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Rock - Released September 26, 2005 | Kobalt Music Recordings

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Rock - Released December 15, 2014 | The End Records

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Rock - Released December 15, 2014 | The End Records

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A lot of people have the propensity to give H.I.M. unnecessary doses of grief simply because of the band's friendship and professional allegiance to pro skater Bam Margera. What's unfortunate about this is that H.I.M. actually produces dramatic metal of high sonic quality, and once again Love Metal further reinforces that notion. Going one better than Razorblade Romance, Ville Valo and company waste no time bringing out the big guns with "Buried Alive By Love," which easily measures up to the group's most well-known moments. The songwriting is as strong as it has been in quite some time and a newly found sense of urgency keeps the record going at a well-tempered pace. For die-hard fans, this is the album H.I.M. has been struggling to make and realize for quite a while, and even the aforementioned detractors of the group would be well served by giving this record a spin. © Rob Theakston /TiVo
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Metal - Released November 6, 2012 | The End Records

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For certain, there is no shortage of options for someone looking to get acquainted with H.I.M. Those new to the work of the Finnish goth-metal group could get their feet wet with 2004's exceptional And Love Said No: The Greatest Hits ’97-’04; wade into the pool of B-sides on Uneasy Listening, Vols. 1 & 2; or go completely overboard with The Singles Collection, an expansive ten-disc sampler for the hardest of hardcore fans. The 20-song disc XX: Two Decades of Love Metal does a reasonable job of expanding on what was their most likely starting point, And Love Said No. However, choosing between the two is a matter of taste. With this one, a Neil Diamond cover is replaced with a previously unreleased cover of "Strange World" by Kevin Grivois (aka Ké). In return for losing "Close to the Flame," "And Love Said No," and "It’s All Tears (Drown in This Love)," we gain two songs apiece from Dark Light, Venus Doom, and Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice. These later-era songs are up to snuff with the earlier material, so it really comes down to whether you can live with the fact that eight of these songs are radio edits. If so, this is an excellent way to start experiencing the fuzzed-out gloom and doom. Then the next logical step is to go back to square one and check out Greatest Lovesongs, Vol. 666 (which isn't a compilation, despite the misleading name). © Jason Lymangrover /TiVo
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Rock - Released December 15, 2014 | The End Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 7, 2007 | Kobalt Music Recordings

H.I.M.'s eighth album finds them toning down the atmospherics and sheen that were prominent on Dark Light in an attempt to make their heaviest album yet. According to frontman Ville Valo, the ultimate goal was to concoct a sound that combined My Bloody Valentine's Loveless with Metallica's Master of Puppets, and while Venus Doom doesn't quite meet such a lofty goal, it finds them back on track and sounding more metal than ever. There's less ear candy and more prominent riffs in the mix, and some subtle keyboard padding and studio buffing, but the bludgeoning drop-tuned guitars dominate throughout. It's a bigger and badder version of H.I.M. than in the past, and it's largely due to producer Tim Palmer (Ozzy Osbourne, Dredg). Just as the sound of the band has matured, Valo's voice has improved over time, and he experiments with a lower guttural range that fits the mood perfectly. The trademark gloom is as evident as ever within the lyrics and, as always, you can expect to hear the words "suffering," "blood," "misery," and "death" peppered liberally throughout the songs. Of course with lines like, "my heart's a graveyard, baby, and to evil we make love," H.I.M. isn't a band known for profound lyrics, but, at the same time, most fans of the band don't want to philosophize, they want to hear the group rock out, and this release shows them doing precisely that, even harder than before. © Jason Lymangrover /TiVo
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Rock - Released December 15, 2014 | The End Records

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Rock - Released April 30, 2013 | Razor & Tie

There is a certain segment of rock & roll fandom that is adverse to change for any reason. Usually, it's an older generation that loves acts whose albums continue to sound the same. (Hardcore followers of Status Quo, Bon Scott-era AC/DC, and pre-synth ZZ Top take note.) Fans of Finnish goth pop rockers H.I.M. are hardly baby boomers, though. In listening to their catalog, one or two things become self-evident: either they are happy to give their fans exactly what they desire over and over again, or they are incapable of change (or perhaps both, which is a win-win). Tears on Tape proves that H.I.M. moves forward and back but remains mostly in one place. Certain albums rock a bit harder, some feature more polished production, but essentially the hooks, song structures, and dynamics have remained the same throughout their history. The twin subjects on TOT are love and death. Lead crooner/ lyricist Ville Valo has romantic love firmly at the center of his vocabulary, and celebrates its riches, mourns its loss, and meditates on its meaning. Here he examines love as it encounters the greatest of all human mysteries: the great beyond. First single, "Lips Go Blue," commences with a riff worthy of Black Sabbath, but as keyboards and guitars vie for dominance, Valo croons about literally loving someone to death in a '60s bubble gum pop melody. Speaking of Sabbath (H.I.M.'s guitarist is married to Tony Iommi's daughter), they pay formal tribute by appropriating the riff from "A National Acrobat" in "Love Without Tears." "Into the Night" starts out with a rawer guitar edge but quickly slips into melodic, romantic '80s hair metal. "No Love" attempts to shake off the lyricism in favor of full-on, riff-centric metal that is musically reminiscent of Dio's finer moments, but it doesn't succeed because of its ballad-esque hook. "W.L.S.T.D." gets closer still with its slow progression, martial drums, and atmospheric keyboards; even in his most sinister snarl, Valo is so wistful he sounds like a jilted schoolboy, and H.I.M. are incapable of writing songs without proper hooks. Tears on Tape delivers exactly what the band's fans seem to require: a tragic, nearly ghoulish fascination with love and death that marries gothic pop romanticism with heavy rock. How many records does one need like this? Here H.I.M. seem to be banking a lot; and with more than 20 years and boatloads of albums and singles, who's going to argue? © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 29, 2009 | Kobalt Music Recordings

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Rock - Released January 19, 2018 | Kobalt Music Recordings

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Rock - Released August 2, 2005 | Kobalt Music Recordings

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Progressive Rock - Released June 15, 1997 | WordSound Recordings

Interpretive Belief System is an extraordinary confluence of scattershot percussion, hip-hop attitude and dub vibes from the starter "Port of Entry" to the excellent closer "Second Chance." © Keith Farley /TiVo
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Rock - Released November 26, 2010 | Kobalt Music Recordings

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 12, 2021 | HIM

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 26, 2005 | Kobalt Music Recordings

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Miscellaneous - Released February 24, 2017 | H.I.M.

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Rock - Released February 24, 2006 | Kobalt Music Recordings

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Rock - Released January 19, 2018 | Kobalt Music Recordings

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Rock - Released January 29, 2009 | Kobalt Music Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 10, 2006 | Bubble Core