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Vinyl, Extra tracks, Original recording, December 6, 2005
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The band's album "Dark Light" is not the band's first album, but is the band's official debut album in the U.S. The band's previously-released albums (which were reissued in the U.S. earlier in 2005) include its 1997 debut "Greatest Lovesongs, Vol. 666", the 2000 "Razorblade Romance", the 2001 "Deep Shadows and Brilliant Hightlights" and the 2003 "Love Metal".
"Dark Light" is somewhat different from the band's earlier albums, which has left some long-time fans disappointed; but the album's potential for a broader appeal is certainly noteworthy and I personally regard it to be an excellent album. Criticisms of "Dark Light" due to Ville's apparently changed hairstyle or because someone previously had a heartogram tattooed on themselves (a purely personal choice) as some reviewers have commented say nothing about the actual songs on the album and thus, are completely without merit and useless. My ratings (out of 5 stars) for each of the album's 10 songs follow:
1. "Vampire Heart" (5). Dark undertones punctuate this song's otherwise seemingly cheerful sound that has an interesting mix of guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals that keep it on the edge.
2.Read more ›
I had the chance to see them last evening at my local theatre. The crowd was a bunch of "twenty-something" post metal goths who seemed to know and love all the songs. This is the wave of the future it seems to me. I approve whole-heartedly! I felt this generation had no style or character. H.I.M clearly defines this graceful, romantic and dark style! If they keep this up, I can only see it flourish amidst "fluffy-pop trash".
Now, onto Dark Light. This album delivers all of the jewels that I come to expect from this new brand of tortured rock anthems! Comparisons will abound, of course. It is difficult to reinvent the genre. This band takes it and stylishly gives it a distictive Northern accent. There is no metal screamers here. Ville Valo's voice is melodic and filled with pain. In a musical age of violent and forgettable bands releasing unsuccessful music. H.I.M. restores a dark beauty not seen in many years.
The tracks are clean and catchy. "Vampire Heart" is kitschy, yet satisfying. "Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly" is a new goth love anthem that can be a throwback to the Mid 1980s Sisters of Mercy or the Mission U.K. "Behind the Crimsom Door" is my personal favorite. Heavy, dark, yet not burdensome. "Dark Light" the title track is moody and mysterious. Perhaps this record will show the bigger audience out there this band means business, and "dark" doesnt mean "evil". By all means-get a copy, go see them live.
An intriguing little riff dominates "Vampire Heart" while faded chugga-chugga riffs take command of the background. Valo's vocals are tortured and eerie, but maintain a great degree of melody and fluctuation. A dark, bluesy guitar lick is the main musical focal point of "Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly". How they ever made a sad sediment sound so pleasing is beyond me. Heavy muted riffs, catchy lyrical patterns, and a piercing solo make up "Under the Rose". "Dark Light" relies a lot of Valo's soothing vocal charm. Sometimes it's hard to tell is his balladry is sincere or vengeful.
A driving piano lick leads the charge on "Behind the Crimson Door". Thick guitars and thumping bass take you the rest of the way. Once again, Valo's untamable love affair is the main focus of his lyrics. If her love is going to be the death of you behind the crimson door, maybe you should try the green one. One of the darkest tracks would be "Play Dead". It's a down-tempo song that Valo injects with plenty of hurt emotions.
The guitar tones aren't as dark and ominous as I remember them from Razorblade Romance. There are a lot less haunting keyboards too.
I'm ecstatic that H.I.M. are finally getting their shot in the U.S. Their music is unlike anything we have over here, and has been for years. Although, Dark Light is not as `dark' as the last album I've heard from the group, it's still a great representation of these talented (and tortured) Finnish rockers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dour lyrics, seduced by uplifting music, entwined in a passionate embrace.
Dark, yet, easy on the ears, clearly the Depesche Mode of Metal. Read more
I have no idea why I like this, but I do. It is way too silly to take seriously (i.e. Vampire Heart), but some of the songs are pretty decent. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Barbara