On This Date in History, April 14th Remembering Peter Steele Of Type O Negative

Type O Negative vocalist/bassist Peter Steele died ten years ago on Apr. 14 and, although criminally underrated, they still left a lasting impression both music and horror fans.

Metal, regardless of which subgenre your more familiar with, goes remarkably well with horror movies — there’s no disputing that. It doesn’t matter if it’s a slasher film, creature features, ghost or zombie flicks, whatever it is. Unsurprisingly, certain metal groups appear on multiple soundtracks throughout their careers. One band that was very unique in their approach to convey emotion, sensuality and dark humor with depth was Type O Negative.

I first got into Type O Negative after a friend recommended them to me and I promptly bought the October Rust CD. I remember being overwhelmed and totally impressed with each and every song. Soon after I bought Bloody Kisses and from there I did a deep dive and bought all their albums while impatiently awaiting future releases.

Below is a list of movies featuring the “Drab Four” on their soundtrack.

1) I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

Off their 1993 album, “Bloody Kisses,” Type O Negative released this Seals and Crofts cover. It’s featured in the opening of the Kevin Williamson ’90s hit, I Know What You Did Last Summer. The camera is moving over a body of water to its destination and slowly the song transitions to the film’s score by John Debney. It’s a strong mood setter, especially with the sound effects added in.

Something about their cover of Summer Breeze is perfect for this opening. It feels sarcastic, insincere and perhaps a tad dangerous. Either way you look at it, it’s a huge departure from what the 1972 original’s vibe is like.

Noteworthy in the band’s history: “Bloody Kisses” earned them recognition from the Recording Industry Association of America. Also noteworthy, drummer Sal Abruscato quit the band shortly after and was replaced by their drum technician, Johnny Kelly.

2) Nosferatu (1922 silent film, released in 1998)

Courtesy of Arrow Videos and DigiView Entertainment, the original 1922 silent film was re-released in 1998 with music taken from 1991’s Slow, Deep and Hard, 1993’s Bloody Kisses and 1996’s October Rust. If interested, you can watch it in full on YouTube, but if you’d prefer a DVD copy, check here. The song I’ll choose to highlight comes off October Rust. Green man is an earthy, tranquil song that suits any season and any purpose.

3) Bride of Chucky (1998)

The song, “Love You to Death,” appears as track number six on the official soundtrack, however, it doesn’t appear in the movie. It’s interesting because the album cover reads, “Music from and inspired by the Motion Picture”, but the song came out in 1996; so if it’s neither featured in the film, nor inspired by it, why is it listed?

I just wished they actually used it somewhere in the movie. It’s a sexy, goth romance song that’s as beautiful and overwhelming as it is passionately played and mellifluously sung.

4) The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The Blair Witch Project — Courtesy of Lionsgate

Say what you will about this found footage flick, but the soundtrack isn’t half bad. Included on it, is the 1996 track, Haunted. It’s ethereal, otherworldly, tragic and effective in every sense. While none of the songs on the soundtrack actually made it to the film, the idea was to market the hell out of it by releasing a mixed CD the character Josh had in his car before disappearing. It’s funny to note that, if memory serves, the film takes place in 1994, despite being released in 1999. “Haunted” was not released until 1996. The film was shot in late October of 1997 and became a hit two years later during its festival run.

5) Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

“(We Were) Electrocute” is one of many awesome tracks on the film’s official soundtrack. It’s a mournful yet celebratory track of heavy riffs complimenting reflective lyrics softly albeit passionately sung. The track is off Type O Negative’s 2003 album, “Life is Killing Me.” The album would be their last with Roadrunner records. Although not the first, Freddy vs. Jason is certainly one of the greater horror soundtracks offering a variety of different types of metal.

Type O Negative disbanded shortly after Peter Steele died on Apr. 14, 2010. His death was from an aortic aneurysm. Since then, Keyboardist Josh Silver has become a certified EMT in New York, while guitarist and vocalist Kenny Hickey has help positions in several bands, including Danzig and Seventh Void along with drummer Johnny Kelly, who also plays in A Pale Horse Named Death with Type O’s original drummer, Sal Abruscato on vocals.

I strongly feel as though, all these years later, Type O Negative still isn’t given nearly the credit they deserve. Not only has the band become a source of inspiration, but their music has helped me through some rough times. I was even fortunate enough to see them in concert.

If you haven’t heard of the band before, I highly recommend you check them out. Especially if you’re a fan of any of the aforementioned horror movies. How many of the songs and movies are you familiar with?

4 thoughts on “On This Date in History, April 14th Remembering Peter Steele Of Type O Negative

  1. Yes, too many people think of them as sort of a novelty act, like, “Oh it’s those vampire guys who sing about Halloween! Black No. 1, woohoo!” But the music is complex and intricate and stands up to repeated listening. “Haunted” is as profoundly affecting to me as actual church music, for example.

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  2. Nice tribute. I realized yesterday that hardly a day goes by when I don’t think about him or his music at least in passing. Ten years, my god…

    You might be interested to know that in his biography of Steele, Soul on Fire, Jeff Wagner wrote that although the family listed an aortic aneurysm as the cause of death, several months later it was decided that he actually died of “complications from Meckel’s diverticulum, a malformation of the gastrointestinal tract.” It was never officially corrected.

    Wagner writes, “Peter’s intestines had pockets that became badly infected in the days prior to his death, likely from a foreign object as seemingly unthreatening as a seed. His abdominal pain was a result of this inflammation, aggravated by hypovolemia (a decrease in volume of fluid within the body, which eventually collapses the veins and arteries, leading to eventual shutdown of all vital organs). If discovered and treated promptly, Peter’s condition could have been fixed with surgery.”

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