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“World Coming Down” by Type O Negative

Artist: Type-O-Negative
Title: “World Coming Down”
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: 9/21/1999
Genre: Gothic Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

Released about three years after “October Rust”, the “World Coming Down” album by Brooklyn’s own Type O Negative finds the band getting back to a heavier line of business and doing so with a much darker sense of purpose than was found on the previous effort. I will touch upon this a little later but first the bands dry sense of humor comes into play as soon as you put the album into your CD changer with “Skip It”, this is a quick “song” or soundscape that sounds exactly like your CD laser skipping and hence likely unusable. Peter (or is it Kenny) yells “sucker” before the solemn and almost funeral droning Sabbathian riffs of “White Slavery” kick us into the album’s first official music. The song appears to deal with cocaine addiction and while a powerfully driven musical piece is not a happy one at all. The lyrics of “I’ve lost myself again, it’s a nightmare but it’s real” speak volumes to the pains of addiction and despair from such practices. There are three unique soundscapes that reflect the various themes of the album and they are “S.I.N.U.S.”, “Liver” and “Lung”; the first one “S.I.N.U.S.” is probably the eeriest of them all as it’s the most realistic. “Everyone I Love Is Dead” is a kick ass riff monster with crunching grooves that get layered with a bright overlay of keyboards but again a not too happy message as Peter muses aloud how those who matter most in his day are now gone. While “Who Will Save The Sane” is not as morose, “World Coming Down” finds the man of Steele lining out how he feels more pain than he speaks of. This is the most epic of the albums output as well and runs almost eleven minutes. It always surprised me at how often they would play this one live when one considers its overall length. I love the use of the chanting Monks in it as it adds to the atmosphere for sure.

“Creepy Green Light” is a song about a nether worldly love affair while “Everything Dies” is pretty self explanatory. The video for this one shows the band dining as the family members around them each disappear during its progression. It’s a great song and one that found some airplay on the mediums that showcased this kind of material outside of a Pop driven world. I loved the groove of “Pyretta Blaze” but was unsure what the general meaning of the tune was. Was Steele in love with some kind of fire goddess or just fire in general? Who knows. I guess some digging around will be necessary. Either way a solid tune with an almost fun feeling chorus and drum pattern. To close up the album they offer up an interesting surprise by way of the “Day Tripper” medley as it not only presents the listener with a Type-O rendition of the Beatles classic, but it had “If I Needed Someone” and “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” mixed in as well. Those who listened closely to the “October Rust” melodies that preceded this release will remember the strong Beatles influence to their sound that we got and with this cover The Drab Four deliver a solid homage. There was never a time when Steele did not disclose his love of The Beatles and who could blame him since their work is so wide and encompassing.

The booklet with this one is more of a fold out poster that shows the band members on one side and the lyrics to the songs on the other. To enjoy this particular facet of the album you need a little table space. I would have preferred they chose a standard booklet design than this but I guess one big piece is cheaper to assemble. In the end this was an emotionally brutal release and one that does not leave you in a happy place and instead might find the listeners reflecting on their own lives a little more than they might have expected. If Steele and the Type O Negative lads have shone any light on stuff like addiction or how precious life is then this was a mission accomplished. As always I wonder what path they will take with the next one and I guess only time will tell for that.

Track Listing:
1. Skip It
2. White Slavery
3. S.I.N.U.S.
4. Everyone I Love Is Dead
5. Who Will Save The Sane
6. Liver
7. World Coming Down
8. Creepy Green Light
9. Everything Dies
10. Lung
11. Pyretta Blaze
12. All Hallow’s Eve
13. Day Tripper Medley

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