A True Love In Theory And Practice From HIM

Warning! This isn't a cock sound or blind-heavy (being worshipped by most bambinos nowadays). This is rock in the vein of gothic for higher feel and stay true to their roots.

In the 19 years that they’ve been making music, HIM have established themselves as a major international band, with frontman Ville Valo’s afflicted croonings on love and death attracting women in their droves.

However, it seems that in a bid to propel their gothic tinged alt-rock further into popular conscious, on album seven HIM have sacrificed some of their individuality, favouring more commercial, Americanised rock over their darker Finnish roots.

Given rumours that producer Andy Wallace was dropped from 05s ‘Dark Light’ on the grounds that he made them sound “too American”, having Matt Squire (Panic! At The Disco, 3OH!3) at the production helm results in tracks ‘Heartkiller’ and ‘In The Arms Of Rain’ sounding distinctly power-pop compared to the bite of 07s ‘Venus Doom’. ‘Screamworks…’ still channels the HIM spirit, allowing melancholy and compassion to creep in and out of the 13 tracks, but it’s familiar territory that’s been played out many times before.

Altough I concur with the "power pop" sentiment re some of the tracks (I personally loved the heaviness that was Venus Doom) there are a few exceptions. With tracks like "Like ST Valentine" that packs a mean punch and the atmospheric last track "The Foreboding Sense Of Impending Happiness", reminiscent of "Deep Shadows & Brilliant Highlights", I never find the album in the least "unpalatable". Just as with Dark Light, this will probably not be my personal favourite HIM album, but I'm sure it will prove to be a very popular offering.

While metal-based ‘Scared To Death’ stands out, it doesn’t rival older songs like ‘Razorblade Kiss’. Still, this is a solid album, rife with brooding love metal and big choruses, but while this is HIM’s most accessible album to date it’s also the most unpalatable, as Ville takes one step too many towards self-satire. Eventhough lots of mixing here. True metal freak may diregard this album because of "non-rawness" sounds. But, one of my favourite love album and band.

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