♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ H.I.M - Love Rock Metal Music ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬

in #music3 years ago
Hello my friends from Steemit! Today I bring you this fabulous rock band. HIM is the acronym for His Infernal Majesty, a Finnish band that was created in the summer of 95 on the initiative of Ville Hermanni Valo, the undisputed leader and soul of the formation. Although his name seems a nod to the Rolling, the truth is that Valo borrowed from a porn magazine of the 70s. In the sex shop that his father ran in Helsinki, the Apollonian singer began to think of a style of remote music of the topics that haunted him so much and that caused rage at the beginning of the 90s. From the beginning he was clear about who were going to be his referents: the vibrant and maddening guitars of Black Sabbath, the exasperated and provocative voice of Iggy Pop, the electronic setting with gothic dyes by Depeche Mode and the decadent romanticism of David Lynch's films.


It did not take long to baptize that style with the name of Love Metal, which years later would use as a title for one of his albums. At the same time, and as if it were an advertising agency, he devised the logo that would identify the group: the so-called Heartagram; a figure similar to the pentagram, with the only exception that it rounds two points to create the shape of a heart inside. Its importance is such that, surprising as it may be, the HIM website does not respond to these acronyms, as would be expected, but to the name of its banner.


The chilliness of the Scandinavian climate was going to dye the lyrics of his songs of melancholy. Turbulent and tormented love, unhealthy passions and death as the beginning and end of life are the themes on which his songs are based. It is easy to recognize in his lyrics the influence of poets and aesthetes of the morbid and profane like Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Baudelaire.


As in Finland there is a great tradition of Gothic metal groups, such as Charon or Entwine, that was the first classification that was applied to HIM. Maybe his first album, 'Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666', is related to that style, but especially from 'Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights' it became clear that his sound record was much wider. HIM is a miscellany that includes rock, glam, metal and pop, all combined in a perfectly recognizable sound.


HIM is made up of five members. Valo puts the voice and composes the lyrics, in addition to attending the press. For his beauty and charisma, he is the image of the group. Just look at the covers of your first records to check it. In them it appears makeup of white, with its tangled locks caressing his forehead, a devious and provocative look, at the same time that defiant, and the naked torso. The five components of HIM, with Valo in the foreground.

Almost always accompanied by a cigarette, which does not appear even at concerts. His pose is always glamorous, although nimbada, yes, a tenebrismo reminiscent of the paintings of angels that Caravaggio painted. Not in vain, Heaven and Hell are present in his compositions.

What most attracts Valo's attention - apart from his privileged physique, which snatches women - is the timbre of his voice, which is modulated with equal ease for the bass and acute, achieving spectacular transitions between the soft touch of a feline, a cavernous resonance and the howls of a lycanthrope. Force the voice to the falsetto like Thom Yorke and Matthew Bellamy, an effect that I especially like.

The rest of the members are the orondo Gas battery, which contrasts so much with the filiform and dimly androgynous body of Valo; the guitarist Linde, even more enigmatic than this one and with dreadlocks that resemble those of a first-timer Dexter Holland; the garrido and unkempt bassist Mige; and Burton on keyboards, emulating Martin Gore.

The first album of HIM was released in the year 98 and, by its title, it highlighted the wave of the group. 'Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666' suggested, from the start, an allusion to the number of the Beast, but HIM, unlike Marilyn Manson,Cover of 'Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666'.

It has nothing to do with Satanism or with illustrious apostles of this cult like Anton LaVey. What could be inferred was a notorious obsession with the Christian iconography of angels and demons as the summum of love engulfed in flames and an accomplice of death.

The album starts with a fast-paced song: 'Your Sweet 666', a song that, over time, would become one of the group's anthems. He has everything to be considered a classic and an epitome of HIM's music: electrifying guitars, Gothic ambience and, above all, a voice that is as warm and whispering as, from rondón, it becomes harsh and rough; a voice like never before heard. It was a waste of sensuality, but not of innocuous sensuality, but iniquitous, like the song of a mermaid. Valo's powerful voice bore a reasonable resemblance to that of Dave Gahan, especially in the bass, and that of David Bowie and Iggy Pop, in tightening the vocal cords to the limit. That Valo admires Depeche Mode is no secret; in fact, he has a very estimable version of one of his most praised songs: 'Enjoy the Silence'.

And if we talk about versions, it is almost inevitable to quote the one that gave him fame. I mean Chris Isaak's 'Wicked Game', a song with which Valo feels very identified. It is worth remembering that this song is included in the soundtrack of 'Corazón Salvaje', by David Lynch, a film that is surely among the singer's favorites. HIM's version of 'Wicked Game' - this is a track from 'Greatest Lovesong Vol. 666' - is, as one might expect, more guitar than the original, but with scrupulous, almost sacramental respect, it could be said, by its essence.

No song on this album is wasted, but I would highlight 'The Heartless', 'For You', 'When Love and Death Embrace' and 'Do not Fear The Reaper'. All of them have in common the presence of female choirs and, The Christian iconography lies at the bottom of the HIM songs.

In the case of the latter - another version, in this case of Donald Roeser and Sandy Pearlmann -, the voice of June Hyde overlaps or overlaps, according to the moment, with that of Valo, thus creating a very harmonious whole.

Over time HIM has evolved, leaving behind the more independent air and the more astringent metal, to reach more public. I think it is a logical step for any group that wants to become big and, make no mistake, the eternal glory is behind the ambitions of every singer. To lead a life of recollection there are other professions more apt, like that of a monk, but the life of a singer is usually a life of excess, and excesses are based on fame and money. They can call me devious, but if they tell me that such a band prefers to move around in small, minority circles rather than selling to the major record labels, I will inevitably think that if it has not been sold it is because it has not found who buys it. For its baroque, never after equaled, this is the album that I like the most, without neglecting its subsequent work.

'Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666' was a great release that opened many doors for them. The name of HIM began to sound strong not only in their country of origin, but also in Germany, where they have always been very well received - we must not forget that all their albums, except the last one, are produced by BMG. However, it was not until his second album, 'Razorblade Romance', that he made a dent in the stations and record stores throughout Europe. Also, at that moment it was when I heard about HIM for the first time.

The first thing that stands out about this work is its cover, with Valo posing as a marble statue on a pink background, a color that would squeak any metal purist.

The group showed its most glam, because the provocateur frotman was not missing either the coat of feathers or the halo.

'Razorblade Romance', published in 2000, incorporates again the two songs that gave him prestige: 'Your Sweet 666' and 'Wicked Game', with slight variations. The rest also reach a very high level. There are blunt and scorching like 'Right Here in My Arms' and' Razorblade Kiss', suggestive and tempting as' Poison Girl 'and' Bury Me Deep Inside Your Heart 'and soft and tender as' Gone with the Sin' and 'Heaven Tonight '. However, the first big success came thanks to the third song: 'Join Me in Death', without a doubt the best known song of the Finnish group.

In some countries, among which Spain is not counted, a special edition of 'Razorblade Romance' was published with an added CD of B-faces. In it you could listen to songs like 'Sigillum Diaboli', 'The 9th Circle' and 'Dark Secret' Love ', played in collaboration with 69 Eyes. The inexplicable thing is that these presumably inferior quality songs are not really worse than the others.

I would dare to say that this is HIM's most complete album, and it may even be the one that best expresses his concept of music. In a way, it is a continuation of the previous one, as there is no loss of any intensity in its sound. However, there is a nonconformity that prevented them from stagnating in this formula. As with all good groups, HIM needed to explore new horizons.

So, in this context of experimentation appeared, announced with pomp and pageantry, 'Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights'. It had only been a year since the publication of 'Razorblade Romance', a time that seemed to me scarce. My interest in HIM was growing after listening to his first two albums and, despite my misgivings, I welcomed his new album with great enthusiasm.

The first auditions left a pleasant impression on me, although later it caused me a bit of weariness. However, I have noticed that it wins over the years, and every time I hear it I feel satisfaction again. Now I have no doubt that it is an enduring work, although at the beginning it was hard for me to accept that the sound of HIM had lost part of its roughness in favor of poperos rhythms. On another level, it was a change similar to that of Metallica when it released the 'Black Album' and, a few years later, the 'Load'. There was no shortage of brainless fans who apostatized from the group by burning their records. There each one with what he does with his goods.

The single of promotion was 'Pretending', a song with catchy chorus that earned him the number one in many lists, even in Spain. Then came 'In Joy and Sorrow', which is one of the best on the album, and 'Heartache Every Moment', which is conventional. In my view, the most notable are 'Close to the Flame', which evokes pleasant memories, and 'Beautiful', both with a large presence of keyboards. It was seen that HIM was no longer the same group as at the beginning, but he still delighted in his search for identity.

The guitars, that had lost force in 'Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights', returned by their fueros in 'Love Metal', their following disc. It was the year 2003 and it was impossible to know what turn they would have taken after the last swerve. The single was 'The Funeral of Hearts', a paused and precious song that has little to do with 'Pretending', although both share a commercial bias. Valo, a face with an angel.

It is a complex theme, interspersed with changes in rhythm - something that HIM knows how to do very well - and with the omnipresence of Valo's voice, which recreates itself more than ever. It also contains the typical guitar riffs that distort the sound and the reverberations that create the environment. Although the original has sufficient quality, the acoustic version far exceeds it.

Until then everything was going well, but the rest of the disk is very irregular. Saving 'The Sacrament', a song with a great rhythm and an introduction with a keyboard almost as bright as 'Join Me in Death', and 'Sweet Pandemonium', with its devastating battery, the other songs are heard with pleasure , but they do not transmit passion. It was the first time I could say that HIM had disappointed my expectations.

Nothing good presaged that only a year later they released a compilation: 'And Love Said No: The Greatest Hits 1997-2004'. The selection of songs is quite successful, but the most remarkable thing about this album is that, at least, it included two unreleased songs. One of them is 'Solitary Man', a version of Neil Diamond, and the other one is titled just like the album: 'And Love Said No'. This song restored me the hope of recovering the best HIM. It is passionate, powerful and attractive. That meant that they had not abandoned themselves to the bed of thorns of success and that they were still creating something new.

So we come to 'Dark Light', his latest album, which has just gone on sale. One of the differences that it presents in relation to the previous ones is that it is produced by Warner, because now HIM has set its sights on the North American market, where they are almost unknown. He also highlights his collaboration with Tim Palmer, emblematic producer and mixer who has worked with groups such as U2 and Robert Plant. To make matters worse, Valo has cut his hair, in a radical makeover.

With these wickers, it was almost inevitable that something new would come out, for better or for worse. Luckily, it has been for the best. 'Dark Light' is a beautiful, vibrant and melodic album; in short, admirable. Gather all the features that made HIM rock stars.

Valo is so satisfied with the result that he affirms that "it is the ideal that I have always wanted for us, we are getting closer to him". In all certainty, they will soon cease to be the ones who make versions of other bands to be versioned.

The first single is 'Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly', an agile and dynamic song, similar to 'Pretending', although more shady. It is difficult to opt for some songs and obviate others, since they are all very good. Even so, they excel 'Vampire Heart', 'Killing Loneliness', 'Dark Light', 'Drunk on Shadows' and 'Play Dead'. All have subtle changes of rhythm, especially the first of them, and piano and keyboard chords that delve into that romantic and tenebrist climate that is the essence of HIM. The guitars are perfectly integrated with the battery and with the voice of Valo, always suggestive and emotional.

If we add that value means light in Finnish and that the dark word literally translated into that language means savage, we will have an equation with two unknowns whose result is David Lynch.


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