CMJ - 10/13/03, p.30
"...A gothically tinged, new wave-ish entry into the heavy metal sweepstakes..."
HIM: Ville (vocals); Linde (guitar); Burton (keyboards); Mige (bass); Gas (drums).
Personnel: Daniel Lioneye (guitar); Mike Ceer (tambourine).
Audio Mixer: John Fryer.
Recording information: Finnvox; Rockfield; STrongroom.
Photographer: Jouka Letola.
Despite having releases available mostly on import, the Finnish metal band H.I.M. has inspired an incredibly loyal cult following in the United States. In late 2003, Universal reissued this, the group's sophomore album from 2000 (which reportedly sold over a million copies in Europe), with two remixed tracks from H.I.M.'s debut and one new song. Combining elements of vintage glam, old-school goth, and classic rock with a few modern touches sprinkled in, the ensemble provides potent accompaniment to frontman Ville Valo's tortured singing. H.I.M.'s dynamic music is based on an infectious blend of metallic riffs and goth keyboards. Mixing hard rock anthems with softer ballads, the band allows Valo to wax poetic (almost psychotic) about tragic love ("Join Me in Death"), romantic fatalism ("I Love You [Prelude to Tragedy]"), and monstrous obsession ("Right Here in My Arms"). While H.I.M.'s memorable rendition of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" may lack the fluidity of the original, it packs a strong wallop and fits nicely within the oeuvre. Straight-ahead, stripped-down, and emotionally volatile, the music of H.I.M., combined with Valo's brooding persona and the group's patented "heartagram" symbol, make them a perfect fit for the retro-rock revival.