HIM - Venus Doom

1. Venus Doom
2. Love in Cold Blood
3. Passion's Killing Floor
4. The Kiss of Dawn
5. Sleepwalking Past Hope
6. Dead Lovers' Lane
7. Song or Suicide
8. Bleed Well
9. Cyanide Sun

Ville Valo (V)
Mikko "Linde" Lindström (G)
Janne "Burton" Puurtinen (Kb)
Mika "Gas" Karppinen (D)
Mikko "Migé" Paananen (B)

Dark Light (2005)
Love Metal (2003)
Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights (2001)
Razorblade Romance (1999)
Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666 (1997)
666 Ways to Love: Prologue (EP 1996)

Recording info:
Tim Palmer (Prod.)
Hiili Hiilesmaa (Prod.)
David Harouni (Art)


I loved ‘Dark Light’ but I don’t love ‘Venus Doom’. It’s great to see HIM walking their own path and doesn’t continue running on that highway of tried out material only because it had some success, but this is an incoherent album which cannot really maintain the quality from the previous albums.

This is HIMs heaviest album so far, and also the most progressive one they’ve released. It’s complicated, intricate and incoherent in a way that some might be appealed by, but hardly everyone. However, the chourus are, in the most song at least, more or less as they’ve always been – strong, catchy and easy to sing along with. The parts in between though aren’t even close to that. It’s packed with heavy guitars, dark vivrations and leaden weight. I like their keyboards, and the guitar riffs are sometimes really appealing, but the massive base and the dark guitars all to often gives an element the common HIM-fan doesn’t really takes as positive.

I think it’s a smart choise from the band to pick one of the softer songsm The Kiss of Dawn, as a first single for the album – it’s something that probably makes the most of the older fans to feel comfortable wih this new album as well, but even here the heavy base guitar thunders through as well as the darker guitars. The strong melodies is something that is stronger in this song than most of the others, but even in this one it’s messed up with a tad confusing tempo changes can be heard all over the song when changing from part to part. It’s so incoherent that you’ll get lost in it all. However, it’s one of the best songs and one of the few where the melody sticks in your head even afterwards.

Vocals are deep and emotional and touches you (or a least me). Ville Valo sings about sleep walkers, bleeding well and other questions that holds him warm. It feels open, hounest but not always true to the music, it’s almoust as if they’re like two magnets and bounce the other away. Maybe it’s the point, but it doesn’t sound very good. If HIM are or tries to be progressive is hard to say, but at least they’re wiered and that’s the first step in being progressive if you should believe some “experts”. Me, I on the other hand feels it’s only odd with all these tempo changes and vocals that doesn’t match the music. Sometimes it does, other times it’s like they’ve mixed together two different songs.

With ‘Dark Light’ being HIMs not only softest album, but also the easiest to accept and the album with their strongest songs – ‘Venus Doom’ is quite the oposite. This is the heaviest album, the hardest to accept and yes – the strongest songs if you speak literally, but some of the weakest songs musically. Sure, there’s exceptions – but these are all to often only smaller parts of the songs, except Love in Cold Blood and most of all Bleed Well. Otherwise this is an all to harsch truth.

However, this album is not crap. It grows by time and is really, really well produced with it’s crystal clear sound and very great delivered atmosphere – they’ve totally found that dark feeling they were looking for, but the material is overall to weak to maintain the quality and all to incoherent to really reach to you. Most of all it’s just fragments, bits, pieces and parts of songs – not fullfilled or completed in the way they’ve been builded up.

I don’t think it’s the darkness or heavynes that makes this album unable to reach the normal HIM standard. The fact is that I find it really faschinating when the opening titel track starts with the heaviest HIM riff ever, undoubtedly! Instead, the album falls on it’s incapability to maintain what’s good in the music. They just throw in a lot of strange and completely unmotivated things everywhere. It’s probably just the way the band wanted it, but it’s probably not the way the listeners want it.

Even though this harsch words, HIM passes approved with this album. However they do it, they still have a certain quality in it.

official website

Label - Sire
Similar bands - The 69 Eyes/Icon & The Black Roses/For My Pain..
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm