Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Something Borrowed: "Black Sabbath," Type O Negative/Black Sabbath

It was the song that announced the arrival of heavy metal. That menacing tritone chiming out across the musical landscape like bells of doom. There's no way that this song could get any darker, spookier or more evil, right?

Enter Type O Negative, and their even more oppressive take on the song.

It happened on the Nativity in Black tribute album, far and away the best of the glut of such albums in the 1990s, and this performance was one of the reasons for that.

Those first notes come out drenched in deep, depressing distortion, giving them an even more ominous tone. That drops out with some bubbling water and sounds of tortured souls in the background. Then, imposing front man Peter Steele, who died of heart failure in 2010 at the age of 48, put his deep bass rumble to use, slowing down the verse and delivering it in a dark spoken word.

As if the song weren't scary or creepy enough, we get some "ave satanas" chants and a little bit of horror movie keyboard during the next verse.

Even when the song switches to its faster section, Type O Negative maintains that oppressive, bleak attitude. A guitar lead later gets turned into an organ piece that increases the gothic mood.

You can't top Black Sabbath when it comes to metal. They invented it, and the best songs still belong to them. But Type O Negative most certainly put their stamp on this song, and it stands as nearly the equal to the original.

1 comment:

  1. Sadly the 90s are gone and along with it the chance to grow up with such profound music.