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The True Opus Magnum - 100%

Petrus_Steele, November 20th, 2019
Written based on this version: 1999, CD, Roadrunner Records

I was originally going to get this album tattooed just one month before the 20th anniversary, and by that time on September 21st, I would have it done - plus end up with this review ready for approval. Two months late, but it's better later than never - and eventually I'll have that bastard under my skin. But, I digress. My personal affliction isn't relevant to the actual masterpiece in question, but why it inspired me so much in life for the music the band wrote.

Returning to their doom metal form, only taking what was made from their debut album to a whole new level. World Coming Down is the band's opus magnum for the following reasons: it's an essential success to the band's doom metal style from their debut album, Slow, Deep and Hard. It's tied with October Rust as their maturest records, albeit the doom metal factor. Considerably, its catalog contains a lot of underrated material which due to the album's nature, the band or Peter personally never truly pushed, like their gothic predecessors. And, the distorted, sad, and depressive atmosphere of this album is longing for bad habits created within the music, meaning it's their hardest record when emotions are invested... come to think of it. Speaking of maturity, you can consider the beautiful, green landscape of the Brooklyn Bridge to be just that because unlike the rest of the band's album covers where they vary from ridiculous sex reference and goth girls to simple art designs, this album's cover speaks volumes.

Although no musical substance, the band once again recorded four fillers almost exactly to that of Bloody Kisses, however pretty meaningful to the album's concept. The prelude, Skip It is meant for the humorous purpose the band always maintained, despite the forthcoming songs and their aforementioned nature. A bugged track which at the end has Kenny saying "sucker!". The following three interludes serve as three potential causes of death and respectively titled after organs: Sinus serves as the cause of death by cocaine addiction, Liver serves as alcohol abuse (which unfortunately enough, I gather that was part of Peter's demise), and Lung serves as the bad habit of smoking. As I said, despite no musical substance, these interludes still have a purpose for the album's concept and therefore are not to be eliminated.

That being said, you're left with eight original tracks and the ninth and final track being The Beatles medley of the songs Day Tripper (serving as the title of the medley and is also reprised), If I Needed Someone, and I Want You (She's So Heavy). Despite its depressive nature, however, three of the eight original tracks; Creepy Green Light, Pyretta Blaze, and All Hallows Eve contemplate for a more "happier" feeling towards the album on all aspects. This, of course, includes The Beatles medley, despite not being an original track.

The depressive songs: I bet when you read White Slavery for the first time, you've probably thought it'd be a new and returning political theme of the band. Since the metaphor behind it is too strong and didn't turn out to be the case, it's loosely based on Peter's past coke addiction. Everyone I Love Is Dead and Everything Dies are pretty identical when it comes to their meanings. As before, the title of the song Bloody Kisses (A Death in the Family) revolves around the same theme, but it's actually a whole, long metaphor based on Peter's cat at the time, Venus. In World Coming Down, these two songs are based on the loss of family (though the former is more general that can mean anyone outside of family). Who Will Save the Sane? is a very underrated track. The lyrics sound very creative and metaphoric, where Peter chose some interesting words and the meaning behind it has to do with one's sanity and the world that revolves around them. The title track has to do with one's life; as they see it in a worldview, coming down. Perhaps a nihilistic approach, but I believe it's simply the idea of losing the meaning of life. What's common about these five songs musically, is the overwhelming, slow, deep and hard distortion. The bass pretty much riffs more than the guitar, yet the guitar's slow melodies and solos can send chills down your spine. The keyboards are more experimental and organic, with much more developed samples - which unlike the predecessors respectfully, they capture more of the atmosphere in this album. I would also say the guitar riffs on the title track's bridge is what gave me this rude awakening in my childhood.

The happier songs: perhaps Creepy Green Light and All Hallows Eve don't sound as happy as their titles may suggest, but I'm only referencing the music; when you hear those beautiful bass lines and the natural harmonics, while the guitar and keyboards add more energy to these songs and the atmosphere isn't as cruel, but beautiful. Pyretta Blaze is yet another love or relationship song, but it's one of the easiest the band has recorded, in terms of its delivery. More or less, it's got great organs in the background, as the music sounds like the band wanted to calm things down and goof around - especially in the song's long, sludge-ish outro. Day Tripper (Medley) obviously sounds distinctive from the original but somewhat faithful as well - and that goes for If I Needed Someone. While Day Tripper sounds sludge-ish and heavy, If I Needed Someone sounds like Bloody Kisses's material, with the sitar and samples in the background. And I Want You (She's So Heavy) consists only of the opening, which becomes slow as the song reaches its end.

Although these three songs aren't on the original release, they're available in the band's compilation album, The Least Worst of Type O Negative and one of them was included in Everything Dies's single. Originally recorded during this album's sessions, I think they would've been a perfect edition. Just imagine removing the four fillers and you get 12 doom metal tracks with a lot of grooves for 90 minutes or so. These three songs are 12 Black Rainbows, It's Never Enough, and one of my favorite songs from the band, Stay Out of My Dreams - which funny enough ends with a piano strike like you hear on Kill You Tonight (Reprise), and speaking of coincidence considering the final track for the aforementioned compilation album, it would also perfectly suit for this album as the final track. All in all, I wish maybe in the 30th anniversary or something, the band or whoever owns the distribution for the band's music (I suppose at the time and to this day it's still Roadrunner Records) will re-release the album with these three songs and remove the four fillers, or have these three songs as bonus tracks.

World Coming Down is one of those albums you'd tell yourselves we never really deserved. That's how I see it for commending such craft. The band showed even in their darkest times, they know how to have fun and create diversity among their music, which since October Rust this was maintained. Since personally Peter was dissatisfied with the approach, in terms of the direction and how depressed he was during those times, whereas the rest of the band did like this album lot more because it was mature and a return to their doom metal sound. The band "sort of" made up for that "mistake" in their sixth full-length, Life Is Killing Me. Speaking of diversity, when you have the depressive side of the album and the happier side of it, the best songs are White Slavery, Who Will Save the Sane?, the title track, and All Hallows Eve - and I'm not saying this because it's hard to pick favorite songs, but these four songs have so much to offer from the band, compared to the two singles that were released and the two other two happy songs, so to speak.

Sad and Dark, Yet Enjoyable - 92%

Stained Glass Assassin, March 9th, 2019

I remember my first experience with Type O Negative. I was on one of my usual hunts for metal down at the second hand music shop, when I came across as strange looking, green album from a band I had only heard about in the past; Type O Negative. The album in question was, "World Coming Down" and to be honest, the only reason I picked it up was because of the Roadrunner Records label, so I knew it had to be some form of metal.

When I first listened to “World Coming Down”, I’ll admit, I thought it sounded boring. I was about 16, so metalcore and death metal were my bread and butter at the time, so my I my appreciation for the sound was unrefined. A few years would pass and I would learn more about Type O Negative as a whole discovering more about the band. Of course, "Bloody Kisses" was the album everyone was suggesting, but I had this green looking album, so I figured I’d start where from there.

By this time, my ear for metal had grown to appreciate a wider variety sounds and genres, so I was able to digest what I was about to hear. Still, I did a little research and read a few reviews before doing so as to do my homework on the album and discovered that this was going to be a depressing and hopeless experience. And that is not a bad thing. This is, after all, Gothic metal, so one should expect some sort of doom and gloom, but it’s one thing to act and dress the part, but it’s another to actually convey that through your music. “World Coming Down” is filled with emotions of sorrow, pain and mourning. Emotions that can be felt through both the music and Peter Steele’s vocals. The album as a whole carries a certain burden to its overall atmosphere, while the individual songs simply give off the notion that each track is a cry for help to the listener. Tracks such as "Everyone I Love is Dead", "Everything Dies" speak volumes to the misery Type of Negative set out to create however, it gets even more morbid. I learned that the segues "Sinus", "Liver" and "Lungs" were suggestive pieces that paint a picture about the possible demise of one or more of the band members. Talk about dark. (They also did a good job pissing me off with the track "Skip It" before realizing what was going on.)

As for the music, after a few listens, I would quickly become a fan of this album. The riffs churn out slow brooding doom style madness, taking advantage of the very distorted sound. The guitars ooze with gloom and misery as the plod forward painting the dark imagery surrounding this album. Like many doom acts, the drumming is not meant to blow your mind away with speed and power, but rather their slower tempo and crisp sound is meant to help create an overall morbid atmosphere. I would say the bass is on a similar level in that their groovy, yet distinctive sound is not meant to be a highlight of the album, but rather compliment the tone and mood created by the guitars and vocals. The use of keyboards also adds to the doomy atmosphere, especially the organ sounds, which always helps with feeling of despair.

With that said, the highlight of “World Coming Down” or any Type O Negative album in my opinion, would be Peter Steele's icon voice. His deep, low voice has an immediate ability to put you in a dreary mood. The amount of emotion that Steele put into his vocals speaks volumes as to why his voice is highly regarded as legendary. He has to power to conjure mental images of regret, sadness and misery, which help transport you into the very mood the band set out to create on this, or any Type O Negatvie album for that matter.

To sum it up, it took a few years after I purchased “World Coming Down” to be able to appreciate not only the album, but also atmosphere this style of music can create. The music, combined with Peter Steele's vocals are enough for me to really enjoy this album on its own. However, like any underlying story line in an already excellent movie or book, the mood Type O Negative creates adds another level of enjoyability, albeit at the cost of any joy you’re experiencing at that time.

Highlights: "White Slavery" "Everyone I Love is Dead" "Creepy Green Lights" "World Coming Down"

Into the Abyss of Oblivion

A lesson in how to laugh at your own sad self - 96%

The_Desolate_One, July 19th, 2013

It’s been a quite a while since I first heard World Coming Down. It was my introduction to Type O Negative, and I remember being pleased by its alternance of doomy and straight-out rocking moments, and its distinct style of self-deprecating black humor. A couple of years have passed, and I still think it’s the best album TON ever crafted, since I find that their other albums tend to be a little inconsistent. In their previous works, you can see how they switch anticlimactically between the trendy goth style that made them famous because of songs like “Black N. 1” or “Christian Woman” and the angry hardcore of their early days, reminiscent of Peter’s first band, Carnivore, (a contrast which is quite clear in Bloody Kisses) or how they immediately leap from mournful dirges about death to uppity 60’s style silliness about threesomes, complete with cheesy organ sound and all (see October Rust)... then you have Life is Killing Me later, an album that has both a song complaining about being lonely on Valentine’s day and that embarrassing burst of homophobia that is “I like goils”. WCD, on the other hand, manages to keep consistence both in quality, as there are no throwaway tracks inserted just to make the album longer, and in tone, which I’d describe as morbid – to say it in a single word. It’s no wonder they rarely played any of these songs live, as one can easily feel how personal and painful they are.

Despite this consistently morbid mood, the songs are quite varied. You still have a couple of more gothic-sounding tracks, like the Halloween-themed “Creepy Green Light” and “All Hallows Eve,” with their atmosphere reminiscent of a B-movie session punctuated by Peter Steele’s exotic-sounding accent as he sways between creepy recitation and desperate bellowing. They kind of remind you of previous hits like “Black N. 1,” but still manage to sound much doomier in comparison, which is a plus in my book.

And then you have “White Slavery,” the opener after the usual (but thankfully short this time) joke intro. Given its funeral pace, crushing riff, and ominous organ sound, it reminds me of Skepticism, but with clean vocals – ultra bassy clean vocals, that is... Peter is already known for his deep vocals, but he manages to get them ever lower here, which suits the mood so well. The follower, “Everyone I Love is Dead” has a rocking, somewhat 70’s-ish-style wah-wah and clean guitar intro, before bringing about hyper-distorted Sabbath riffs and absolutely heartbroken lyrics (”Oh, God, I miss you, I really miss you”) and morbidly catchy choruses. This rocking doom formula can also be observed, with variations, in “Who Will Save the Sane,” “Everything Dies” (another personal favorite of mine... check out that jazzy intro), “Pyretta Blaze,” and even in the Beatles medley – so, if you’ve ever wondered how “Day Tripper,” “If I Needed Someone” and “She’s So Heavy” might have sounded like in an alternate reality in which the Beatles were a doom act, wonder no more. The title track is perhaps the lowest point here. I mean emotionally, of course, as it’s musically another highlight in the album: a long, drawn-out, slow and sludgy dirge about self-hate.

The point where TON differs here from many other bands that come to mind when one speaks of hyper-distorted Sabbathy riffs and depressive mood is Peter Steele’s own ironic sense of (black) humor. While the lyrics are painfully honest and personal (as it’s often the case with TON... see, for reference, how he complains about getting cuckolded back in Slow, Deep and Hard), there’s something profoundly funny in a song beginning like this:

Well I loved my aunt
But she died
And my Uncle Lou
But he died


...if only, at least, for the matter-of-factly way these lines are composed and delivered. And, what’s best, is that these two sides – the humorous and the morose – not only do not cancel each other (like often happens with bands whose lyrics are so over-the-top they become unintentionally funny instead), but work together to accurately represent this pathetic, bereft person in this situation of loss. Even the booklet (which doubles as a poster) is funny, especially in the “thanks” part, where Peter profusely apologizes to anyone who (vainly) tried to help him become a better person. If anything, this type of self-irony and self-mockery furthers the feeling of depression: this is the bottom of the well, there’s nothing for an outsider to ridicule here.

If I had one thing to complain about, that’d be the filler noise tracks. Almost every TON album has them, and, at least here they’re less random and more thematic, dealing with ugly issues like drug addiction (cocaine, booze, tobacco) and health problems. It’s much better than, say, gimmicks like “The Glorious Liberation of the People’s Technocratic Republic of Vinnland” or “Dark Side of the Womb”, but I still find myself skipping them. They’re mercifully short, though, barely adding up to 4 minutes in total, which still leaves you with 70 minutes of flawless, unbridled, unrelenting depression.

Type O Negative's masterpiece - 97%

606thecliff, November 6th, 2012

After the more commercial output of the somewhat filler October Rust, Type O Negative decided they wanted to release an album that truly embodied human depression instead of just stand outside the rim of it. With topics such as drug addiction, the death of family, relationship problems, and more. And what adds to the topics is the slow doomy riffs backed by Peter Steele's deep one of a kind vocals.

The album begins with a funny little track called Skip it which at the end yells "Sucker" and while it seems the album will be silly to the listener at first; the slow organ entrance of White Slavery comes in and crushes any hope of seeing a glimmer of happiness in what has to be most depressing album of all time. Not to mention that riff that comes in on White Slavery is so slow and agonizingly crushing.

This album also has 3 little tracks showing how each of the band members will die and they are Sinus, Liver, and Lung. If that isn't depressing then I don't know what is, especially considering that Peter Steele couldn't even stand to listen to the track Sinus because it give him a panic attack because of how realistic he said it sounded to him.

Peter Steele's vocals on this album are his signature deep voice used to full effect. As well as whines for dramatic effect. The way he sings the songs you can tell that he legitimately was conveying emotions he was going through at the time. He also uses a grunt on the song Everything Dies where it kinda sounds like he's saying "I like spiderman" but I think its just grunting.

The guitar riffs on this album are Type O Negative's slowest but also their heaviest. This album is much more guitar-oriented than October Rust. The riffs are slow, gloomy and just seem to drag on just like doom metal should be. Though some riffs have a little jazzy element in them like the opening riff of Pyretta Blaze. But there really are no fast tempo songs on the album and to be honest Type O Negative's fast songs just aren't that good, I mean if you want fast songs from Peter Steele just go listen to some Carnivore.

The drums aren't really complex, and there aren't really meant to be given much attention on here except to keep the down. Which is perfectly fine, because what makes an album is not how good the instruments are, its how good all the songs sound not how technical they are or how skilled the band is at their instruments. After all, an early Venom album is typically better than most tech death.

The bass as in all Type O Negative albums is more of something to add to the atmosphere instead of have its own identity. Yes its audible but its not trying be noodly, it is merging with the atmosphere successfully. Again technicality is not really important to me, its all about how the song sounds because when it sounds amazing you can usually tell a lot of effort was put into the song writing and it wasn't lets try and be as technical as possible.

Overall, this album is the perfect mold of depression with its slow, agonizing tempo, and Peter's deep sorrow-filled voice it is Type O Negative's best album because it truly models sadness without any sarcasm.

Highlights: White Slavery, Everyone I Love is Dead, Everything Dies, World Coming Down, Creepy Green Light

I guess Peter Steele finally got his wish...sadly. - 99%

DrummingEdge133, April 16th, 2010

With the passing of Peter Steele, I felt it was about time I got to writing a Type O Negative review, finally. I’ve been listening to this band now since about January of this year. Yeah, not for very long, yet in that short time span they have catapulted into one of my all time favorite bands. I’ve even gone through the trouble of finding just about all of their full-lengths (aside from The Origin of the Feces and Life is Killing Me yet), which I’ve never really done before for any band that I can remember, as incredible as I consider some of the bands I’ve listened to. They just never struck me in quite the same way as Type O Negative did. I suppose the album that I first listened to by Type O Negative had something to do with it, this one; World Coming Down. This album is clearly the band’s crowning moment in their existence, because it has two of the most incredible songs I’ve ever heard in my life. I suppose partly why I’m writing this review at this time is to cope with the reality that I will never see this band live and to be honest, it hurts. However, I also had a feeling that I never would and in a way you could say I was both a bit too late and just in time in discovering this band. Either way, I consider myself lucky for even discovering this band when I did and I know I will never tire of them as long as I live.

So, you might be asking yourself why Type O Negative struck me so deeply and so instantly as they did. Well, for one, I can tell you Peter Steele’s vocals are probably the most incredible and unique vocals I’ve heard so far in my journey through music. I think I’ve also always had a leaning toward strong melodic vocalists as well, such as Hansi Kürsch. I was listening to a lot of Joy Division before I discovered Type O Negative and Ian Curtis utilized strong memorable baritone vocals. I suppose it was a step by step process and when I finally hit on Peter Steele’s bass-baritone vocals when I did it was just a perfect next step of Ian Curtis’ vocal style, yet to a further degree. I certainly can say that Peter Steele’s vocals are the most pivotal and vital part of Type O Negative for me, without them I don’t think they would have stood out nearly as much as they did. His delivery is always with strong emotion and passion, while being able to have actually a relatively wide vocal range. He seems to be able to flow from mid-bass range to the higher end of baritone seamlessly, which creates for fantastic dynamics in each song. An example of this can particularly be heard on the massive dark and dirged out song “White Slavery.” Regardless of where Peter Steele is floating in the vocal range, his voice is always powerful and very heavy, not something that can ever be missed.

The riffing on World Coming Down is, of course, about as incredible as you will ever find on some of the songs. For instance, I mentioned that World Coming Down possesses possibly two of the most astonishing songs I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing. The first being the opening track “White Slavery”, which begins with possibly the most crushing dirge infected riff of all time, completely devastating and hardly something that is beautiful in any way. However, that is what makes it so fantastic, it is practically like looking into the soul of Peter Steele himself when that riff explodes in the first opening seconds of “White Slavery.” The tempo on this song is also painfully slow and finding the beat is near impossible to do, as generally with the whole album. The other masterpiece is, of course, the title song; “World Coming Down.” From my experience with this band, which regrettably, hasn’t been nearly as long as I would wish, “World Coming Down” is the finest song they ever wrote. This song is simply perfect in every conceivable way and I will never grow tired of it. “World Coming Down” opens with another slow dirged out riff and a china splashing cymbal beat, with possibly Peter Steele’s finest vocal performance and lyrics as well. The somber and quieter interludes are possibly the most memorable moments I’ve yet discovered in music. I’m completely wrapped up in the atmosphere created by these interludes without another thought crossing my mind. These interludes possess, ironically, some of the most beautiful riffs ever recorded, along with Peter Steele’s bass voice and mournful bass lines, make it pure musical bliss. I really can’t say anything more about it, other than it is the most awe-inspiring moments I’ve had in music. “World Coming Down” will never be forgotten.

On that note, I think I will attempt to conclude this review somehow. I suppose I didn’t do the greatest job of describing the music, but I did what I could. All I can say is, if you have yet to experience Type O Negative, please do because you will never regret it. I suppose, music such as this won’t appeal to everyone, however, I think everyone needs to hear this album at some point before they die. The music found on this album is mature and sincere, unlike a lot of the fans Type O Negative seem to have gathered over the years. For me, this album is nearly perfect and an unforgettable experience, opening my eyes to a completely new band and their drab outlook on existence, which I think I always kind of felt all my life anyway. Perhaps that is why I love this music so much, I understand Peter Steele’s point of view, whether that be good or bad, and connect so much to his bleak view of life. I just hope I’m not doomed like he always seemed to be.

R.I.P. Peter Steele, lost but not ever forgotten.

Doom sweet Doom! - 100%

grimdoom, August 26th, 2008

Ultra heavy, ultra slow, ultra emotional and subsequently ultra Type-O-Negative are the only words capable to describe what is quiet possibly the best album from the drab four. This is the bands Doom masterwork as it contains the bands treasured hallmarks while pushing their boundaries to new extremes.

The production is brilliant from the start. The guitar and bass tandem is nothing short of amazing. The guitars are heavy and thick. The melody's here are soothing and soul crushing. Kenny really out did himself on this album as far as creating a sold Metal backbone for this plodding monster.

Peter is one of the most underrated bass players of all time. His style of playing and original take on the instrument are nothing short of groundbreaking. His distorted sound finally makes sense on this release. He and Kenny play off each other flawlessly. Peter practically sounds like another guitarist while playing any part of any song switching effortlessly between clean and distorted passages.

The keyboards are mournful and remind one of a cross between a funeral procession, an invocation and a 70's jam band. He is the atmosphere and the tension release from the stringed instruments. Johnny pounds out some of his more creative patterns on this album than on succeeding releases.

Peter's voice is in fine form here as well. Furthering his foray into cleaner vocals he uses his full range on this album from start to finish. The lyrics are perhaps some of the bands bleakest yet. This album was created around the time of Peter’s father's death and his sorrow and pain can be heard in every not and every chord the band plays.

If there are any complaints it would be the random samples of noise signifying how the band members will die, and the second to last song. The samples are pointless and filler material. The second to last song 'All Hallows Eve' simply doesn't fit this album; however Kenny does take a crack at singing the verses and doesn't do a terrible job.

This is a very intense record, like the one prior this is as close to soul purging sonic therapy as you're ever going to get. This album will tear you up and leave you writhing in woe and misery while at the same time, lifting your spirit to see the worthless wretch you are. Unlike the last release this isn't art however. This is not a problem though because this album is in some ways more than predecessor. This is one of the best examples of American Doom Metal will ever find.

The last goth masterpiece - 96%

Noktorn, September 13th, 2007

I think it's a real travesty that Type O Negative never plays any of the material off this album live. This is probably, as a whole album, the strongest material that Type O Negative has ever released: while it lacks catchy, poppy, easy to listen to songs like 'Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)' or 'Anaesthesia', it does have the heaviest, most oppressive, and in some ways, most complex and multifaceted works that the band has ever created. There's an obvious lack of 'fun' songs here, as opposed to the next album, 'Life Is Killing Me', which is composed of essentially nothing but them. Additionally, this is easily the most doom album that Type O Negative ever released, with each track a mightily low BPM tower of darkness and misery that would make My Dying Bride quake in their little gothic boots.

There's a certain amount of there being a difference between 'gothic' and 'goth' music, with Type O Negative being frequently evoked as a large example of the latter. 'Gothic' would be characterized by the romantic, Victorian image that many people associate with the term, epitomized by the sort of thing you'd see in Cradle Of Filth's aesthetic, or some other band like Theatres Des Vampires. But 'goth' seems to be a term more frequently associated with what goth was instead of what it has recently become: an extension of punk focused on darkness, depression, and some level of wry romanticism. Type O Negative embodies that New York Goth flavor above any other band I've heard: they have Joy Division, Ministry, and Celtic Frost patches on their black leather jackets, not Lacuna Coil wallets, and they spend their days getting drunk and talking about how everything is fucked in small, smoky clubs, not pining away their vague existential misery in Elizibethan castles. That's too subtle for these guys. Less life is pain sorrow, more life is shit and idiocy. Romanticism for traditional goths was never something to be preoccupied with and have its values expounded and obsessed upon; it was something stumbled onto through the normal trials and tribulations of life, and just as disgustedly discarded when you realize what it is. And that's how Type O Negative's music is: long, monochromatic dirges of doom and rock and blues, broken up with brief fragments of bittersweet yet sardonic melody which gets abandoned when things have gotten too pretty. It's a very unique thing that only this band has really been able to capture.

If 'White Slavery' doesn't communicate this exact message to you, you're probably never going to get it. The first real song is over eight minutes long, unapologetically slow, with a doom groove that's almost impossible to find the beat in, so agonizingly crawling and trudging it is, with a completely unlikable set of riffs that only have a vague sense of melody, but a definite sense of dreary, passive-aggressive hopelessness. It's one of the most unforgiving opening tracks I've ever heard; It's not SUPPOSED to be enjoyed, and it really can't be, at least not until the first, brief burst of melody explodes in at three minutes, one of the few instances of beauty that Type O Negative is willing to allow into their music. Otherwise, it's some of the most frightfully and willingly ugly music that metal has ever churned out. This song and the title track are the sole epics of 'World Coming Down'; while there are other, just as long songs, none of them have the same grandiosity and beautiful hopelessness as these two tracks. This is not a failure: it's entirely intended to be this way, and any more openly beautiful music than that would destroy the fragile musical environment that Type O Negative so carefully constructs on this album.

That's really what I think this album is about. It's not really about the construction of the music, the riffs, the melodies, anything: it's about taking you back when the ideal of 'goth' was present. This has literally nothing in common with 'gothic' style Victorianism or romanticism. This is supposed to be filthy, ugly, and utterly hopeless and drug-addled. And it succeeds remarkably at conveying this precise atmosphere, time, and place. Early Type O Negative was mostly about conveying the appearance of goth; late Type O Negative was about taking its stereotype to a ridiculous level and having fun. But this album was the culmination of those efforts towards such an image, after the early, raw, punky attempts to reach it, and before the desperate overshooting of it: this little album, as they say, is just right. This is pretty close to being completely unenjoyable, and I can't imagine an album like this any other way. It's ugly, awkwardly played, amelodic most of the time, and generally extremely slow, bordering on funeral doom speed at times. And due to its contempt for the world, musical standards, and the last vestiges of beauty it holds, it's a masterpiece that perfectly accomplishes what it sets out to.

Type O Negative has always been, in its heart, a theatrical entity. All the elements are presented in dramatic fashion, taken beyond the thresholds of what we would probably think of as silly, and through a precise combination of sarcasm and seriousness, make you a believer. The musical vocabulary is the same: big, churning metal chords altered with tiny blues bends and technical twists, giving the music a psychedelic, almost nightmarish edge. Drums alternate between painfully slow doom crushing and uptempo rock and punk beats, both of which work effectively because they're so restrained: there's nothing in the drumming that takes attention away from the guitars, keyboards and vocals, which are the heart of the music here. Keys are employed sparingly, and are used as root note accents or for filling in when guitars are absent, often working in tandem with the crucial groove of the bass guitar. In the end, though, the vocals are what carry the music: Peter Steele alternates between his infamous low-key goth crooning and higher, more openly melodic cleans, with the occasional abrasive hardcore shouting section to add variation during the more aggressive segments. But such segments are rather few and far between: the atmosphere here is a sort of simmering misanthropy and a beautiful sort of pain that still isn't 'gothic' in delivery.

One of my central complaints about metal's illustrations of depression and sadness is that they're much too idealistic and teenaged in tone. Most metal bands have clearly never experienced genuine depression, as it's not the gothic romance they portray it to be. The atonal moments of Type O Negative capture the truth of it: depression is much more an abstract, featureless misery than it is something beautiful. The riffs flawlessly express this: amorphous, languishing collections of lethargic, dissonant notes, with just a fragment of minor key melody to give a trace of emotion to it And that's all there really should be, as that's all there is during periods of depression: a trace of emotion, more a memory of what it's like to feel than any feeling itself. But the more incredible thing they're able to do is in the openly melodic segments, with their bittersweet beauty that fits the New York goth style and allows us all to look into it. This beauty isn't a celebration of a depression, but a celebration of beauty in ugly places. It's the beauty in natural disasters, in inevitability, and most importantly, in the fact that you, yes, you, will not be remembered after you're gone. Type O Negative celebrates our insignificance, how non-existent the footprint each one of us leaves on our world will be. This is the musical equivalent of standing on the edge of the river at night and looking longingly at the city before you, surrounded by people, and yet the loneliest person in the world. That is beauty.

I saw Type O Negative live in early 2007. Peter Steele, who had just gotten out of prison and recently broken his cocaine addiction, looked older and more haggard than I'd ever seen him before. There was a certain hopelessness and apathy about his performance: most of the notes on his bass were hammered, and he generally seemed to not want to be there, despite the uptempo and (more) fun nature of the songs. But moreover, there was an acute depression about him: as he gazed on the audience, composed almost entirely of teenaged goth girls, all dolled up for their weekend concert, and the boys they dragged along with them (who were clearly hoping they could get laid if they only dressed up and acted to part enough), you could practically hear him thinking "This is not what I wanted." Perhaps the precise moment where you could see his heart break is when every little girl in the audience delightedly sung on with set closer 'Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)', completely unaware, or perhaps not even caring, that the lyrics were squarely about them. Peter Steele won't play material off 'World Coming Down' because it reminds him of the worst part of his life: I had no idea that it was an album about the future.

The True Essence of Type O Negative. - 98%

woeoftyrants, January 16th, 2007

"World Coming Down" is a total paradigm shift from previous TON efforts. It's said that Peter Steele was going through a valley of life during the writing process of this album, and the anguish and gloom truly comes through in the atmosphere and songwriting methods of this album. Gone are the tongue-in-cheek attempts of "Bloody Kisses" and the more commercial, catchy moments of "October Rust." It's not hard to argue that "World Coming Down" is TON's most challenging, doom-laden, and depressive release. More emphasis is given to production here, which seems more bass-heavy and fuzzy than past releases. Josh's keyboards aren't as prevalent here, but the album still contains a sometimes menacing ambience that TON are known for. "World Coming Down" is, in reality, the true colors of this band, and perfectly represents the core essence of the band.

The most notable change in TON's sound on "World Coming Down" is the music itself; the dreamy, sometimes soothing soundscapes found on "Bloody Kisses" are nowhere in sight here. Instead, the listener is treated to a nearly overwhelming dose of crunchy Sabbath-esque riffs, bittersweet melodies, and Peter Steele's incredibly deep vocals, which seem to contain even more despair than the band's previous "deep" cuts. (Ex: "Christian Woman", "Bloody Kisses", etc.) The band seem to have no concern with taking shots at the usual thrash numbers which spotted previous albums, and concentrate on making the dirge-like moments as crushing as possible. And by God, do they pull it off. The production, as noted, aids in this; Peter's bass tone is distorted far beyond what would be considered reasonable distortion for a bass, but it works perfectly in the enveloping, miserable scope of the music; Guitars maintain the classic TON tone, but there seems to be a larger amount of grit and lo-fi qualities here; Drums seem to have a more spacious, airy quality to them, which gives the music as a whole a cavernous ambience. Another change in the music is the pure nature of it. While previous albums had ironic lyrics and sarcasm to go tongue-in-cheek with the music, Pete's lyrics here are a true reflection of what was happening in his personal life, and clearly, there's nothing funny about it. Lyrics from "All Hallow's Eve" and "Creepy Green Light" are two vivid tales of lost love by untimely deaths, and that all-too-familiar yearning for the ones you miss. Hell, the seriousness of this release is even reflected in the cover art and layout; in the band's section of "thank-you's," Pete writes that he would like to thank: "Anyone and everyone who had mad an attempt to constructively criticize me; your sincere efforts in assisting me to help me help myself have unfortunately been in vain- for I have failed both all of you and myself. Please accept my apology for disappointing you and I hope you can find it within your hearts to forgive my many weaknesses. I love you for hating me. I hate you for loving me. Save yourself."

Although those who got into the band via "October Rust" will be turned off by this effort at first, "World Coming Down" is truly a rewarding listen after given proper time to sink in. I truly believe this album to be the band's true essence; what they were meant to be all along. Between the crushing musical soundscapes, the highly personal lyrics, and the sheer challenging nature of the music, "World Coming Down" is the perfect Type O Negative release.

While "World Coming Down" is definitely the hardest TON album to get into, it still contains many classic tracks from the band, notably "Everyone I Love is Dead" and "Everything Dies," which is safely the easiest song to get hooked on, with its almost sarcastic lyrics and semi-catchy chorus. But the true greats on this album are the ones people don't often mention as the band's best songs, such as "All Hallow's Eve," which starts out with quite possibly some of the most depressing music Type O Negative has ever put out, and then later shifts to mammoth dirges with low-key riffs layered in feedback. "Creepy Green Light" is also another great one because of its lyrics, and Josh's keyboards add a nostalgic flair. (Especially that kickass passage with the organs.) The title track is 11 minutes of slug-paced, bitter, melancholy, doom metal laced with plenty of experimentation; not for the weak of heart.

Even though this album is 99.9% glum, things do lighten up with the intro, "Skip It," which gives the illusion that the CD is broken. At the end of the track, you hear Peter yell, "Sucka!" You bastards. Other than that, the content on this album borders on disturbing, especially the interludes, "Sinus", "Liver", and "Lung." All feature what seem to be recorded samples if real-life happenings with ambient background music, accented by industrial sounds. I'm not sure of the meaning of these tracks, but I'm guessing that they reflect the substance abuse that Peter was a part of at the time. (One of the interludes actually features recorded samples of a person, probably Peter, in a hospital flatlining from substance abuse. Crazy shit.) "Pyretta Blaze" also seems a little more upbeat than the rest of the album, mainly due to the chorus. The "Day Tripper" medley, even if seemingly out of place, does help to lift the atmosphere of the album, as does the first half of "Who Will Save the Sane."

"World Coming Down" will keep you interested for a while, and then will totally suck you in when you listen to it enough. Certainly one of TON's best albums, even if it is overlooked and underrated. Prepare for one hell of a bleak, depressing, and dark journey; Type O Negative style.

Favorite songs: "Everyone I Love is Dead", "Creepy Green Light", "Everything Dies", "All Hallow's Eve."

Down, down, down... - 82%

Sean16, May 6th, 2006

With World Coming Down, Type O Negative may have missed the best occasion to record their ultimate masterpiece. Simply because this album shows what’s lacking in every other release from the band, including the last one Life is Killing Me: COHERENCY. I’m used to bitching about TON recording half-assed albums, each time mixing very powerful tracks with forgettable fillers, but it’s not the case with this. There is no really weak track here, and every song (with the exception of the interludes) clocks at a comfortable six minutes or more, what is of course a good point for this kind of gothic/doom music.

This album is remarkably coherent in sound and mood as well. From the beginning to the end, Peter & co. displayed us the most sick and depressive tunes they’d ever be able to extract from their somewhat twisted minds. Guitar distortion has been put a tad further than on October Rust, reminding more of Bloody Kisses or the earlier more punk/goth rock oriented albums. No more rocky tunes to allow the listener to breathe, the whole work consists only in slow down-tuned doomish tracks whose riffing often reminds of well-known Black Sabbath style, only more distorted. A notable exception may be Pyretta Blaze and its (a bit annoying) pop-ish chorus. Also note that this might be the most guitar-driven TON album, as even if Josh Silver’s sick keyboard has not been totally abandoned it sounds slightly less present than on the other releases, while the band seems to have almost totally renounced to indus/gothic sound effects inside the songs, those having been relegated to interludes.

And yes, even the closing The Beatles medley manages to sound hopeless and creepy, the original songs having been so much slowed down and distorted that you can hardly recognize them anyway, as goes with almost every cover TON did.

So what’s wrong with this album? 75 minutes of amongst the most depressive music you may ever imagine, Black-Sabbath-ish riffs, quality as well as sound coherency, could you really ask for more? Hell, I may be nitpicking, but despite all its qualities this album IS still flawed. First, the noisy interludes are part of TON image, they come on par with their tongue-in-cheek humour, goth influences and the rest, but this time they are becoming really annoying. With the opening 11 seconds track the band again play their favourite joke of making the listener think his CD player is broken – a joke which is getting a bit old now. And there isn’t very much to tell about the three other noisy tracks Sinus, Liver and Lung, which in accordance to their names seem to have been recorded in a hospital. Meh. But as the total hardly excesses five minutes, on seventy-five, that’s not a big deal.

Secondly, this album may be free of any filler, but paradoxically it lacks of really outstanding tracks as well. You won’t find another Love You To Death, Bloody Kisses or Red Water there. Of course any gothic-doom lover won’t be in pain for digging his own favourites, but I’m pretty sure if you ask one hundred TON fans what their best-loved World Coming Down track is, there won’t be a real majority answer. I’d personally single out the bluesy Who Will Save the Sane and World Coming Down - even if that very one drags on a little -, as well as the more gothic All Hallow’s Eve and eventually Everyone I Love Is Dead, the “fastest” song here (it’s really not saying much), more reminiscent of October Rust style. But still, one may get the impression that while raising their standards, the guys also wiped out the top of the top.

My third and last complaint may be that, for once, the band may have gone too far. Too far into despair, depression and self-negation, so far it becomes a caricature. Come on, take only five more seconds to think deeper about these titles: Everyone I Love Is Dead, World Coming Down, Everything Dies? I’m pretty sure that if I wanted to start a parody of a gothic-suicidal-depressive-whatever-doom metal band, that would be the first titles I would think about. And by focusing on lyrics about, mostly, death, the band has somewhat lost its (dark) sense of humour, which was one of its strengths. That may be an explanation why there is no ultimate gem on this record: mixing genres, while being a source of confusion, allowed TON to have its unique, distinct sound. By exclusively concentrating on the depressive side, the guys seem to have, without for once being aware of it, parodied themselves.

Overall World Coming Down still remains a very strong release, which actually competes with October Rust for being my favourite TON album. But it may not be the best introduction to the band, and it’s definitely not a funny work...

Highlights: Everyone I Love Is Dead, Who Will Save the Sane, World Coming Down, All Hallows Eve

Senstitve? - 92%

Vim_Fuego, August 8th, 2004

Behind all the machismo and muscle headed bravado, there lies a sensitive, acutely aware soul in Pete Steele. Don't laugh. Just listen to this.

Have you ever thought about death? Are you scared to die? Why do people you love die? Why don't people talk about it? All are considered here.

Type O has produced one of the darkest atmospheres ever created on record. This is not dark in the Spartan black metal sense. This is blacker, thicker darkness. It is something like sinking in a bottomless pool, the light gradually fading, and you are utterly helpless to save yourself. The darkness becomes all enveloping, and the instinct to save yourself is replaced by an anaesthetising, almost mildly euphoric dream like state. It is like being buried in a black velvet lined coffin, letting the blackness surround you, keep you warm, keep you safe.

Type O tried a more commercial sound with October Rust, and it didn't work. Apparently the record buying public who claim to be into dark, "Gothic" music prefer androgynous puppets and pyromaniacal Germans with scary dildos. Their loss. Darker than Manson, more dangerous than Rammstein, more introspective than Manic Street Preachers, more coherent than The Cure, it seems Type O are simply too damn depressing for the self–proclaimed depressed.

This is just so gloriously depressing it's… inspiring. Songs like "Everything Dies", "Everyone I Love Is Dead", and "World Coming Down" are played with so much feeling they have a greater impact than any death metal band blasting away for an entire album. The dirge like feel of these songs is built on with subtleties, like Gregorian chants, heavenly choirs, acoustic interludes, and excellent song dynamics. Pete Steele's incredible distinct bass sound rumbles beneath the dark beauty created above by the rest of the band. This is also his most accomplished vocal performance, ranging from a vampiric sensuality to a dejected moan.

There is none of the silliness of tracks like "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend" or the hate of "I Know You're Fucking Someone Else". The only cheerful point of the entire album is a sinister rumble through a medley of Beatles tracks tacked on the end. Like other Type O Negative covers, it probably sits better on it's own than as part of an album.

This is essential listening for anyone interested in dynamics or atmosphere. Just put the razorblades well out of reach before you start.

Sludge/goth/doom - heavy as fuck. - 96%

Vic, August 9th, 2002

Oh yeah... this album is the shit. After their last abortion, "October Rust", the band started giving interviews saying that the next album would be ‘back to the roots’ (usually the first sign of a band’s death throes, or a band’s sellout move), but they weren’t kidding. "World Coming Down", the band’s fourth studio album, is what they should have released after 1993’s godly "Bloody Kisses" album. In a lot of ways it continues in the vein of that album - they thinned out more and more of the thrash influences and made something slow, dark, and HEAVY! Take the opener "White Slavery" - it starts with some doomily oppressive keyboard work before the sludgey main guitar riff explodes in, and for the next eight minutes the song just trudges along with long, ringing notes and Peter Steele’s fantastic vocals (he really has a knack for singing mournful, melodic vocal lines that go absolutely nowhere near being gay in the slightest). This song, "Everyone I love is Dead," and the title track "World Coming Down" are all highlights in the slow deathy vein - but it just wouldn’t be a Type O album without some fucking around. The song "Pyretta Blaze" is another good one which wanders a bit off into psychedelic/beatlesque territory, but does it well; there’s also a Beatles medley on here that’s well-done IMO (it includes sludgey, slow as fuck parts of "I Want You (She’s So Heavy)" and "Day Tripper", among others); and finally there are those ‘noise-effect’ tracks which work well (like "Sinus", which follows "White Slavery" - one listen and you’ll know what he’s sniffing about....:) Top quality and truly back to their roots, "World Coming Down" is on par with "Bloody Kisses" and highly recommended.

(Originally published at LARM (c) 2000)