World Coming Down is the fifth album by Type O Negative, released on September 21, 1999. It is considered to be the darkest Type O Negative album, having been written after a series of deaths in Peter Steele's family. The working titles for this album were Prophets of Doom then Aggroculture before settling on World Coming Down after those family deaths. It is criticized as dark and depressing album. The album cover features a photo of the Brooklyn Bridge.
The vinyl set for this album was released on Record Store Day in late November 2019.
Music and lyrics
This album is mainly a doom metal record that features church organ, synthesizers, oppressive clanking noises, Gregorian chanty-churchy sounds and little light bits. As with the band's previous album, October Rust, this album also has a "joke intro": in this case, the intro, appropriately titled "Skip It", is 11 seconds of staccato band noise, meant to sound as if the listener's CD player is skipping. Cassette versions had the noise of a tape being "eaten" by the tape player. The track ends with what is presumably the guitarist Kenny Hickey shouting "Sucker!"
The lyrical themes on this album differ from sex, romance and heartbreak of previous albums. According to Pete Steele, this album is "about battling personal demons, missing people you love, woman walking out on us, self-pity, and chemical addiction." The first real song, "White Slavery", deals with cocaine addiction. Two other songs, "Everyone I Love Is Dead" and "Everything Dies", touch on the difficulties of watching family members and loved ones die. Another track, "Who Will Save the Sane?" incorporates, among other oddities, Peter Steele reciting the number pi to nine decimal places (3.141592653).
The album contains three "soundscape" tracks, which are named after internal organs, as segues between songs. Each of these songs is intended to suggest the possibilities of the deaths band members may suffer: "Sinus" as death from cocaine use, "Liver" as death through alcohol abuse and "Lung" as death from smoking. In an ironic foreboding, Steele once told a close friend that he could not bear to listen to "Sinus" after it was mixed and completed, because the sound of the heartbeat escalating to its furious pace after the cocaine-snorting sound effect actually drove him to the point of an anxiety attack because of its realism.
The last song of the album, "Day Tripper", is a medley of three Beatles songs. An additional song recorded during the recording of this album, "12 Black Rainbows," was issued as the B-side for the "Everything Dies" single; later, it was included on the compilation album The Least Worst Of with two other outtakes from the same session ("It's Never Enough" and "Stay Out of My Dreams").
The reversed vocal technique of backmasking is used in several places on the album; some segments are more audibly apparent than others. In particular, backmasking during the intro section of "Creepy Green Light", which was originally titled "Spooky Green Light", refers to a third-person "spell" of a friend's intention to be reunited with a dead spouse.
When Type O Negative was still intact, the band had mixed opinions about the music on World Coming Down. The keyboard player and producer Josh Silver felt that the music was strong, while the bass guitarist and principal songwriter Peter Steele had said the songs were too strongly connected to an uncomfortable period in his life. Live shows performed since the initial tour to support World Coming Down usually had very few, if any, selections from the album in the setlist. However, the band often played the song "World Coming Down" during the Dead Again tour in 2007.
- "Skip It" – 0:11
- "White Slavery" – 8:21
- "Sinus" – 0:53
- "Everyone I Love Is Dead" – 6:11
- "Who Will Save the Sane?" – 6:41
- "Liver" – 1:42
- "World Coming Down" – 11:10
- "Creepy Green Light" – 6:55
- I. Creepy Green Light (0:00–3:20)
- II. Frightening Black Night (3:20–4:58)
- III. Creepy Green Light (revisited) (4:58–6:55)
- "Everything Dies" – 7:43
- I. Everything Dies (0:00–6:23)
- II. They're All Dead (6:23–7:43)
- "Lung" – 1:36
- "Pyretta Blaze" – 6:57
- "All Hallows Eve" – 8:35
- "Day Tripper" (medley) (The Beatles cover) – 6:50
- I. Day Tripper (0:00–1:48)
- II. If I Needed Someone (1:48–3:05)
- III. Day Tripper (revisited) (3:05–3:58)
- IV. I Want You (She's So Heavy) (3:58–6:50)
- Although it was released in September, this is the latest calendar date of studio album release by Type O Negative.
- It was released 2 years and −10 days before 9/11.
- This is one of just three albums where the cover shows a color other than green, white, or black as it shows a distant blue glow to the right of center; the others are Bloody Kisses and October Rust.
- Steve Huey of AllMusic (4/5) – "World Coming Down a more affecting record than October Rust, and further proof that there's more going on beneath Type O Negative's surface than most give them credit for."
- Adam Wasylyk of Chronicles of Chaos (10/10) – "An album that won't be ignored, it's my favourite album of 1999. Hands down."
- Maestro of Metalfan.nl (70/100) – "It is a worthwhile continuation of Type O Negative's previous work."
- UMUR of Metal Music Archives (95%) – "The musicianship is solid, the sound production is massive and powerful and the songwriting is clever and leaves an emotional impact."
- Daniel Sankala of Metal Observer (10/10) – "World Coming Down is the band's most diverse effort up to date. This wielder of the green plague deserves a perfect ten!"
- Simple Anime Reviews & Facts (5/10) – "The album is filled with some strong and memorable music, but the overtly dark nature will turn off heavy metal fans that expect the usual dark humor that was in their earlier works."
- Peter Steele – lead vocals, bass, additional guitars and keyboards
- Kenny Hickey – guitar, additional vocals, co-lead vocals on "World Coming Down" and "All Hallows Eve"
- Josh Silver – keyboards, backing vocals
- Johnny Kelly – live drums, backing vocals
- Richard Termini – keyboards on "Pyretta Blaze"
- Paul Bento – sitar and tambura on "World Coming Down" and "Day Tripper"
- Peter Steele – writing, preprogramming, production
- Mike Marciano – engineering, mixing
- Josh Silver – samples, deprogramming, production
- Johnny Kelly – drum programming
- Kenny Hickey – deprogramming
- George Marino – mastering
Links to other albums
|Type O Negative albums|
|Studio albums||Slow, Deep and Hard • The Origin of the Feces • Bloody Kisses • October Rust • World Coming Down • Life Is Killing Me • Dead Again|
|Compilation albums||The Least Worst Of • The Best of Type O Negative • None More Negative • The Complete Roadrunner Collection 1991-2003 • Blood Moon: A Collection of Covers and Rarities (Part 1) • Harvest Moon: A Collection of Covers and Rarities (Part 2)|
|Live albums||Steel O Dick • Bizarre Types • Live Again|
|Video albums||For When It Rains • After Dark • Symphony for the Devil|
|Split albums||Live, Rare and Hard • Iced Earth - Type O Negative - Engel|
|Cancelled album||Double Crossed|
|Imaginary album||Christmas Is Dead|