TYPE O NEGATIVE — World Coming Down (review)

TYPE O NEGATIVE — World Coming Down album cover Album · 1999 · Gothic Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Vim Fuego
Behind all the machismo and muscle headed bravado, there lay 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 were 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 its 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.
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