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The fourth studio album released in 2003 by Finnish band HIM, Love Metal offers up everything a HIM fan could want, and more. I am proud to say that as a huge HIM fan myself, this was the album that made me fall in love with the band, as Im sure it did with many other fans. The HIM community may not expect Gas, Migé, Linde, Burton, and Ville to get any more awesome after their previous album 'Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights', but they never fail to impress. With 10 amazing tracks packed to the brim with melodic but heavy notes, this album could certainly be seen as the breakthrough for the Finland originated musicians. Through finding that perfect balance between a heavy and romantic tune, HIM have certainly created their own unique genre of music, which is now often referred to as 'love metal'. The album artwork also adds to the greatness that is 'Love Metal' with its black damask background and its feature of a golden Heartagram. The heartagram is the logo created for the band by frontman Ville Valo portraying the balance between life/death and love/hate; a theme which is clearly present throughout each album made.
'Love metal' is the 4th album from Finnish 'goth' tinted band HIM. This really was their breakthrough album, they gained a lot of fans around this time as people suddenly became aware of them through the first single off the album 'buried alive by love', which Bam Margera helped make and a 'Making of the video' show was aired on MTV, which threw them into the public eye.
The album was released in the UK on the 14th April 2003, but wasn't released in the States until Early february 2005. As the ever raging "what genre are they" debate raged on, Ville apparently had grown tired of being asked, hence he titled this album 'love metal', which amusingly some 'true' metal fans said wasn't true. There's just no pleasing some people.
The track listing is as follows:
1."Buried Alive By Love"
2."The Funeral of Hearts"
5."Soul on Fire"
7."This Fortress of Tears"
8."Circle of Fear"
11."Love's Requiem" *Only on the digipak edition.
HIM really have come a long way, from their early days way back in the early 90's (yes they've been going that long!), their first album 'greatest love songs vol.666' had a very raw, unfinished sound - it is also a great deal heavier than the other albums, especially compared to 'deep shadows and brilliant highlights' which is a very light, melodic album.
But 'love metal' however, is something entirely different, which is the exact reason i love HIM, each album is extremely different. Showing they are far from being a one trick pony. 'Love metal' is a very melodic, yet heavy album, it's much more mastered and the songs are intricate and very well put together. Valo's voice has improved somewhat over the years and works perfectly with the sound of the band. The keyboards & synths really do help create the perfect dark atmosphere that HIM's music is now known for, getting Burton as the keyboardist is possibly one of the bands smartest choices.
The album has a gentle dark beauty, with flowing melodies throughout, but there's always that edge of heaviness, slight aggression at times and that makes the balance perfect.
It is an extremely listenable album, most albums you find yourself pressing the 'skip' button on some songs, but this is yet another HIM album where i never did that and still to this day, i still like all the songs. It is slightly more shaped for the mainstream than some of their previous material, but again the balance is just right. All their songs have a certain value that make them memorable and again, have that sing along value that the fans adore. If i had to choose the strongest songs on the album, they would probably be 'the sacrament', 'the path' and 'circle of fear', as i think they show off what HIM are best at, these songs, for me at least, sum up HIM. Beautiful lyrics, beautiful melody, raw emotion with that dark, heavy edge.
This may not be their best album, but it is certainly a strong contender and perfect for people who are new to the band. If your listening to HIM or this album for the first time, i'm jealous, i wish i could get to that all over again.
This album isn't perfect, but it's pretty damn close.
This band have to be one of the best bands on the planet in my opinion.. Not to everyone's taste I must admit but I do love them.. To be honest they have done brilliantly to come from Finland a relatively quiet country until recently, but still on the music front and to achieve a gold status album in America..
Band members are..
Mikko Lindström, aka "Linde"
Mikko Paananen, aka "Mige"
Janne Puurtinen, aka "Burton"
Mika Karppinen, aka "Gas"
Since the bad begun in 1991 there have been numerous member that's have come and gone from the band with only Ville Valo. Linde, and Mige being left from the original line up..
Since the band begun they have released 6 albums.. They are..
Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666
Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights
Released on April the 14th 2003.. This album covers was the first not to feature Ville Valo on the front instead it has the ands heartagram symbol..
This album was made to answer critics about the type of music HIM wrote as Valo protested on the HIM DVD.. And to be honest it does settle the debate as I have always felt HIM's music has somewhat been a mixture of love references and small hints at death ..
This album does feature some of the most played HIM songs.. Such as 'funeral of hearts' which got to number 14 in the UK charts which for an obscure band on the main scene is quite an achievement..
Songs such as 'buried alive by love' are high octane hits for bands like him as they put across the strength and meaning of the song, without blowing out your ear drums and with videos produced by everyone's favourite jackass.. Well some peoples favourite.. Bam Margera..
This album features a cover of the Neil diamond song solitary man.. Which I had never heard before, but compared to the original this song is immensely powerful and gives me shivers when I listen too it..
Overall this is an amazingly raucous album with a great riffs and an amazing feel when your listening to it..
This album can be picked up for around £5 - £10 depending on which store you choose..
HIM (His Infernal Majesty) is a rock band from Finland that formed in 1991. To date the band has released a grand total of six studio albums of which 'Love Metal' was the fourth. The album contains ten tracks and comprises of a grand total of 53 minutes of music. It's a decent album, not hugely memorable and yet enjoyable to listen to nonetheless. Despite the albums misleading name of 'Love Metal', music of the metal genre can definitely not here be found. The music is not particularly hard hitting, 'Love Metal' is however pleasant to listen to and great to relax to.
The album begins with 'Buried Alive by Love', the most powerful track on this release I feel. This one begins the album brilliantly, the chorus is exceptional and everything about the track is just beautiful. 'Buried Alive by Love' is extremely well constructed and is put across perfectly by the band. The vocals are excellent, musically everything is spot on here and listening to this track is therefore an absolute pleasure. It's the ultimate opening track for this 'Love Metal' release, it could be seen that it's all downhill from here and yet the rest of the nine tracks here are by no means bad. 'Buried Alive by Love' appeals to me most of all ten tracks from this release, there's something really quite special about this one; something that makes the track stand out and stand tall as the strongest that 'Love Metal' has to offer.
Straight after 'Buried Alive by Love' is 'The Funeral of Hearts', another strong track but definitely not as hard hitting as the opener. This one is good in a different way; it's a powerful track in the way of emotional delivery and yet is not as instrumentally edgy. In truth I feel that 'The Funeral of Hearts' would perhaps benefit from being chopped in half as the track is four and a half minutes in length, and due to this becomes really quite repetitive roughly halfway through. It's pleasant, there's only so many times you can listen however before the yawn factor of it all really starts to kick in. The track takes a few interesting twists and turns, for the most part however the same lyrics are sung time and time again and the instrumental backing is repeated to an almost excessive extent. 'The Funeral of Hearts' is not a particularly adventurous track at all, it's interesting to listen to in part but also the music can be irritating to listen to at the same time as there is a lack of musical creativity on display here. On too many occasions HIM play it safe as a band on this album, 'Love Metal' is pleasant to listen to but at times the band keeps the music all a little too simplistic.
The track 'Soul On Fire' kicks into action with an absolutely excellent guitar riff, you really feel like it's about to build into something big and then nothing ever actually happens. The guitar excitement stops and the vocals slowly enter as the bands vocalist Ville Valo sings well but not particularly passionately or excitingly. The track possesses a catchy chorus, for much of the track however it's all very slow and the music of HIM makes little of a lasting impression. The 'Love Metal' album is quite odd in that it ranges between easy listening and hard hitting rock; you never know quite where the band will go next on this release and whether the music will be soft or heavy. The music of HIM sounds good both fast and slow, listening to 'Love Metal' is a strange experience however as you never quite know whether to relax or to get up and dance.
The 'Love Metal' album comes to a close with the track 'The Path'; an eight minute epic rock anthem which finishes the album fantastically. The voice of Ville Valo is as strong as ever, the musical backdrop is powerfully put across and never does this one disappoint. The band enters this album on a high, it's only right then that 'Love Metal' finishes with a strong track and this is certainly the case here. I'm not a huge fan of long tracks; I do however have a fond love for 'The Path'. I can listen to this track over and over and never do I tire of it; it's an exceptionally soothing track, the instrumental element is put across masterfully and never does the music of HIM here disappoint. I can think of few better closing tracks than this, it's a superb way for HIM to close this release and is one of the few tracks here that remains to be highly memorable for long after this album has come to an end.
Although 'Love Metal' is a fairly strong album, I'm not too sure whether I'd recommend listening to it or not. When the music is good it's great, many of the ten tracks here are not at all memorable however and not long after listening to this album I therefore struggle to recall much of the output of this release. Vocally the band is always brilliant; instrumentally on the other hand the music is more often than not extremely simplistic. There are occasions here where some real instrumental talent is shown, some exquisitely worked instrumental outbursts will come driving through and the band will really prove its worth. Unfortunately these moments just don't occur often enough for my liking. I like this 'Love Metal' album, it contains an interesting 53 minutes of music and yet a lot of the time the music just isn't particularly special. The album is pleasant to listen to, the vocals possess a great beauteous quality, often however I feel that this band could be a lot more adventurous with the sound and make it all come to life a lot more. There are times here when HIM puts across an exceptional talent as a band, the sound is exquisite and every element of the music comes together perfectly. This is not always the case though, none of the tracks here are bad but not enough for my liking are great. For fans of this band then 'Love Metal' is to be considered as essential listening, for all others however I'd say that this is one you should most definitely try before you buy.
HIM's fourth album Love Metal has restored my faith somewhat in the Gothic scene of the early 21st century. Being old enough to remember the first stirrings of the that dark musical beast, my definition of what is Gothic and what isn't probably sits at odds with the average Marilyn Manson fan, just as someone who followed, say, The Clash around in the late seventies isn't going to be convinced of the validity of the likes of Sum 41 as punk icons. Although the die-hards from those dry ice shrouded days of the early eighties placed all their faith in the clinical and cold works of the Sisters of Mercy and March Violets, for me there was a side to the scene that summed up better what gothic meant to me. Bands such as the Mission managed to harness the dark and razor edged sound of the earlier bands and mix it with rock music to create a richer and more sweeping array of sounds. The Sisters may have made a perfect sound track for a post apocalyptic future, but the Mission made the perfect accompaniment to the works of Jane Austin and Bram Stoker, and the legacy of that feeling lives on in this album.
All music scenes and styles evolve over time and the gothic scene of today looks more to rock and metal than the punk and dance of its forebears. Along with such bands as Evanescence and Nightwish, HIM seem to have retained the best of past and present, the drive and power of hard rock and the emotive passion of old school goth. Buried Alive by Love fires up the album with a full on metal guitar riff, powered on by a hard drum attack and solid bass. What is refreshing and obvious almost immediately is that every player has space in the production to be heard and the vocals come over clearly. Too man albums today seem to be a free for all and the result is a lack of clarity in the production. The singer, Ville, seems to be singing from the same hymn sheet as the likes of Wayne Hussey and Julianne Regan from all those years ago. The subject matter is all very windswept and romantic, its fantasy in the extreme, a modern take on the language of the gothic romances of regency England, but give me escapism over the realities of life any day, who wants to hear about cars and girls, guns and attitude when you can be swept into a lost world for the duration of the album. As this power house of an opening number dies its replaced with the gentle strumming of a guitar, which on closer inspection might even be a Mandolin (hurrah from me) and the singers dulcet tones waxing whimsical before it too goes all heavy metal on you. After a big start Funeral of Hearts settles down to some rhythmic guitar work and some nice intricate lead riffs weaving through before kicking back into a big chorus. Its only a mid paced song but knows how to do the epic well, this is music that will go down well in the stadium, club or car.
Beyond Redemption wafts in with some strange keyboard sounds, before getting up and running. The language as always is that unrequited love, tearstained kisses and forbidden desires. Its difficult to tell exactly what they are trying to tell you on many of the songs and that they probably use this sort of dialogue even when they are doing the shopping or fixing the car, but it is exactly right for the music and image of the band. Ville himself has the look of a predatory heartbreaker and after seeing the band in action you can hardly imagine anyone else fronting this band. Sweet Pandemonium is a more laid back and swaying candles in the air type of thing. The power of the guitars is kept in check by the inclusion of an acoustic guitar and the song uses its own dynamic to create the peaks and troughs required to turn the song around.
With Soul On Fire we are back with the faster thrashier intro which eventually drops off leaving the bass and drums to carry the song behind the vocals, before it powers up to power through the chorus. Some of the songs, and this is probably my only main criticism of the album do tend to follow a bit of a formula. That's not to say that they are not good songs, its just that they tend to follow similar lines, but there is nothing wrong with knowing what it is you want do and then doing it well. By complete contrast The Sacrament opens with a solo piano riff which, even once the song reaches its higher gear, stays at the heart of the melody. Its this use of piano to take the songs along a different plane that helps to set this band apart from some of the other bands operating in this genre. Fortress of Tears is a good example of this, piano and voice create a ballad feeling to some parts of the song which is set against epic rock anthem styling. By the time you get to the next two songs they sound a bit predictable, as I said before not bad songs, in fact songs that many bands would love to have penned, its just that in the context of the rest of the album they give you nothing new compared with what has gone before.
The Path is the final track and is one of the most passionate on the album and it seems to be a seven minute distillation of everything that the band dose best. A melancholy piano lilts into the picture, drums kick in and the guitars set up an epic wall of noise and as it all falls away the piano is left, this time with a pained and heart wrenching voice to keep it company. This song builds and falls until it leaves you stranded in a place of wailing guitar solos and howling keyboards before leaving you back in the emotive tones of the voice and piano again only to build and play out on the storm of guitars. Then as if sensing that it has plucked the heart strings enough, it ends dead.
There are lots of flavours mixed in this album, along side the ones mentioned, and they are the most obvious, bands such as Orion, Black Sabbath and even classical pieces all have their chance to colour the music. It is an album for old school goths, metalers and rockers alike. Its not overly original in places but a better collection of songs is not easily found. Give it a try, there is something for everyone.
You may have heard the band recently on the CKY videos with Bam Margera. He constantly wears HIM merchandise and decorates his house with heartagrams. HIM originate from Finland and first came to light in 1995 and became very big in most of Europe by 2000. Only recently has the band started to take off in U.K. and America partly because of Bam's videos and extensive use of their songs as their soundtrack. The Love Metal Album is the 4th Installment and is a great starting point for any budding HIM fan. There are a few stand out tracks on the album such as Buried Alive By Love with its powerful guitar riffs and blistering vocals. The sacrament is another but on the emotional side and is my favourite track. I have to say this is one of their best albums and is easily going to impress. If you already own Razorblade Romance, Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights or Greatest Lovesongs then you must buy this. As always there are several versions of the album. You can get the standard Jewel case edition which doesn't have the bonus track Love's Requiem but has the Funeral Of Hearts Video or you can buy the Digipack which has the bonus track and the Buried Alive By Love Video. I personally would go for the latter just for the extra track. HIM have just released a greatest hits collection titled; And Love Said No with two new tracks and 15 of their previous hits. Definitely a must!!
I first found out about the band HIM in the year 1999. I was flicking about on the radio stations on the Internet not stopping on any channel, until I heard the song Poison Girl by HIM. Since then I was hooked. I bought the Love Metal Album very shortly after it came out around May. I have only just found this site, so I thought I should do my bit and type this review! The Love Metal album, many fans say is their worst album yet. I strongly disagree. I own every HIM album they have ever released. (Greatest Love Songs Vol.666, Razorblade Romance, Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights, Love Metal) I personally think it is very close to their best. I absolutley love Razorblade Romance/Greatest Love Songs vol.666 but Love Metal is just as good. Ville's voice is just as haunting in this album as it always has been. My favourite songs on this album are: Buried Alive by Love, The Sacrament, Endless Dark, The Path and Love's Reqium. I must admit, the first time I heard the Sacrament, a tear came to my eye, its one of the most romantic songs I have heard (I think it beats Nine Inch Nails' We're In This Together) When asked what band HIM sound like, I say I cannot answer this question. There is no band that they do sound like, I mean, they created an entire genre, Love Metal! In my opinion, HIM are one of the greatest bands I have ever listened to. Nice riffs, amazing lyrics, haunting vocals. When ever I listen to this album at work I have to be very careful not to sing along, its almost impossible not too! I seriously recommend this band to everyone, just give it a try!
***Intro*** Whilst on the German Exchange a good few months ago I made what I think was a decent swap with my partner, she had the HIM ? Love Metal which she didn?t care for, and for odd reasons I had Justin Timberlake?s album which I despise. So both now happy we leave each other with amongst other souvenirs a new cd each! ***Background Information*** Surprisingly not many fans of HIM even know what the 3 initials stand for!? I can never understand that, well anyway the answer is His Infernal Majesty, so far this year they have released only two songs, both regularly shown on Kerrang, Scuzz and what used to be P-Rock and Mtv2, but never on any other channels which owes to part of their not being so popular in my school. As I have mentioned before my school is the definite worst in Yeovil, especially when it comes to prejudism between the individuality of others. Anyone admitting to enjoy Rock / Heavy Metal or anything other than the usual senseless Pop Dance or Rap is labelled a Goth/Mosher/Punk, pointing immediately to the fact that all these people rarely even know what they are talking about. Now I?ve said my piece on that? HIM originate from Finland, and Ville Valo is fast becoming an icon where I am. Their two released songs from this album are Buried alive by love, and The Sacrament. Many of you will have heard the music of HIM without realising you have done so, my poor sad mother was listening to Orchard Fm in the car the other day, humming the words to ?I love you? (fair enough that does nothing to encourage recognition, how many millions of tracks are titled I love you?). This song is regularly played on Orchard and my mother had never even noticed she was infact listening to the music she calls my ?scary loud banging racket?. Stupid woman. I should actually point out now that if you don?t like a ?scary loud banging racket? then a lot of the tracks on Love Metal will not appeal to you and you would be better off
looking for an older HIM album. Currently I know of Deep Shadows, Razorblade Romance, Love Vols 666 and Love Metal, and own only two of these, I?m sure there are more around! ***Love Metal*** The HIM songs are displayed in chapters, which can be annoying because you have to count down the list to find the number of the track you want! The drawback to my having got my album from Germany is that I do not have the solo track of Chapter C which is ?Loves Requim? so having never heard it I couldn?t tell you if it is much of a loss! But then that could have been part of the Limited Edition album?.i don?t know!? -Chapter A- Buried Alive By Love Funeral Of Hearts Beyond Redemption Sweet Pandemonium Soul On Fire -Chapter B- The Sacrament The Fortress Of Tears Circle Of Fear Endless Dark The Path (Chapter C ? Loves Requim) Most, if not all of these songs are based on love, and the rest, but its not all romantic slosh..thank god! There is no swearing, so atleast that?s one thing to knock off the list my parents can draw up to their not liking my music! The Love Metal album I own is a black case with slightly visible intertwining vines, and a gold heartagram symbol. The insert contains the lyrics on a gold page however they can only be seen in certain light which I suppose is darn annoying if you need the lyrics! But Ville Valo doesn?t scream and shout his words like Wednesday of MurderDolls or Chester of Linkin Park etc so you shouldn?t really need the lyrics anyhow! Another compliment I would give to this band is that, as with Evanescence, I consider the lyrics to be very individual and well written, not the basic crap you can find in some of the albums I own. For example Inme, although I?ve no particular complaints with their album Overgrown Eden, the difference in complexity between the way their tracks were written is obvious. ***
My Re commendations*** Being the first HIM song I ever heard (not including the strange broadcasting of ?I love you? on the radio) Buried Alive By Love is definitely a track that I would recommend. ?But a cold heart is a dead heart and it feels like I?ve been buried alive by love. If I should die before I wake pray no-one my soul to take, and if I wake before I die rescue me with your smile?? The second would be Sweet Pandemonium, whilst I was in Germany I kicked my personal cd player off the bed and broke it, and for extremely weird unknown reasons it would only play up to the fourth track of any album! Sweet Pandemonium being the fourth track it was singled out from the other 3 songs and so I constantly listened to it. It has a brilliant introduction which is basically repeated throughout the song and it hooked me. ?The truth that could set souls free, is buried within sweet pandemonium, concealed by disbelief the riddle stays veiled in sweet pandemonium?? The Path, the last song on my album I like for mostly the same reasons as Sweet Pandemonium, the recurring backing tune is brilliant and very individual both of these tracks are slower than the others which adds to the theme, they use a lot of dynamics and the involuntary changes in the volume add to the makings of the track. ?I walk through the gardens of dying light, and cross all the rivers deep and dark as the night, searching for a reason why time passed us by?? ***Conclusion*** If I really was forced to choose the lowest of the 10 tracks on this album I would say that Endless Dark is least likely to match up to the quality of the rest of the album. But that?s only at a push, I think that this album is well worth owning and I haven?t so far tired of it. -Bought in Germany for 17 Euro (cant find the euro sign!!!) -Bought in V-Shop for £12.99 -Bought in Woolworths for £9.99 if your lucky?the prices are going
up! -Bought in Acorn Music (if you have one of those!) for £10.99 If you can find the Limited Edition then lucky you?I can?t! There isn?t that much difference anyway but I expect the prices are higher. Please tell me my capitals and punctuation aren?t going to wander?I apologise if they do I find it really irritating as it degrades everyone?s work.. ~sigh~