Review Summary: Dark, Melodic, and Atmospheric. What more could you ask for?
Type O Negative is not your every day metal band. They aren’t all crazy for the double kick or the “brutal” riffs. They don’t have lyrics about why they hate organized religion, parents, and the government. They don’t really have any characteristics that most popular metal bands have in this day and age. This brings me to why I think Type O Negative’s World Coming Down is simply a masterpiece. You don’t hear many bands with a sound as unique as this.
Of course the fact that it is original does not make an album great. That is just one of those things that make it slightly more listenable than other forms of metal. The real reason why this album is so fantastic is because of the different approach to writing music. The members of Type O Negative don’t pull a Dream Theater and try to make there songs as hard to play as possible. Instead they use a variety of effects to establish an atmosphere (or mood if you prefer). One of the many examples of this is the intro to “Creepy Green Light”. Peter Steele’s distorted bass line and soft vocals carry to melody, while you here strange sounds in the background which can create a picture in the listeners head. Another example of this is the song “White Slavery”. Everything about it is dark and sinister. It’s slow, somewhat melodic at parts, and also paints a dark image in the back of my mind.
But don’t worry. The whole album isn’t just dark. A variety of styles of music can be heard on World Coming Down. “Everyone I Love is Dead” is more of an alternative rock song, rather than gothic doom metal. Still it is a quality song none the less. “Everything Dies” is also somewhat of a happy alternative rock song, besides the doom metal intro and the ridiculously dark ending. Some songs are caught right in the middle of metal and rock. “Who Will Save The Sane” and my personal favourite Type O Negative song “Pyretta Blaze” have characteristics of doom metal at parts, but at the same time have an over all happy sound to them that is reminiscent to some Beatles songs. So in other words, the album doesn’t get boring because it lacks repetition.
Another appealing aspect of the album is Peter Steele’s lyrics. Like I said, they aren’t the typical “I hate conformists and Christians” that I hear far too much. Peter once said that a lot of these songs were somehow connected to an uncomfortable period of his life. This shows that the lyrics are full of emotion. I guess Peter was having quite a few bad days, because there aren’t many positive lyrical themes on “World Coming Down”. The songs “Everyone I Love is Dead” and “Everything Dies” are about… well look at the titles. White Slavery is about Peter’s addiction to cocaine I believe, and “Creepy Green Light” has something to do with a loved one rising from the grave. Most of the other songs are related to a woman in some way, and show an emotional side to metal. But the actual words to the songs are simply beautiful and poetic. A perfect example of this is in “Pyretta Blaze”: “You were the first, will be my last, will by my final words, said she, Pyretta Blaze”. It sounds like something William Shakespeare would write to end one of his plays. Peter also has an interesting tendency to rhyme large sophisticated words. The first line from “Who Will Save The Sane” is “periodic table wear, psychotropic science fare”. I hate to admit it, but I have no idea what that means. And those kinds of lyrics intrigue me. But anyways, long story short, the lyrics are ace.
Each member of Type O Negative carries their own weight in some way. I shall start with Peter Steele (bass, vocals, lyrics). His bass playing is nothing complex. He uses a pick and is usually just following the guitars around. But what I like about him is his bass is very audible and distorted, which makes a solid foundation for the guitars and keyboards to do something fancy. Peter’s vocals are also great to. He has one of the deepest voices I have ever heard. I apologize for making an incredibly stupid comparison, but Peter Steele’s voice kind of reminds me of Vikings or other barbarians because of its power. But let’s move on. Kenney Hickey (guitars) is very important to the music. He is no John Pertucci, but his contributions add the dark melodic sounds that I was talking about earlier. He also tends to play synchronized to Peter’s bass, which makes a really heavy sound due to both instruments being heavily distorted. Josh Silver (keyboards) has a duty similar to Kenny Hickey. He is usually the center of all the melody. Listen to the intro of “White Slavery” and you will know exactly what I mean. Last but certainly not least is Johnny Kelly (drums). He proves to be a skilled drummer through out the whole album, and his contribution adds much energy to the music.
So to sum everything up…
-Dark and atmospheric
- I am not a fan of the last 2 songs
- Some may not like the fact that the majority of the album depends on effects and distortions
- For some people, it will be impossible to really enjoy
Don’t get me wrong, we have some good metal in this day and age. I have great respect for bands like Children of Bodom, Dimmu Borgir, and plenty of others. But sometimes I need something else. Something that doesn’t constantly revolve around the complexity of the instrumentals. Something that’s unique. That’s when I pull out Type O Negative’s World Coming Down. It may take some time to grow on you. I hated it when I first heard it. But eventually I started loving it, and I hope you do to.
PS: I am still somewhat new to writing reviews, so constructive criticisim could help me out a little bit.