting to see how they reconcile their older sounds moving forward, it is safe to conclude that if they can continue on this path and incorporate that previous progressive and experimental mindset of their early work, then there should be no limit for Dawn Of Ashes.  

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Universal's upcoming movie, 'The Mummy', has its second trailer

Upcoming film, The Mummy, directed by Alex Kurtzman, has released its second trailer not long. The film, written by Jon Spaihts and Christopher McQuarrie, is a reboot of The Mummy franchise that started in 1932.

The film stars, among others, Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis and Jake Johnson, and it’s scheduled to be released on June 9, 2017 in 3D, 2D and IMAX 3D. This is also intended to be the first instalment in the Universal Monsters shared universe.

If you're into dark fantasy, horror films, the this should be in the group of your most awaited movies of the year. The special effects are nothing to amazed about, but it is the proposal of the end of the world that intrigues me, as this idea hasn't been used that much for a while.

Official Synopsis:
"Tom Cruise headlines a spectacular, all-new cinematic version of the legend that has fascinated cultures all over the world since the dawn of civilization: The Mummy.
Thought safely entombed in a tomb deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.
From the sweeping sands of the Middle East through hidden labyrinths under modern-day London, The Mummy brings a surprising intensity and balance of wonder and thrills in an imaginative new take that ushers in a new world of gods and monsters."

And, in case you missed it, here's the first trailer:

Learn more about the movie on the official website.

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Singing 101: A Crash Course in Singing with Olivia Hyde

On Saturday 20th of May 2017, Olivia Hyde, the vocalist from ban Bad Polyanna, will give a course for aspiring singers that want to improve their singing techniques from 10am until 6pm. The place where the meeting will be is at Quarry Lodge Studios, Golcar, HD3 4PS (UK).

In the publication, the singer says the event is for "Learn scientific, cutting edge techniques designed to improve your singing in record time. Understand how to interpret songs and the psychology of performance. Gain the tools to improve in your own time after the workshop. Learn in a fun, relaxed and supportive group environment."

Along with different individual and group prices, those who pay the amount of £80 will get the chance to perform as themselves the next day. The singer also published a mail and phone number for her fans to to arrange a fifteen-minute consultation for free or to book a place.

For more information about the event, visit the band's bandcamp and Olivia Hyde Coaching's facebook page.

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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Review: Defeat – 'Rise'


It's been two years since Defeat's last outing 'You Know Who You Are', but the Hertfordshire-based electro duo have definitely spent their time well. The band's old school ebm meets industrial flavours have been further honed on their seventh studio release, 'Rise', and the result is definitely a shift in gear. 

The album still keeps the fundamental influences of Nitzer Ebb, Front 242 and Front Line Assembly at the head of the charge, but as with their last outing, the modern club elements see another big increase in presence. The result is bigger beats, bigger synths and bigger dance floor potential with tracks such as 'The Phoenix', 'Dirty/Sick', 'The Fatalists', and 'Nothing You' providing a strong and driven presence.

While the likes of 'Rage', 'The Hurt', and 'Rise' as well as the sumptuous closer 'Live Your Life' up the emotional quota of the album with a more minimal and focussed approach reflecting their old school roots and adding a couple of little twists for good measure.

Production-wise this is the best the band have ever sounded. There are still the odd rough spots, but in comparison to the last two albums, 'Rise', is easily their strongest showing to date, that is accessible, dance-friendly and, at times, emotional.

'Rise' is a short, but strong album. It mixes up their previously tried and tested formula and takes risks where it needs to. The end result definitely pays of for the duo, particularly with tracks like 'Dirty/Sick', 'Rise', and 'Live Your Life'. They're moving out of their comfort zone with every release and the results speak for themselves. It would be great to get a follow-up to this album sooner rather than later but with the last two-year gaps between albums it is evident that Defeat like to take their time, and to be fair, it does yield results for them.

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Review: Various Artists – 'Under What Flag (A Tribute To Fad Gadget)'

'Under What Flag (A Tribute To Fad Gadget)'

Frank Tovey, AKA Fad Gadget was a pioneering force in electronic music as a movement. His work may be somewhat under-appreciated by the public at large compared to some of his contemporaries, yet his work was and is profoundly influential on electronic artists to this day. Avant garde, rhythmic, melodic, confrontational and socially aware, Tovey's output is long overdue a musical tribute such as this.

The album is a not-for-profit release compiled and produced by DJ Seraphim, and mastered by Jasyn Bangert for Coitus Interruptus Productions and features acts/artists such as
Bioassay, Canter, Laether Strip, NOIR, George Sarah, Cylab, Microchip Junky and more adding their spin to classic tracks including 'Collapsing New People', 'Ricky's Hand', 'Lady Shave', 'Back To Nature', and 'Insecticide'.

Genres such as synthpop, ebm, industrial, futurepop, darkwave, and post-punk run rampant over the original compositions reforming them into fresh and modern hits that show just how groundbreaking Tovey's originals are. The likes of Bioassy, Blakk Glass, Canter, Cylab, Laether Strip, Maleagant, Microchip Junky, Noir, and Shrapnihil in particular take the source material and add some interesting twists through their own unique styles.

The production and mastering is excellent throughout and each track flows nicely into the next without jarring against differing styles. And overall the listening experience has the feel of a complete album as opposed to a compilation.

This is a great tribute from a collection of very talented contributors to one of the greatest electronic artists of all time. The songs have been lovingly reconstructed to reflect the sounds of 2017, and in doing so highlight the strength of the originals. The only issue would be that there are a lot of other great Fad Gadget songs that could have been featured rather than have some artists doubling up on songs. But other than that, what has been featured here is excellent, and it would be nice to maybe get a second album in the future. But in the meantime, this is a great album not only for Fad Gadget fans, but also fans of modern electronic music.

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Monday, 17 April 2017

None More Negative: In praise of Peter Steele

On the anniversary of the death of the enigmatic force behind gothic-doom metal pioneers Type O Negative, Peter Steele. We take a look back of the unparalleled career of the

It always seemed apparent that the time that Brooklyn born Petrus T. Ratajczyk, better known to fans of Goth Metal as the basso perfecto frontman of Type O Negative, Peter Steele, last felt truly free was while working for the New York Parks Department. At this time his 80’s Hardcore/Thrash Metal band Carnivore had come to an apathetic demise after just two albums, and the thought of starting a new band was the last thing on his mind. Instead he’d occupy himself raking leaves, mending fences, and thinking up new euphemisms for maggots (‘dancing rice’ being a popular one among his colleagues).

Then it all went wrong. He broke up with his long-time girlfriend, attempted suicide, and wrote an album that saw him signed back to his old record label. The album was 1991’s ‘Slow, Deep and Hard’ a Hardcore/Doom Metal crossover about infidelity, self-loathing, and everything that pissed off and depressed the six-foot-six-inch tall Steele in the previous year. The album was loved by some, and hated by others (including Steele).

“… 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 […] If I had to do it over, Bloody Kisses would be the first album.” - Rock Out Censorship 

The band were initially condemned by domestic audiences as communists and homosexuals for Steele’s Russo-Icelandic heritage and sensitive lyrics. Internationally they feared little better, with most of their inaugural European tour cancelled due to anti-fascist groups labelling them a Nazi band (despite keyboardist Josh Silver being Jewish).

The disastrous tour was immortalised by the band when Roadrunner Records gave them money to fund the recording of a live album. The band instead spent the money and recorded a fake live album in a basement with their friend’s heckling them with the now familiar “You Suck” as an overdub. The album 'Origin of the Faeces: Not Live at Brighton Beach', became a cult hit for its dry humorous take on a Type O Negative live show and their cover of Jimi Hendrix‘s ‘Hey Joe’ (re-dubbed ‘Hey Peter’). Their label, however, did not see the funny side of it. The album, despite being reworked tracks from their début, displayed a different approach to the song writing. Under Steele’s direction, Silver’s keyboards were mixed higher and became more ambient and gothic in sound.

This stylistic change of face carried over onto the bands 1994 sophomore album ‘Bloody Kisses’. This time the anger was running second fiddle to elaborate gothic hymns to female stereotypes (‘Black No.1’ and ‘Christian Woman’) as well as misery and heartache (‘Too Late: Frozen’ and ‘Bloody Kisses - A Death in the Family’). The album was originally released with many instrumental and humorous tracks, but after the videos for ‘Black No.1’ and ‘Christian Woman’ received airplay on MTV, a re-edit and re-release of just the core tracks propelled the album to gold status. A first for the band and their record label. 

With the band’s stock rising internationally and domestically the band crafted a dramatic stage presence on tour with bands such as Mötley Crüe and Nine Inch Nails, with Steele’s vampiric persona and trademark red wine consumption dominating reviews. The label eager to capitalise on the band’s success pushed Steele for a follow-up.

“I don't know what drugs they were on. I guess they wanted to make another remake of Bloody Kisses, Bloody Kisses II or something like that. They didn't get it.” - NY Rock 

The album that Peter wrote instead was a milestone in what came to be known as “Goth Metal”. Part gothic rock, part psychedelic, and filtered through Black Sabbath style doom metal guitars - 1996’s ‘October Rust’ turned Type O Negative into an international force. The band embarked on tours with Pantera, Ozzy Osbourne, and headlined festivals in the USA and Europe. MTV once again came calling and the romantic and playful videos for ‘Love You To Death’ and ‘My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend’ turned Steele into a reluctant sex symbol. 

This new-found status even lead to Steele appearing on mainstream talk shows such as Jerry Springer and Riki Lake as an example of the definitive “Metal Male”. It wasn’t before long that Playgirl Magazine invited Steele to do a spread - though Steele was said to be embarrassed after finding out that most of the magazine’s subscribers were in fact men. Steele would later look back on the incident with self-deprecating humour, though the publicity certainly didn't do any harm for the band.

“After I did it, I thought, "Oh my God, what did I do?" It was more than upsetting that so many guys had it. Girls, OK, but there just seemed to be at least as many guys. Not that I'm homophobic, but it was certainly irritating.” - NY Rock 

Though it was the band’s most successful period it was one of the hardest in Steele’s personal life. The heights of success inevitably opened the doors to chemical influences taking hold of the front man and personal tragedies sent him into another spiral of depression. At this time, burnt out from two solid years of touring, Steele dreaded the phone calls from the label asking to write and even more successful record than '… Kisses' or '… Rust'. Though an album was finally finished it was evident that Steele was writing to exorcise his demons, not to sell records. 

1999’s ‘World Coming Down’ returned to the melancholic dirges of ‘Bloody Kisses’ sans the humour. The album was the darkest since the band’s début with songs like ‘Everyone I Love is Dead’, Everything Dies’, and ‘World Coming Down’ dominating the track listing. The album wasn’t as well received as previous efforts, but it still fed the hungry waves of fans and the resulting tour saw Steele motivated and attempting to clean up his act. An interim best of album called ‘The Least Worst of Type O Negative’ was released while Steele focused on himself.

“What asshole starts to drink and use drugs every day when they are 36 or 37? It’s a real F**king disgrace. I’m kind of shocked at myself, I’m embarrassed […] That slump of doing too much drinking and cocaine is becoming a thing of the past and I’m starting to get myself back a little bit.” - Terrorizer Magazine 

The band’s next album ‘Life is Killing Me’ showed that Steel was indeed getting back to his old self. Though dark, the album had the most humorous and playful feel than any album since ‘Origin…’ and ‘Bloody Kisses’, it even included a cover of ‘Angry Inch’ from the musical 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch'. The supporting video for ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Me’ made a modest impact on radio and TV play lists, but ultimately the band was left to tour to promote the album. This proved to be the last album released by Roadrunner under the contract Steele had signed back in the 80’s with Carnivore. The band parted ways with the label, and soon after European competitors SPV signed them to release the bands next album.

However, another spell of silence befell Steele and co. With the band’s webpage proclaiming “Peter Steele: 1962-2005” creating a stir of wild speculation that the imposing figure had suddenly died. It turned out to be a joke, if not an eerily prophetic one. On the interim live DVD ‘Symphony For The Devil’ and other interviews Steele explained that the length between releases was down to his incarceration in Riker's Island and "the psych ward at Kings County Hospital" at the hands of his family for his psychological and drug problems.

“I violated probation because you know due to drugs and alcohol and just having a case of like all I had to do was like show up once a month and put my hand into a fuckin machine […] I didn't show up for like six months and then I'm like so, let them come and get me and you know what? Bang! Bang! Bang! Is Peter there? Housekeeping!" - MK Magazine 

But an album did materialise on SPV records soon after the DVD release. ‘Dead Again’ saw Steele once again working through his feelings, this time regarding drug addiction and betrayal (‘Tripping a Blind Man’), as well as his conversion/reversion to Catholicism (‘Ode to Locksmiths’), and opinions on abortion (‘These Three Things’). Unlike ‘World Coming Down’ however, Steele maintained his sense of humour and the album received a positive run with one of the highest chart positions since ‘October Rust’ as well as good radio and TV coverage of the band’s singles ‘Profit of Doom’ and ‘September Sun’. The subsequent tour received positive reviews for the newly sober Steele, and the band continued on supporting the album, in 2009 signing up for the Jaegermeister tour with fellow New Yorkers Hatebreed and 3 Inches Of Blood.

“Apparently, when you’re drunk you don’t realise how badly you’re playing and how badly you’re singing. People have told me that I sound much better and I’m playing much better. I don’t really see it as much as other people do because I was drunk. But I realise that I was primarily responsible for almost destroying this band. The last five years of tours have been full of coke and alcohol and I didn’t think the thing was apparent […] If I’m fucked up, half the band’s fucked up […] So I’m trying to rectify the damage that I’ve done by just doing the best job that I can…” - 

Tragically though, Steele’s new sense of optimism was unfortunately cut short on the 14th of April 2010. The cause was widely reported as heart failure. Rumours of the front man’s death had flooded the internet but were initially met with scepticism after the infamous 2005 prank. However, the news that Steele had died aged only 48 years, was later confirmed by the other members of Type O Negative and soon tributes flooded in from friends, bands and fans.

Peter Steele was buried in Saint Charles Cemetary, Farmingdale alongside his parents. His legacy and influence has continually been paid tribute in the years since his death with many bands still citing Type O Negative as a major influence on their own songwriting. 

Steele's talent was a multifaceted one hidden behind a shy and sensitive shell. His vocal range is one of the greatest in modern music, his song-craft, composition and ear for melodies was beyond comparison, and his single-minded determination to create something unique in the form of Type O Negative took the band to international acclaim. Though he struggled with his demons, his body of work is one of the most consistent and genuine output of any artist around. And it is an output that will withstand the test of time.  
“Well, that's it, that's all we have. I hope it wasn't too disappointing…” - October Rust, 1996 

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