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Type O Negative frontman Peter Steele passes away

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Blabbermouth is reporting that Fallout, Carnivore, and longtime Type O Negative frontman Peter Steele passed away Wednesday from what is believed to be heart failure. Born Petrus T. Ratajczyk, the singer was beloved for his abnormally deep tone and dark lyrics; he was also easily identifiable due his remarkable height (6′7″). Unconfirmed reports suggest that Steele had been ill in the days leading up to his passing; the news of his death was later confirmed by Type O’s keyboardist Josh Silver.

News of Steele’s death was initially suspected to be a rumor, much along the lines of a similar situation that was reported some five years ago. Blabbermouth reflects,

Back in 2005, many people were shocked when they logged on to the TYPE O NEGATIVE web site and saw a gravestone with the words “[P]eter Steele – 1962 – 2005 …. Free At Last” carved on it. According to Epinions.com, there were rumors at the time that Steele was sick (with anything from cancer to AIDS), was on his deathbed, attempted suicide … and the list goes on. Needless to say, it turned out that Steele was very much alive and the gravestone was merely a joke, albeit one the wasn’t viewed as being in particularly good taste.

Peter Steele was 48.


On a personal note the news comes as quite a shock to me. I’ve been a fan of the band for about as long as I’ve been a fan of hard music and October Rust remains one of my favorite records ever; I suppose you could call it one of those desert island discs. I was fortunate enough to have seen Steele perform with Type O twice during my time living in and around Minneapolis. The first came in 2003 when the band performed at the Quest in support of Life is Killing Me, co-headlining with Cradle of Filth. The band came out in orange jump suits with the mammoth Steele wielding a bottle of red wine as he dwarfed the crowd. The second show came a couple years later in 2007 when the band played the historic First Avenue in support of their Dead Again album. It was one of the last times I remember getting rowdy in the crowd. Even with the band’s last album, I never felt that Type O Negative ever felt stale. I will sorely miss Steele’s contributions to the musical community.