90s score: 7.5/10
2020 score: 9/10
Can metal music be sexy? The answer is October Rust. Sex symbol, Playgirl model, and lead singer/bassist of Type O Negative Peter Steele delivers his most impassioned song-writing, sung with the deep baritone he is so heavily renowned for. Like a male version of the mythological Sirens, Steele’s voice compels women, goths, and good Christian women alike to go mad with love and carnal desire.
On “Love You to Death,” Steele opines, “Am I good enough for you;” keeping in the tradition of Type O’s self-depreciating attitude. The song is a seven-minute master work of goth metal, Josh Silver’s keyboards setting a romantic melody over which Kenny Hickey bleeds out freakishly distorted guitar chords. The track hangs on the crux of Type O Negative’s classic thematic of, well, love and death. Giving in to the ultimate pleasures of the body while doom and gloom stand menacingly bedside.
If Bloody Kisses was a shedding of Type O Negatives previous sound, a much more punk and hardcore driven brand of metal, October Rust is the band’s complete bloom into another genre of metal altogether; gothic power metal seems a nice tag. Gone are the days of the double bass punk beats of “Kill All the White People,” and is instead replaced by Johnny Kelly’s hard-hitting yet slow-burning, tempos on “Green Man” or “Wolf Moon.” It puts Type O in the unique position of seeming heavier by playing slower and gives the album its vital essence. Through and through on October Rust we see the band at its most confident when taking chances that don’t even feel like chances. For example, “Red Water (Christmas Morning)” at first glance has every reason to be laughed at, cast aside or chalked up as filler, and yet it has its place on this record and holds up with the better known tracks on this record.
Truth of the matter is, October Rust doesn’t need to be dissected that much. At the forefront is Peter Steele’s voice and find me a metal loving female who wouldn’t want to listen to Steele say “I’ll do anything to make you cum” all day every day. The imagery and subject matter is relentlessly on point: sex, red wine, sex, wolves, sex, druid, sex… you get it. It’s done artfully, without being too self indulgent or arrogant. Is it catering? Perhaps, but all the great records cater to some audience.
October Rust is a metal record like no other. It’s metal for before bed. It’s metal to fuck to, metal with a little sedative mixed in. You don’t bang your head to this record, or mosh, you go down on girls to this slbum and then you go down on her girlfriend. And like a fine wine October Rust only gets better with age.
Written by Lee Ferguson
*edited by Danielle Kenedy