The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

HIM

Screamworks In Love and Practice

 

 

I’ve never minded H.I.M. at all, though often those that profess to dislike them do so on that basis that they don’t conform to what they believe the band to be. I gave up long ago worrying about trying to classify or put a label on these guys.

 

Sensual, bright and fast paced, full of memorable sing-along melodies and love-lorn energies; Screamworks is a bright album full of hope and very much a contrast to 2007’s outing Venus Doom. There are traces of both the classic ‘Love Metal’ and ‘Dark Light’ woven through the cloth here, and it’s a real joy to hear Ville back on form (which I understand could be down to a newfound love and sobriety). In fact Ville probably gives his best vocal performance to date.

 

There are certain caveats though. This is probably HIM’s most commercial venture to date. Even the lyrics seem a little sanitised and sentimental and the overall sound is a little like HIM plays Bon Jovi or maybe even Bon Jovi doing HIM. So if it’s the darker gothic Finnish metal band you’re looking for, you will be doing well to find it. There’s a hint of the dark blood but in the main it hides behind layers of pop rock and layered synths. Some may see this as the ultimate sell-out I guess but lovers of commercial melodic rock may just come running to take the place of the old guard.

 

There’s a lot to like here: the unbridled rock of my favourite track ‘Katherine Wheel’; the gloriously melodic riffing of songs like ‘Ode to Solitude’; the power pop of ‘Scared to Death’; the massive riff in ‘Heart Killer’.

 

There’s not a track that doesn’t offer something to the listener ‘Disarm Me’ wins awards for biggest chorus; ‘Smother a Heart’ ticks the ballad box; and ‘Like St. Valentine’ throws in a bit of raw meat for us to chew over. ‘Shatter me with Hope’ packs a mean punch and we catch a glimpse of the darkness. The closer ‘The Foreboding Sense of Impending Happiness’ also echoes older HIM.

 

I actually think that this works very well as a simple melodic rock album but how that will be taken by the masses I’m not sure. HIM could well storm the US charts with this and then where do we go from there? I bet it sounds even better and heavier live though!

 

Starts well and gets better.

 

Good stuff.

 

Mark