HIM is a Finnish gothic rock band from Helsinki, Finland. Formed in 1991 by vocalist Ville Valo and bassist Mikko “Mige” Paananen under the name His Infernal Majesty, the band broke-up in 1993 however, before being reformed in 1995 by Valo and guitarist Mikko “Linde” Lindström. After being rejoined by Mige, as well new additions keyboardist Antto Melasniemi and drummer Juhana “Pätkä” Rantala, the band, now called HIM, released their debut album Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666 in 1997. In 2000, now with drummer Mika “Gas Lipstick” Karppinen and keyboardist Juska Salminen, the band released the album Razorblade Romance, which reached the number one spot in Finland, Austria and Germany. Its first single, “Join Me in Death”, also charted at number one in Finland and Germany, eventually going platinum and gold respectively. Following the addition of Janne “Burton” Puurtinen on keyboards, HIM released Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights and Love Metal in 2001 and 2003 respectively. Both cracked the top ten in several countries, and allowed the band to tour the United Kingdom and the United States for the first time.
In 2005, HIM released Dark Light, which became the group’s most commercially successful album to date, charting in fifteen countries. With Dark Light, HIM also became the first Finnish group to receive a gold record in the US. In 2007, HIM released Venus Doom, the making of which was marred by problems in Valo’s personal life. Despite this, the album gave the band their highest chart position in the US at number twelve. After 2010’s Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice, HIM went on hiatus as drummer Gas Lipstick took medical leave. Following several months of uncertainty, the band regrouped and eventually released the album Tears on Tape in 2013. In 2015, Gas Lipstick announced his departure from the band to pursue other musical projects, and was subsequently replaced by Jukka “Kosmo” Kröger. On 5 March 2017, HIM announced that the band would be disbanding following a farewell tour in 2017. The band will play their final show on New Year’s Eve 2017 as a part of their annual Helldone Festival.
HIM is internationally one of the most commercially successful Finnish bands of all time, with sales of over ten million records. The band have released eight studio albums, five compilations, three video releases, two box sets, along with one live and one remix album. HIM’s music and their logo, the heartagram, have also appeared in several films and TV series, such as The Thirteenth Floor, Transformers, Viva La Bam and LA Ink.
Tears on Tape / 2013
Tears on Tape is the eighth and final studio album by Finnish band HIM, released April 26, 2013 in Finland, April 29, 2013 in Europe, and on April 30, 2013 in the US and Canada.
Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice / 2010
Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice, Chapters 1−13 is the seventh studio album by Finnish gothic rock band HIM. Released on 8 February 2010, the album was recorded at The Lair Studios and NRG Studios in Los Angeles, California, with producer Matt Squire, who had previously worked with The Used and Panic! at the Disco among others. Screamworks was HIM‘s first album that vocalist Ville Valoworked on completely sober following his time in rehab, which resulted in the band rehearsing more than ever before. Valo had set out to prove himself following his new-found sobriety, but the excessive rehearsing eventually wore some of the band out. Musically Screamworks featured a more accessible and straightforward sound than its predecessor, with influences from the music of the 1980s. Much of the album’s material was inspired by a relationship of Valo’s with an undisclosed partner, who served as his muse.
Venus Doom / 2007
Venus Doom is the sixth studio album by Finnish gothic rock band HIM. Released on 14 September 2007, the album was recorded at Finnvox Studios in Helsinki, Finland, with producers Hiili Hiilesmaa and Tim Palmer, both whom had collaborated with the band on various occasions.
Dark Light / 2005
Dark Light is the fifth studio album by Finnish gothic rock band HIM. Released on 26 September 2005, HIM began recording the album in March 2005 at the Paramour Estate is Los Angeles, California, with producer Tim Palmer, who had also mixed the band’s previous album Love Metal. Dark Light also served as HIM‘s first worldwide release with Sire Records, with whom the band had signed with in September 2004. In Finland however, the album was released under the band’s own label Heartagram. Musically Dark Light featured a more “polished” and “accessible” sound than previous albums, and was written as a cross between Black Sabbath and U2, also influenced by the work of composer Angelo Badalamenti.
Love Metal / 2003
Love Metal is the fourth studio album by Finnish gothic rock band HIM. Released on 11 April 2003, HIM began recording demos for the album in spring 2002, after an exhausting touring cycle for their previous album, which nearly broke the band up. Excited and invigorated by the new material, HIM entered Finnvox Studios in September 2002 with producer Hiili Hiilesmaa, who had previously helmed the group’s 1997 debut album. Musically Love Metal featured a more raw and organic sound, inspired by the band’s early influences, which was also seen as a reaction to the difficulties they faced while recording their previous album. Vocalist Ville Valo has since described Love Metal as the album where HIM found their sound. Love Metal was also the band’s first album to predominantly feature their logo, the heartagram, on the cover, while the album’s title was coined in the mid-nineties as a description for HIM‘s musical genre.
Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights / 2001
Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights is the third studio album by Finnish gothic rock band HIM. Released 27 August 2001, HIM began recording demos in the fall of 2000, with producer T.T. Oksala intending to release the initial recordings as the finished album. After being rejected by the record label BMG, producer Kevin Shirley was brought in, who clashed with members of the band over his style of working. The recording process took eleven months, with outside influences within the industry and the extended time frame causing friction with the album, which ended up with a sleeker and more pop-oriented sound than its predecessors. Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights was also HIM‘s first album to feature keyboardist Janne “Burton” Puurtinen.
Razorblade Romance / 2000
Razorblade Romance is the second studio album by Finnish gothic rock band HIM. Released on 24 January 2000, HIM initially began recording the album with producer Hiili Hiilesmaa, who helmed the group’s 1997 debut album. These sessions proved unsuccessful, however, and HIM parted ways with Hiilesmaa and recruited John Fryer, with whom the band relocated to Rockfield Studios in Wales to begin recording. Musically, the album featured a sleeker production and a more melodic sound compared to their debut. The album’s lead single “Join Me in Death” would prove to be HIM‘s breakthrough single, reaching number one in Finland and Germany. The song also found its way on to the soundtrack of the 1999 science fiction film The Thirteenth Floor.
Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666 / 1997
Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666 is the debut studio album by Finnish gothic rock band HIM. Released 3 November 1997, the album was recorded in fifteen days in the summer of 1997 with producer Hiili Hiilesmaa, whom vocalist Ville Valo has credited as the honorary sixth member of the band for his help in honing the band’s sound. Musically Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666 has been described as a combination of heavy metal and 1980s rock and goth, with lyrics centered around themes of love and death. The album also features the only writing credits from guitarist Mikko “Linde” Lindström in the band’s history, and is their only album to feature keyboardist Antto Melasniemi and drummer Juhana “Pätkä” Rantala.
REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS
Is your pencil sharp? Do you like writing? Contact us and maybe you could become a part of Nordic Metal Team.