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“Venus Doom” by HIM

Artist: HIM
Title: “Venus Doom”
Label: Sire Records
Release Date: 9/18/2007
Genre: Gothic Hard Rock/Doom Metal
Rating: 4/5

For the Hard Rock and Metal fans who have long felt that the music of HIM was a little too light for their tastes then I present to them the bands newest and darkest release to date – the crushing and melancholic “Venus Doom”. Crushing because there is just a lot more “oomph” to the guitar sound than we have found coming from HIM in the recent past and melancholic based on the subject matter that Vallo is singing about, and how he delivers it. Let’s face it – he’s never come across as the happiest guy in the world with tunes like “Join Me In Death” or “Fortress Of Tears” so why change the working formula now. Musically this release is a far cry from the commercially viable fare that we found on their US debut “Dark Light” and as a result the overall catchiness of the tunes will take a little more work on the listener’s part. There’s no “Vampire Heart” or “(Rip Out The) Wings Of A Butterfly” on this one that you can easily sing along to but when you hear tracks like the opening title “Venus Doom” and “Passions Killing Floor”, you will find that the brooding grooves they lay down are almost hypnotic. Across the release we have Ville singing in the voice we all know and love but there are also a few vocal tricks that he pulls out of his hat that made me think the band at some point listened to a little Type-O-Negative. When he uses the deep solemn tone he reminded me very much of Peter Steele lead singer from that Brooklyn based band.
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