Tag Archives: love metal

“And Love Said No: The Greatest Hits 1997-2004″ by HIM

Artist: HIM
Title: “And Love Said No: The Greatest Hits 1997-2004″
Label: Universal Republic
Release Date: 5/8/2007
Genre: Gothic Rock
Rating: 4/5

“And Love Said No” was released about three years ago in the HIM catalog but before now has never been available in the United States. Its arrival in mid-2007 is perfectly timed with the bands continued infiltration of the Gothic Rock fan base it has been establishing since they were first introduced to us in about 2004. This occurred some years after the bands formation but in truth it is better late than never right? As far as hits releases go this one is pretty spot on and offers the listener a little bit of everything that Ville Vallo and company are best known for. You get everything from their melancholy ballads to the fist raising rockers and their well-worked out cover renditions. My own first exposure to HIM was with the tracks “Join Me In Death” and “When Love And Death Embrace” so it was pleasant to find them included here as they are the perfect example of the Gothic Romance that they excelled at as a group. “Buried Alive By Love” and “The Sacrament” shows that the band rocks hard from time to time and is quite good at doing so as well. Another great trait that I find HIM possessing is their ability to rework a classic tune and give it a refreshing new feel. They also manage to do this with songs that you might not normally expect a band to undertake – you will find this in both “Wicked Game” and “Solitary Man”. “Solitary Man” is one of my favorite covers that they do and I think that Neil Diamond would be proud that they were able to introduce his song writing to a younger audience in an entirely different genre demographic. HIM is also notorious for the continuous use of a Love and Death theme and this is prominent in the group’s ballads most specifically. “In Joy And Sorrow” and “The Funeral Of Hearts” give the listener their own chance to find a box of Kleenex and let Ville help them out with their own emotions.
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“Uneasy Listening Vol. 1” by HIM

Artist: HIM
Title: “Uneasy Listening Vol. 1”
Label: Universal Republic Records
Release Date: 11/14/2006
Genre: Gothic Acoustic
Rating: 4/5

This CD is something that will appeal instantly to the existing supporters of Ville Vallo and the band HIM. “Uneasy Listening Vol. 1” is a collection of stripped down versions of their greatest songs that are done either with string arrangements or acoustically while some others are recorded live. Having been a fan of HIM for a number of years I found this CD a lot more interesting after a couple of listens rather than my first go round. As it spun the second time I was reminded what I loved about the band in the first place and that was the strength and power of the lyrics that Vallo weaves on track after track. His reign as the King of the Melodic Gothic Pop scene came as a result of the often brooding and melancholy vibe that he would deliver on these often morose numbers such as “Join Me In Death” and “When Love And Death Embrace”. Yet while the subject matter often seemed grim there was a sense of light based on love deep within these sad lines. There are several winning pieces presented here and one of the first I found was the tissue worthy “In Joy And Sorrow” and then in the heart wrenching “Buried Alive By Love”. The latter tune is one of the bands most throttling rockers, so hearing it in an acoustic sense shows both the strength of the tune and the capabilities of the group as a whole. “Gone With The Sin” is interesting as there is such great cello work that it made me wonder if Apocalyptica were doing this with them but since there is no mention of them on the album liner notes I am left with questions about this one. The overall selection of tracks is wide and scopes the earlier years of the bands catalog and given it is labeled as Volume 1, I am pretty certain that there will be other editions to follow this one. I had read a posting that some of these tracks were available on a hard to find singles boxed set, so this might be the way they are aiming to reach a mass audience.
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HIM @ The Electric Factory (11/23/2005)

Logo - HIM

Artist: H.I.M.
Venue: The Electric Factory (Philadelphia, PA)
Opener: Skindred, Finch
Date: 11/23/2005
Label: Sire Records

I was invited by Friends who had an extra ticket for the Philadelphia show and figured why not go one more time. My main reasoning was that I had never been to the Electric Factory and it sounded like a cool place to check out a show. The truth be told it was very much that and we even began the trek by sampling authentic Philly Cheese-Steak sandwiches. Proving to everyone that even the staunchest New Yorker can be an inexperienced tourist. Anyway let me get back to the show; the Electric Factory reminded me a lot of Irving Plaza in NYC with it being a mid-sized venue with a sizable upstairs and balconies to hang out on. It seemed to be able to hold the same amount of people as this venue (1100). The main and only difference is that the bar is upstairs and this keeps it an older crowd up there while the folks under 21 remain downstairs. At this show I was able to see the opening bands and this time around Fireball Ministry was added to the bill. I had seen this band perform with Dio and Anthrax not too long ago and at that show I hated them but in the context of a H.I.M. show they were dead-on and fit perfectly. This time around I was able to catch both Skindred and Finch and I have to say that I felt both bands were severely lacking. Skindred mixes Reggae with Heavy Metal and I found the result a terrible thing to behold. It seemed like some folks liked it but the larger amount of the crowd seemed to be in my corner on this. Finch came up immediately after and they were just as unimpressive with their music being a cacophony of screaming notes and equally annoying vocals. The odd part of Finch especially with the lead singer seeming to perform mainly to the stage amplifiers and the drum kit. If he came to the front stage for a second it would be an understatement. I remember asking the girls behind me if the band realized we were there as an audience. Maybe I am missing something in both bands but I am hard pressed to think so. If this is what Emo is all about you can keep it and let me enjoy something else.
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“Love Metal” by HIM

Artist: H.I.M.
Title: “Love Metal”
Label: Universal Records
Release Date: 4/14/2003
Genre: Gothic Metal
Rating: 7.5

Universal Music has been doing a great job of getting the music of His Infernal Majesty to the listeners in the U.S.A. They are also doing it in a manner that seems to keep the group in the public eye. Every couple of months a release that has been out in Europe arrives here. The latest addition to this list is “Love Metal” and clearly this is the band at their most polished. Fans who enjoyed “Razorblade Romance” will find a lot of the same type of driving material on this piece. It is a little more straight forward than “Deep Shadows Brilliant Highlights” was and makes for a good overall listen.
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HIM @ Bowery Ballroom (4/20/2004)

Logo - HIM

Artist: H.I.M.
Venue: The Bowery Ballroom
Date: 4/20/2004
Opener: Kill Hannah

There is something to be said about checking out a concert from a band like H.I.M. in a venue like The Bowery Ballroom. The club capacity is not that big and seems to hold just a little over 500 people. This makes it quite the intimate setting especially if you get close enough to the stage. This week, H.I.M. made their first trip to New York for two sold out shows, and I was lucky enough to attend. I have been enjoying the music of H.I.M. for many months now and was looking forward to being at this show. I was unable to secure tickets for the first show which sold out in minutes. As a matter of fact when I went to purchase my pair, the man selling them said to me “hey who are these guys that they sold out so quick”. I made sure to educate him on what to expect that evening.
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