Originally written by a drunk Peter Steele within four hours during his Carnivore days, Slow, Deep and Hard is one of those albums that’s undeniably hilarious, yet isn’t just about comical value. It’s an authentic record that tells the story of Peter Steele’s desire to kill his girlfriend after getting cheated on and before you forget: this is the same band that would focus on attracting a female audience in the years ahead – believe it or not!
I’ll admit that I’m by no means a Type O Negative fan (not that I’ve heard too much of this band), but Slow, Deep and Hard works well enough for me. Peter Steele’s raw passion shines through these heartfelt (if occasionally quirky) compositions that are full of hatred, spite and sorrow. Musically, there’s obviously still some Carnivore left in Steele’s sound, yet that ranges from faster, Carnivore-esque sections of pure anger, to occasional Black Sabbath-esque heaviness of authentic gloom. It sounds like a weird mix, but then again, it’s not like Peter Steele hasn’t shown his versatility in his Carnivore days (think of ‘Male Supremacy’, with its raging verses and its surreal gothic-esque break). Indeed, Slow, Deep and Hard consists of many ideas – that at best, work rather well together.
When things work out well, Slow, Deep and Hard becomes rather entertaining clear right off the start. ‘Unsuccessfully Coping with the Natural Beauty of Infidelity’ starts off with some hardcore-inspired moments of Carnivore and eventually leads to an over-the-top chorus that’s caught between the atmospheric church organs and gentle gothic croons. Versatile from a musical and emotional perspective, it’s not something that you don’t stumble upon every day, but this daring opener certainly justifies its length. ‘Gravitational Constant: G = 6.67 x 10⁻⁸ cm⁻³ gm⁻¹ sec⁻²’ is a superb final number and while it lacks some of the up-tempo changes that are present on most tracks, it manages to compensate with its mass of down tuned sludgy guitar work that slashes with morbid effects around Peter Steele’s high-spirited vocals.
At its worst, you end up with tunes that hardly benefit from their multiple sub-parts and it’s a shame, cause even these feature their better moments. Caught between metallic fury and industrial-like ambiance, ‘Der Untermensch’ spends the first two minutes building little atmosphere that works in the song’s favor and not even a minute after kicking into high gear, already returns to its original state. Likewise, ‘Prelude to Agony’ is another head scratcher; wasting its time with a dragging introduction and even the church organs and croons that work far better in other tunes, serve little purpose in between here. It’s as if Type O Negative weren’t always sure what to do with the ideas that they’ve had and instead, would try out as many things as possible. That’s not to say that there aren’t any superior moments here; there’s a faithful Sabbath-esque riff that the track rides on for a while and I also enjoy its trilling later half; where the band goes back to playing loud and proud.
Overall, Slow, Deep and Hard makes an amusing listen and generally, it’s a lot of fun. Just listen to ‘Xero Tolerance’ which is another shameless rampage that structurally speaking, develops with clarity at least. There’s a creepy introduction that properly leads to a soundscape of Peter Steele’s angry outbursts and it’s not done without a sense of humor! Who could forget that section where Peter Steele Steele starts to yell like a drunken cowboy and those exaggerated gang shouts back him up? Metal rarely gets this hilarious, I reckon. At the same time, Slow, Deep and Hard is hardly the most cohesive album that I can think of (there’s a six minute long interlude present on this album – go figure), so some patience is required once you’re going to give this album a shot. Moral of the story: be careful with writing your music while drunk and don’t be afraid to adjust your craft while sober!
Score: 72 / 100 – Story of a raging drunkard
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