Three full years after their last album, Type O Negative finally returned with World Coming Down, a record that might alienate some fans brought on board with October Rust but which actually stands with the best of their work. Many of the songs most closely resemble the dirgier parts of Bloody Kisses -- still melodic, but not as immediately accessible, and taken at crawling tempos that would give Black Sabbath on downers a run for their money. So even if the songs do catch on after a couple of listens, they aren't as bright (relatively speaking, of course) as a great deal of October Rust, in terms of both music and subject matter. That's fine, because World Coming Down seems like more natural territory; even in spite of its many fine moments, October Rust felt like a move toward accessibility that worked in fits but didn't quite achieve everything it wanted to. World Coming Down features most of the Type O Negative staples: sly goth send-ups in "Creepy Green Light" and "All Hallows Eve," which happily wallow in their vampire-movie imagery; another catchy, darkly erotic goth-girl fantasy, "Pyretta Blaze," about the blurry lines between sexual submission and self-obliterating obsession; and, of course, a continuation of the odd-cover-choice gimmick with what's actually a pretty appropriate Beatles medley ("Day Tripper," "If I Needed Someone," and "I Want You [She's So Heavy]"). But there are some real surprises on the record, songs when Steele drops his usual knowing wink and expresses real pain and suffering -- still veiled in sarcasm and melodrama, to be sure, but it's obvious that "Everyone I Love Is Dead," "World Coming Down," and "Everything Dies" were written with firsthand knowledge of their subjects, not as ironic goofs. Sincere or not, Steele's work has always addressed grief, depression, and loneliness beneath his habitual ironic posturing, glum apathy, and general misanthropy; this feels like his most genuine attempt yet to cope with it all, a realization that he can drop the mask if necessary and inject a little more real-life experience into the conventions he simultaneously embraces and mocks. That's what ultimately makes 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.
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey