"World Coming Down" is the 4th full-length studio album by US doom metal act Type O Negative. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in September 1999. After releasing their arguably most commercial sounding album in "October Rust (1996)", Type O Negative returned with a heavier and lyrically more cynical and dark album in "World Coming Down". The relatively polished sound production on the predecessor is replaced here by a brick heavy and larger than life sound production.
"World Coming Down" is as unmistakably the sound of Type O Negative. Pick any of their albums and Type O Negative is always one of the most distinct sounding acts in metal which is in large part due to the characteristic deep register voice of Peter Steele. Other trademarks include heavily distorted bass, which sometimes works more like a guitar than the guitar does, Beatlesque pop psychadelia, atmospheric synths, heavy Black Sabbath influenced doom metal riffing and a dark touch of goth. The band´s lyrics have always been of the dark, depressive and reflective kind albeit often featuring a deeply sarcastic humour, that has ensured that the grave lyrical themes never become too pathetic. The lyrics on "World Coming Down" are no different. I´d actually say they rank among the band´s darkest lyrics and also among Peter Steele´s most personal lyrics. Principal songwriter Peter Steele has often been cited for saying that the album was written in a very turbulent period of this life, which included several family deaths, alcohol/drug abuse and depression, and that the lyrics were almost too personal for him to commit to paper. Let alone release to an audience. Tracks like "Everyone I Love Is Dead", "Everything Dies" and especially the brick heavy title track are testaments to his torment. Especially the latter features some very personal lyrics that clearly shows the self-loathing Peter Steele felt in this period of his life. There´s no better example than the opening lines from the that song: "She thinks I'm iron man that I don't feel pain, I don't understand why joy must be feigned, I'm so fortunate yet filled with self-hate, That the mirror shows me an ingrate".
The quality of the tracks is high throughout and "World Coming Down" is a very entertainting release all the way through the 74:02 minutes that it lasts. Type O Negative are one of the very few select artists who can successfully release albums that long, which don´t become tedious at some point. Highlights include the title track, "White Slavery", "All Hallows Eve", "Creepy Green Light", "Everyone I Love Is Dead" (love the sarcastic "ha ha" during the chorus) and the quirky "Who Will Save the Sane?". Even the Beatles medley that ends the album came out pretty great.
"World Coming Down" is an excellent release by Type O Negative and I have very few issues with the album. The musicianship is solid, the sound production is massive and powerful and the songwriting is clever and leaves an emotional impact. My only issue is that it´s like the band have stopped developing their sound and style at this point. All three predecessors had a unique sound and you could easily detect a development in sound and style from one album to the next. On "World Coming Down" it´s like the search for an ultimate sound has stopped. Maybe Type O Negative simply felt that they had found the definitive formula at this point? Whatever the reason "World Coming Down" isn´t quite as adventurous or groundbreaking as the predecessors but it´s a damn solid, crushingly heavy and very well written doom metal album fully deserving a 4.5 - 5 star (95%) rating.