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Review: HIM – Tears On Tape (Album)

This week, we had the pleasure of checking out ‘Tears On Tape’, the soon-to-be released full-length from Finnish rockers HIM. See what we thought!

Band: HIM
Release : Tears On Tape (Album)
Release Date: 29/04/2013

Three years have passed since Finnish rock/love metal troop HIM put out ‘Screamworks: Love In Theory And Practice‘ and now armed with ‘Tears On Tape‘ and heartagrams galore, they return in strength and good steed.

Following ‘Unleash The Red‘, a synthy, 1980’s, almost Cure-esque introduction, we are thrust into ‘All Lips Go Blue‘ and an opening riff with such girth, it could penetrate all manner of chasms before dropping down to allow the natural, distinctive vocal style of Ville Valo to find its’ way through. It was definitely not false when the band stated that they would be making a return to the heavier, darker side of rock.

When referring to rock and metal, the term ‘catchy’ fucking sucks but unfortunately, or fortunately, that is exactly what ‘Love Without Tears‘ is. The chorus is infection, harrowing and haunting in a beautiful yet dooming fashion, apocalyptic in magnificence, we are reminded why HIM are one of the most respected and enjoyed rock/metal bands still to the present day.

The cold comfort of ‘I Will Be The End Of You‘ falls into title track ‘Tears On Tape‘, the chimed lead line is akin to something festive before dropping down into a droney, heartbreaking chorus that completely depicts HIM, not exactly upbeat or a bastion of the jovial yet armed with enough punch and an abundance of variation to always impress.

Hooks aplenty with ‘Into The Night‘, a track that could easily feature on some sort of ‘Driving Anthems’ compilation and this is most definitely not something negative. It pounds with direction, edge and the perfect head-nod, the band again proving that they can span the sub-genres within the ‘rock’ genre. It’s not all doom, gloom and funerals.

The relatively commercial-sounding yet hard-hitting, haunting ‘No Love‘ takes its place before ‘Drawn & Quartered‘, opening with a clean guitar and a chime of some variety, creating a strange aura mostly down to the impressiveness of Valo’s vocal range. It seems that quitting the Marlboro Reds has certainly helped him in his quest to maintain his voice!

The groovy, blues-driven riff that kicks off ‘W.L.S.T.D.‘ is enough for the stoners to nod their heads to and the goths to sit looking, well, sad to. It’s doomy, big and creepy, just the way that rock/metal should be before the record closes on the absolute terrifyingly, horror-movie-soundtrack-esque ‘Kiss The Void‘.

It’s big, woeful, riff-driven and cold, the band definitely haven’t strayed far from their original, distinctive sound but it is the case that yes, HIM have most definitely churned out yet another banger of a record.

8/10

Reviewer: Luke Davis

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