Tag Archives: mikko paananen

HIM’s “Greatest Lovesongs, Vol. 666” Hits 20 Mournful Years (1997-2017)

Historically speaking I have been following the band HIM since around 2003 which was a full six years after their debut “Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666” would hit the racks of music stores over in Europe. This brooding opus of sound is celebrating its 20th Anniversary today. Thinking back on it, I remember that first time that I heard the band and it was while at work at an incredibly boring and terrible job as I browsed around Yahoo Music. I remember that the service was superb in letting you discover new and exciting sonic things. My first song from HIM was “Join Me In Death” from the “Razordblade Romance” album from 2000 (the bands second release) but it hooked me and once I was able to find them online, I would work my way back from there and it was a musical journey that I would greatly enjoy.

As usual with these missives they are much personal recall as I can muster together and when it comes to this particular album, it was from listening some years post release. I’d like to think that had I the chance to listen to them on their initial debut that I would have enjoyed them immensely right off the bat. I was a big fan of Type O Negative and they had a brooding and solemn sound that a lot of folks called Gothic Metal and while many would come to label these Finns as the same, I felt that Dark Metal and the soon coined “Love Metal” fit more to a tee. Founder Ville Valo made the bands framework to be about the topics of love, heartbreak and even death. During this beginning stage of the band, the groups members included Valo along with guitarist Mikko Lindstrom (Linde) and Mikko Pannanen (Mige). According to research this is the only album to feature Antto Melasniemi and Juhana Rantala on keyboards and drums. Below let’s review the original track release from the album and then discuss some favorites.
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HIM Announces “Farewell Tour”; Love Metal Legends Hitting The Road For The Last Time

Now this is news that brings me great sadness as the music of HIM in concert was truly something that I have enjoyed since first deciding to try my skills at being a music scribe. The statement below comes from the bands Official Facebook Page and delineates their first stages as they call it a career. Read on.

The Facebook Post:
Following a long radio silence, Finnish rock giants HIM have announced a farewell tour, closing the final chapter on their 26 year career.

“After quarter of a century of Love and Metal intertwined we sincerely feel HIM has run its unnatural course and adieus must be said in order to make way for sights, scents and sounds yet unexplored. We completed the pattern, solved the puzzle and turned the key. Thank you.” Says frontman Ville Valo

Formed in 1991 by vocalist Ville Valo, guitarist Mikko “Linde” Lindström and bassist Mikko “Migé” Paananen, HIM truly stand out as one of the rock world’s most unique acts. Beautifully blending metal, goth and hard rock with deep, thoughtful and moving lyrics, HIM offered the world a new take on the metal genre, which became known as Love Metal (also the title of their fourth album).

him, him concert photos, ville valo, ville valo concert photos

Over the course of eight studio albums, HIM captured the hearts and minds of fans across the globe, drawn by their irresistible and inimitable style. Under the banner of their Heartagram logo – a potent symbol encapsulating the juxtaposition of the light and dark, the fierce and forlorn, and the evil and love found in their music – HIM filled venues and crashed charts the world over, collecting numerous awards, gracing countless magazine covers and becoming the first Finnish act to achieve Gold status in the USA.
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“Razorblade Romance” by H.I.M.

Artist: H.I.M.
Title: “Razorblade Romance”
Label: Universal Records
Release Date: 5/20/2003
Genre: Gothic Hard Rock
Rating: 8/10

For a little over a year now I have been hearing many good things about the group known as H.I.M. After listening to Razorblade Romance a couple of times I can agree upon the praise. H.I.M., which stands for His Infernal Majesty have referred to their music as ‘Love Metal’. This acclaim is duly given as I am enjoying this CD immensely. New bands tend to grow on me after a few listens. This was not to be the case with this while this one took no time at all. I feel the music of H.I.M. owes more to the likes of Billy Idol and Depeche Mode than to some of the heavy metal bands that might have led to their forming.
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“Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights” by HIM

Artist: H.I.M.
Title: “Deep Shadows And Brilliant Highlights”
Label: Universal Records
Release Date: 9/28/2004
Genre: Gothic Melodic Hard Rock
Rating: 7.5

The next HIM CD that has been made available to us very easily in the United States in the release “Deep Shadows And Brilliant Highlights”. This CD is a little different than that of “Razorblade Romance” as it’s a little slower and sadder in it’s primary sound. It is a very good sounding record with more keyboards present on this piece than the last. It truly leans more towards the Gothic sound than the rock and rolling feel of RR. Not all of the numbers are slow however, for there is “Please Don’t Let It Go” and “Pretending” which move along a little quicker. Yet more than 80% of the piece is slower and moodier. Ville sounds more passionate on these tracks, since most speak of heartbreak and despair. Stand out tracks for me were “Salt In Our Wounds”, “Close To The Flame”, and “In Joy And Sorrow”.
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