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Titel / Title Venus Doom 
Label Sire Records, Warner Music 
Web www.heartagram.com
Total run time
Vö/Releasebereits erschienen/already released 

HIM strike more obscure tones with their new album “Venus Doom”, just like the title is suggesting. The cover is an oil-painting by David Harouni, which portrays a kind of death mask of a female face. For singer Ville Valo it´s the incarnation of Venus Doom, a brutal, temperamental love-goddess.

Written during the lenghty breakup with his fiancé Jonna Nygren, hence the depressive heaviness in the songs. The album is, compared to its predecessor „Dark Light“, produced in a far more lo-fi way, what surely was the right decision. In addition to producer Tim Palmer, the band reverts to a old acquaintance, Hiili Hiilesmaa, who had produced the first HIM-CD „Lovesongs Vol. 666“, also in Helsinki`s Finnvox Studios. With his assistance the necessary freedom was guaranteed, many songs are more than 6 minutes long. Near the end it`s hard to separate the songs from each other. You notice the connection, the album is very monolithic.

Musically there`s less focus on HIM-specific keyboard-melodies, instead drums and bass are more in the foreground. But fear not, Burton and Linde are still responsible for many a beautiful melody moment, like the wonderful piano intro to „Sleepwalking past Hope“ and many guitar solos. Concerning the vocals Mr. Valo is stirring to such low register that his listeners, at least the feminine ones, couldn`t possibly reach, and experiments with his voice, like for example in a three voice Ville choir-part in the title track „Venus Doom“. The new work is remarkable in many respects, the lyrics are so personal and honest, that you sometimes feel like reading in a diary. The acoustic track „Song or Suicide“ allows insight in the developing process of the songs, it´s left in its primary quality as a representative.

In brief, the perfect album for lonesome nights in company with a bottle of red wine and reflecting on your love life. You can be anxious to see the live realization, HIM plan a short Germany tour from 16th to 26th of Febuary!

Katrin Dietl

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