April 14th is a hard day for fans of Type of Negative, as we continue to mourn the loss of legendary frontman Peter Steele who died on this day in 2010. He was only 48 years old. He would have turned 57 this year. Join us as we recall the life and musical legacy of the titan from the 1990s.
Steele was born Petrus Thomas Ratajczyk in Brooklyn on January 4th, 1962. Attracted equally as a youth to the heaviness of Black Sabbath, and melody of The Beatles, these two iconic artists, along an early exposure to the nascent New York Hardcore scene would factor heavily in the future musical makeup of Steele. After an early go at heavy metal with Fallout (with future Type O keyboardist Josh Silver) he formed Carnivore which ran from 1982 to 1987, general exciting or offending everyone with little variation in between. Which was exactly the point of that band. Carnivore would reunite on and off over the years, including an appearance at Milwaukee Metalfest in 1996 and Wacken Open Air 2006. After Carnivore, Peter took his ideas even further, and combining them with his true musical, identity and formed Type O Negative.
Type O Negative became one of the most important bands 1990s, not just locally in New York City, but Worldwide. Perhaps more than any other band, they helped put Roadrunner Records on the map with the platinum-selling Bloody Kisses in 1993. The build-up to Bloody Kisses included early releases Slow, Deep, And Hard (1991) and Origin Of The Feces in 1992. These albums blended Steele’s collected influences of heavy metal, goth, industrial, punk, doom, thrash; coupled with his unique vocal style, inimitable wry humor and brilliant lyricism. Blood Kisses gave the world a fully realized concept, with songs like ‘Black No.1’ and ‘Christian Woman’, ‘Blood and Fire’, ‘Bloody Kisses (A Death In The Family)’, ‘Set Me On Fire’, and ‘We Hate Everyone’ would go on to cement the bands enduring legacy, and have had far-reaching effects into the music of today.
Future albums such as October Rust (1996), and World Coming Down (1999) would also achieve legend status, in addition to other strong releases such as Life is Killing Me (2003) and final album Dead Again (2007). Type O was said to be working on a new album at the time of Steele’s death.
As many artists continue to preach the gospel of Peter, and his cultural significance extends far beyond metal, raise a glass to “The Green Man” with Ghost Cult and celebrate the life and music of this artist.