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Razorblade Romance is the second studio album from the Finnish band H.I.M (or His Infernal Majesty, if you're interested in what the name stands for). This album was released at the end of 1999.
The cover art for this track is an image of Ville Valo, the singer in H.I.M. posing with his jacket open and a cigarette in his mouth on a pink background. The H.I.M. logo is plastered across the from of the image, with the title of the track, Razorblade Romance, in smaller writing underneath their logo.
The tracklisting for this album is as follows:
"Your Sweet 666"
"Join Me in Death"
"Right Here in My Arms"
"Bury Me Deep Inside Your Heart"
"I Love You (Prelude to Tragedy)"
"Gone With the Sin"
"Death is in Love With Us"
From this album, my favourite songs by a long way are "Your Sweet 666" and "Gone With The Sin", although "Right Here In My Arms" is pretty good as well. I don't like this album as much as I like some of the other ones but it's not a bad album, that's for sure.
"Your Sweet 666" is their first song on this album and it is quite an upbeat one. When this song is compared with the other ones on this album, it shows how versatile Ville Valo can be with his voice, given that it has a totally different sound in this track than it does in many of the other ones. The idea of "666" comes from the idea that this is the number of the beast. I think this may be a link to the idea that love may be some sort of beast, although I'm not entirely sure. I really like this song though. It has a really catchy beat and lyrics that are pretty easy to pick up as well. I think that this is one of my favourite H.I.M. songs of all time actually.
"Gone With The Sin" is a much slower song than "Your Sweet 666". It starts with Ville Valo slowly and deeply talking. This is a complete contrast with the first track but I still think it's as good as it. When the main part of the song starts, it is slow and quiet and seems to be talking more about beauty and happiness than about the worse sides of life like "Your Sweet 666" does. I think this song is a really nice one to listen to while you're relaxing or something like that because it is slow and steady rather than fast like many of the other H.I.M. songs I like.
Overall, I think that this album contains a few good H.I.M. songs but it isn't the best one they have produced. I think that because it's one of their earlier ones they were still getting into the swing of things somewhat and have since improved and grown to become the band they are today. Not bad for a second album though.
Ah the famous Finnish 'love metal' band. You either totally adore & worship them or loathe every single thing about HIM, there seems to be no inbetween with this band. One of the main things that people seem to argue about with HIM, is what genre they fit in to, is it goth, rock or a form of melodic metal - but quite frankly, who cares?! I certainly don't and seemingly neither does there colossal army of fans. Whatever you want to call HIM or think about them, it would be hard to deny that they really are something quite special & unique, especially back when this album was released.
'Razorblade romance' is the second album HIM released - back in the days when Jussi-Mikko "Juska" Salminen was still the keyboardist, who was later replaced by the now current keyboardist Janne "Burton" Puurtinen. It wasn't released in the UK until 15th may 2000 which is a good few months after it was released in Finland back in mid-december 1999, it was shortly released in the rest of Europe in late-january 2000, but for some reason, England was made to wait. The album was recorded in the somewhat famous 'Rockfield' studios in wales, where Ville's heroes Black Sabbath had recorded some of their music.
HIM were fairly unheard of in the UK back then, long before the day where a certain Bam Margera plugged the band everywhere possible and was always seen heartagram clad, Bam has been both a blessing and a curse to HIM, but that's a whole other story! The very first song i heard by HIM was 'Gone with the sin', which was just a few months after the album was released, i'm still not sure exactly how i came across this song online, but i do know it was entirely by accident. It was pretty much love at first sight, i went and bought the album (which was very difficult to find!) and there wasn't a song on the album i didn't love and that so rarely happens!
The track listing varies quite a bit depending on which version/which country it was released in. But the line-up for the UK version is as follows:
1."Your Sweet 666"
3."Join Me in Death"
4."Right Here in My Arms"
5."Bury Me Deep Inside Your Heart"
7."I Love You"
8."Gone With the Sin"
11."Death Is In Love With Us"
The bands frontman Ville Valo wrote and composed all the songs on the album, except 'Wicked Game' which is by Chris Isaak. The album proved to be somewhat controversial and got a lot of bad press, despite the fact there is no explicit language in the album at all, but because of the frequent references to death and 'suicide' the album now carries a 'Parental advisory' label, although it didn't when it was first released. People seemed to be under the impression that if you listened to this album it would make you consider suicide, if that was true, then they wouldn't have much of a fan base left would they. Yet another example of how these days, people call anything different 'controversial'.
The album is a well balanced mix of soft and hard, full with very raw, strong emotion. With 2 new versions of songs off their previous and first album 'Greatest love songs vol.666', which are 'Wicked game' and 'your sweet 666'. 'Wicked game' is one of the firm fan favourites, despite the fact that it isn't HIM's song, it sums up their sound and what they are about perfectly, they truly make this song there own. It has catchy songs with sing-along value like 'Poison girl' and 'Right here in my arms, which were perfect single material and songs which are emotionaly moving to listen to, like 'join me in death' and 'bury me deep inside your heart'. The album is very dark indeed and you don't realise just how dark it is, until you fully listen to the lyrics. Valo wears his heart on his sleeve and isn't afraid of showing it, you can tell that he is somebody, who has been to some truly dark places. It's a rarity for an album to be this consistent, normally you'll get the singles and then a few weak tracks, but that isn't the case at all here, it powers few until the end, giving you a different view of everything, showing exactly what they are capable of.
Love songs, as a rule, really aren't my thing. But this? This is different. They capture love perfectly, the feelings that go with it, the complete obsession, attachment and heartache that is love. Love songs with simply beautiful lyrics, yet they keep that heavy edge. HIM have that mystery around them, you never know what they are going to release next, you think you have them worked out and they go and suprise you again.
The band at this point was:
Ville Valo - Vocals
Mikko 'Linde' Lindström - Guitar
Mikko 'Mige amour' Paananen - Bass guitar
Mika 'Gas lipstick' Karppinen - Drums
Jussi-Mikko "Juska" Salminen - Keyboards
The album is full of ripping guitar riffs, pounding bass & drums, yet it's given that softer....darker edge with the keyboards & synth. That what sets this album & band apart from other 'rock bands'. It wasn't until some time after this was released that i realised what a work of art this album really was, it mixes things that shouldn't go together, but then work so well. This is definately one of - if not the strongest album and the defining album of their career. They've come a long way since then, but i think this album will always sit firmly in the fans hearts.
If you haven't heard it, give it a listen, but you'll need to listen to the entire album, HIM aren't a band you can judge by one song. All in all, this is an outstanding album that should be up there with the greats, it's somewhat of a milestone and definately shaped many of todays generation, myself included in that. It allows you to see the softer and more delicate emotions in life, instead of angst fuelled ranting on, like many other rock/metal bands, which is very refreshing indeed.
Best of HIM. Even if it was issued years and years ago it shows HIM true talant before he got into all pop trend especially with his american friends. I love HIM but i love HIM being himself and Razorblade Romance is a piece of truth in my eyes. Join me in death.. Beautiful.. 666... Even the name of the songs are dark and strong.. Join me in death is the first probably well known video and that would describe the general feeling for the album as well. Death. Dark. Passionate. Extreme. Deep. Emotional. Sexy. Its a great album but its not HIM you know now. So if you do love HIM now you would probably be confused listening to a darker side of theirs. If you do not like HIM now then give it a go! You ll be surprised guys came from an attempt of a decent music. No offence, but they were Finnish at the end, land of darker metal..
How I started to listen HIM?
Normally I went at 29th August, 1998 to Summer Horizon-Festival in Gelsenkirchen / Germany for see there Sisters of Mercy. There also played HIM as an opening act, before this they published their album Greatest Lovesongs 666 successfully and received a contract with Gun/really Sonic. Until this time, I did not know this band at all. Immediately I liked the sound, a little rock, melancholy, miraculous guitar reef and all that with the great voice of Ville Valo. The front man Ville Valo is a very charismatic man (counts in Finland as a sex symbol) with a great variety in his voice, which he uses mostly begging and adoring. Particularly I liked the cover version of the song Wicked Game which I knew up to this time only from Chris Isaak. HIM knew to merge this song perfectly with rock sounds and to give something Special to this normally slow song. At this time, I was still a little bit crazier what means that I went on this festival in the 7-th month pregnant. Normally one should not do this, but I was insulated most time in the backstage area and experienced there also a few amusing scenes.
Who are HIM?
HIM (His Infernal Majesty) is a Rock band from Finland. HIM are grouped in the Dark rock area, they themselves call their style Love Metal with the creation of a contrast between melancholy love songs and partly harder rock music. The band was founded in 1995, but they had the first international success in 1998. Their biggest hit was with the hit single Join Me. Also remarkably are their cover versions from Wicked Game or also Billy Idol's classic Rebel Yell.
* Vocals: Ville Valo
* Guitar: Mikko Viljami Lindström
* Bass: Mikko Heinrik Julius Paananen
* Drums: Juhana Rantala
* Keyboard: Jani Purttinen
Publication: 19 December 1999 in Finland, in Europe it was published in the beginning of 2000 and in the USA just in 2003 under the name HER, because the name HiM was used there by a jazz band and HIM had to get the rights for the name.
This album was in Germany 58 weeks on place one in the charts, in Finland, the homeland of the band, nevertheless, only 30 weeks. Razorblade Romance was sold in Germany 750000 times and received 3 golden ones and a platinum record.
* Number of tracks: 11
* Length: 54:33
* Production: John Fryer
The cover is much pink. In the middle, it shows an eccentric Ville Valo with halo, surrounded by a thing from flowers, angels, snakes, clouds... It is very interesting for me to watch it; I am always on the search what I can still recognize there. The back of the CD has the same background, one can also see a little bit like a cross. The song titles are written there. The back of the inlay is also in pink with the same background; however, it is decorated in the middle with the Heartagram (band logo) what is a little bit like a spell of love.
The track list is different in some countries. Thus, the track list in UK and the USA contains the song Wicked Game and other different songs. In addition, the order of the songs is different. I write here about the original Finnish/German track listing.
I Love You (Prelude to Tragedy)- 3:09
What a nice rock and love song. The lyrics are brilliant. It starts like something in direction Depeche Mode, but gets full rock later. This song I like much, it is much melodic.
"I see it in your eyes
I feel it in your touch
I taste it from your lips
And baby more I love you"
Poison Girl - 3:50
The third single of the album. It is a rather fast song, wonderfully sung by Ville Valo. He sings that he was doing everything for her, but the love wanted sees them deadly. This is a rather rock-sounding Love song with a little of Romeo and Juliet.
Join Me in Death - 3:38
This song is a wonderful ballad with miraculous keyboard sounds. It is a modern version of Romeo and Juliet and was the first single of this album. One feels while listen to this song like something carries you from one passage to the next. Ville Valo gives with this song everything in melancholy what one can find. This song is also included in the soundtrack of " The 13th Floor "and "Resident Evil: Apocalypse".
Right Here in My Arms - 4:03
The second single of the album. This song starts with a much melodically and simply fantastically played guitar. It is a more fast song; however, the singing is imploring or begging. Simply a great rock and love song.
"She is smiling like heaven is down on earth
Sun is shining so bright on her
And all her wishes have finally come true
And her heart is weeping.
This happiness is killing her.
She'll be right here in my arms
So in Love
She'll be right here in these arms
She can't let go"
Gone With the Sin - 4:21
"Ohohohohoh my Baby, how beautiful you are
Ohohohohoh my Darling, completely torn apart
You're gone with the sin my Baby and beautiful you are
You're gone with the sin my Darling"
This is a much nice ballad, much melodic and with nice singing from Ville. This ballad is an allusion on the film "Gone with the Wind". The song starts with wonderful keyboard sounds and then is supported by a really melodic guitar play. The singing is rather a speaking and is during the verse primarily supported by really keyboard sounds. I simply love this song, it is great for relax and dream. At the end of the song Ville sings the Darling very long drawn and adoring, it is simply wonderfully to hear this. OMG this song makes me a prickle. This is one of my favorite songs from HIM.
Razorblade Kiss - 4:18
A fast song about dangerous love with sexual plot. When I see the lyrics in connection with rock music, I only can say WOW.
" Only inside I'm free
I'm tired of waiting
You've got to let me dream
I'm not afraid to feel
I want your to love me
Cause you are the one"
Bury Me Deep Inside Your Heart - 4:16
A beautiful Rock Love song again, slow sung from Ville, like begging, imploring he sings" All I ever wanted is you, my love". It is much melodic. The keyboard and guitar give this song much special. Also the tactful drums in the background gives something special to the song.
Heaven Tonight - 3:21
This song is like a mix from rock, pop, it has something charming. Much nice to listen.
Death Is In Love With Us - 2:57
A fast song, sung with a rather bright voice. Up to the rock-sounding instruments the song has rather somewhat of a 80s year song. However, the song can be played as a party song.
Resurrection - 3:39
A song about the love and Jesus. Ville Valo sings this song in an interesting voice pitch, which I cannot properly describe at all and again very imploring.
One Last Time - 5:09
It starts with Guitar solo, this song is also something like a ballad. This song is sung again with a begging imploring voice. This is again a song, which I like very much. It has many romantics.
At the end, I would still like to say that I am not a music critic and have not English as my mother tongue; I apologize if I used wrong expressions and terms.
This album is recommendable for everyone, who want not only listen normal love songs, and has sometimes fun in a mixture with rock music.
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I bought this album a few years ago after being introduced to HIM by a friend. HIM standing for 'His Infernal Majesty', which was their original name. It was everything I expected and more!
The album was originally released in December 99 in HIM's native country - Finland, followed by releases in mainland Europe in January 2000 & in the UK in May 2000.
Track 3 - Join Me in Death was used in the sci-fi film "The Thirteenth Floor" and consequently the album sales went through the roof, making HIM huge in Europe.
HIM were unable to release this under their name in the US, as a band already existed called HiM. To get around this they released it under the name 'HER' and only in the Boston area. Once they had bought the rights to the name, it was released nationally under the name 'HIM'.
The track listings differ depending upon which country the album was released in but the UK track listing is as follows:
1. "Your Sweet 666"
2. "Poison Girl"
3. "Join Me in Death"
4. "Right Here in My Arms"
5. "Bury Me Deep Inside Your Heart"
6. "Wicked Game"
7. "I Love You"
8. "Gone With the Sin"
9. "Razorblade Kiss"
11. "Death Is In Love With Us"
12. "Heaven Tonight"
Total running time is 54m 33s, and I love every track. All the tracks on the album were written by Ville Valo (vocalist) with the exception of track 6 "Wicked Game" which is a wonderfuly dark cover of Chris Isaak's classic.
This album is decadent, dark and delightfully devilish. It has clear references to death and Satan, but romanticised to the point where you don't care.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Your Sweet 666
2 Poison Girl
3 Join Me
4 Right Here In My Arms
5 Bury Me Deep Inside
6 Wicked Game
7 I Love You
8 Gone With The Sin
9 Razorblade Kiss
11 Death Is In Love With Us
12 Heaven Tonight