TYPE O NEGATIVE
WORLD COME DOWN
ALBUM ROADRUNNER RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 20, 1999 REVIEW: SEPTEMBER 11, 1999
In late 1996, Peter Steele told me in an interview that he wanted his next album to sound like Black Sabbath's "Master of Reality" (1971). It's hard to say if he has managed to realize this ambition. What "World Come Down" really sounds like, though, is a concept album. The concept being, not unexpectedly, death.
The sexual dimension, as heard in earlier songs like "Christian Woman" or "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend" has disappeared completely, together with the wry humour which has set Type O Negative apart from other bands in the same musical territory. This is an utterly serious record, possibly with the exception of the brilliant medley of Beatles songs at the end of the record. Steele, Hickey, Silver and Kelly cover songs in just as creative a way as The Cardigans, only in the exact opposite way.
It's the structure of the album that makes me think of concepts. Long and epic songs are scattered along the playing time of the album, tied together by short sequences of environmental sounds.
They feature screaming, ambulance sirens and other ominous sounds to remind you of what this record is all about. Imminent destruction and death echo from every street corner.
Somehow these clichés turn into something original on "World Come Down". Possible hit songs having names like "Everyone I Love is Dead" and "Everything Dies" strangely don't irritate me. I suppose I believe Steele is meaning just what he says. The songs themselves are complicated things, with the tempo constantly shifting and the sudden changes surprising you.
Still, the one sided gloom threatens to scare you away sometimes, and "World Come Down" lacks the kind of hits that brought Type O Negative into light in the first place. And I do have a hard time trying to figure out where they could take their music the next time. Is there a way back to life?