Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Spooktober Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

“All Hallows Eve” By Type O Negative, Album: World Coming Down 1999

As with the band’s previous album, October Rust, this album also has a ‘joke intro’: in this case, “Skip It”, 11 seconds of staccato band noise, is 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, whilst the vinyl version begins as if the record is damaged and stuck in a locked groove during the intro of “White Slavery”. The track ends with the band’s guitarist, Kenny Hickey, shouting “Sucker!”

The first song, “White Slavery”, deals with cocaine addiction. Discussing his dalliance with the drug and inspiration behind the song in a 1999 Kerrang! interview, Steele recalled: “There were a handful of times that were fucking horrible, but one night in particular was really bad, and that’s when I stopped doing it. I was really depressed and homesick, and the worst part is when you’re coming down from it. It’s five in the morning and there’s no one to talk to, you’re on a tour bus doing 80mph and you look out the window and it looks like you’re on Mars. All I could think about was jumping out of the bus while it was moving, but that would have made too many people happy.”

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?”, which deals with mental illness and psychiatry, incorporates, among other oddities, Peter Steele reciting the number pi to 9 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 the members of the band may have suffered at the time: “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.

Also included at the end of the album is a cover song, a medley of three Beatles songs. An additional song recorded during the album sessions, “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 unreleased tracks from the same sessions (“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.

Following its release the members of Type O Negative had mixed opinions about the music on World Coming Down. Keyboardist and producer Josh Silver felt that the music was strong, while vocalist, bass guitarist and principal songwriter Peter Steele 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 set list. However, the band often played the song “World Coming Down” in its entirety during the Dead Again tour.

The album cover features a photo of the Brooklyn Bridge.

All Hallows Eve” is a song related to “Creepy Green Light” in some ways, including lyrically. According to Simple Anime reviewing WCD. This song is about Steele making a pact with the devil who’ll give Pete a spell in return used to bring back his girlfriend from the dead. Hearing this song makes fans wish they had ability to bring back loved ones.

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