H.I.M. – Venus Doom

H.I.M. - Venus DoomH.I.M.Venus Doom (Sire)

A few years ago, I was suffering from insomnia. One late night, I found myself endlessly channel surfing until I stumbled onto “Last Call with Carson Daily” where the Finnish “love metal” band H.I.M. was performing some song where memories were “sharp like daggers” and each underage girl in attendance had memorized every gothic syllable.

In the fog of that night, I made a mental note to check up on how H.I.M. has created a legion of pale ‘n primped teenage chicks at the ready under his black-painted fingernails.


The thing that honestly surprised me about 2005’s Dark Light was how un-heavy it all sounded. Shit, if you’re going to make up a genre like “love metal,” don’t you have to have a few heavy guitars (i.e., the “metal” part) underneath your nocturnal tales of pitching woo?

Fuck yes you do; file that shit under “weak sauce.”

Apparently, someone over at the H.I.M. camp felt the same way, as the band’s sixth album, Venus Doom, professes to be their heaviest yet, one that reportedly used Metallica’s Master of Puppets and My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless as reference points. Of course, Venus Doom sounds absolutely nothing like those two albums, and as far as the “heaviest” claim goes, you’ve got to consider the fact that it’s lead vocalist Ville Valo that moves the merchandise, not the dudes in the trenches coming up with the jug-jug-jugs and double-bass drum kicks.

Smothering some pretty nifty riffing and tight performances is Valo’s breathy swoon and overdramatic hiccups, delivering some fairly innocuous Goth poetry. It gets to the point where you go beyond rolling your eyes at some of the shit he’s come up with (“Sorrow rebuild me as I step out of the lights / Misery strengthen me as I say my goodbyes”). Instead, you actually start to believe that he lives in a castle and sleeps in a coffin because, well honestly, because he just won’t shut the fuck up about how dark he is.

Credit Valo and for sticking to his guns, hooking up with some fairly notable spokespersons, and riding this thing to recognition (Dark Light went gold, seemingly, right under everyone’s noses). Like or loathe them, H.I.M. have managed to achieve success on their own terms and Venus Doom certainly won’t hinder their hoody sales down at Hot Topic.

The problem for me is: I don’t shop at Hot Topic and my subscription to Fangoria is creepier than anything these fellas can muster up.

H.I.M. – “Kiss Of Dawn”

12 thoughts on “H.I.M. – Venus Doom”

  1. It is just strange how people see HIM nowadays…

    What is Hot Topic? Well, my problem might be that I’m not American, so I can’t tell.

    I don’t even know what to say about this “review”, except that the person quite obviously seems to have missed the point altogether.

  2. hot topic is the ‘punk’/’goth’ chain store owned by abercrombie.

    i go there for a good portion of my halloween/rocky horror picture show needs, but everything is over priced and shoddily made.

    oh, and if you shop there, you’re totally a poser.

  3. Obviously you do not know what you are talking about, my friend.

    I don’t exactly know what you’re trying to get at. But obviously, your little mind can’t pick up the highly significant and intelligent waves of HIM’s music. The music that you listen to is on a totally superficial wavelength, which is simple, and when you hear HIM’s music it is too much for your little brain to take. And that is why you don’t understand the complexity or beauty of HIM’s music. Stop wasting your time on listening to bands that are wasting their time making music and start listening to some more HIM and finnish bands like The 69 Eyes.

    Now that’s real music.

  4. While I believe that everyone deserves an opinion, my simple answer to this is:

    If you don’t like it, don’t listen to it, and don’t criticize it.

  5. how do you know if you like it or not until you listen to it? and believe it or not it’s some people’s job to criticize things. they’re called critics. i know it’s hard to accept that someone else might not care for the same things you do, but hey, now in addition to all the poems you’re writing about how no one understands you, you can write some about how no one understands your favorite band.

  6. how do you know if you like it or not until you listen to it? and believe it or not it’s some people’s job to criticize things. they’re called critics. i know it’s hard to accept that someone else might not care for the same things you do, but hey, now in addition to all the poems you’re writing about how no one understands you, you can write some about how no one understands your favorite band.

  7. Criticism works if it’s constructive. If the person has taken time to understand what they’re actually talking about. This review doesn’t come across like that.

    I don’t know what “hoody sales at Hot Topic” have to do with the music of a Finnish gothic rock band that’s been in business for 10 years already and is well respected all over Europe

  8. Abba was respected all over Europe too, and we all know the bloody end of that story…

    But seriously, I don’t see anything excessively harsh about the review. The band was even commended on it’s success at the end of the piece. It seems the main complaint was that H.I.M.’s stance as a goth/metal band seems at odds with the fact that they’re not scary enough to be goth, and not heavy enough to be metal. In short, they’re blustery, bland, and boring. Seems a pretty fair assesment to me…

  9. *looks at fingernails* Perfectly pink

    *looks around* no teenies here

    *double check HIM lyrics* Completely understandable

    *checks music genres* They’re all weak and misguided anyway…Who can say what music section any band these days belong to?

    FYI-Reference Points are just that… they aren’t meant to copy anything…

    I love this album and the band, last time I checked most fans are in their mid 20s to early 50s… I rarely see teenies at their shows… nor do I see creepy “goth” kids… you should learn to write a review without throwing harsh stereotypes… grow up

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