H.I.M.

(FINLAND)

GREATEST LOVESONGS VOL. 666

(1997)
LABEL:

BMG

GENRE:

GOTHIC METAL

TAGS:
Easy-Listening, Low vocals, Melancholic
""Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666" skilfully lays the foundations for H.I.M.'s melancholy, dark, heavy and industrial identity."
LOLOCELTIC (10.10.2018)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
Formed in Helsinki in 1991 under the name Her Infernal Majesty, the band featuring singer Ville Valo and bassist Miko Paananen released their first EP in 1996, entitled "666 Ways To Love: Prologue". This short-lived debut immediately caught the attention of BMG, always quick to spot the most talented Finnish bands. The quintet, now known as H.I.M. since 1995, took advantage of their signature on this label to offer their first opus in 1997, "Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666".

Driven by its charismatic singer, who plays as much on androgynous imagery as on a deep, warm voice worthy of a crooner, the band from the Finnish capital proposes a new musical genre presented under the name of love metal. Behind this name lies a dark, melancholy music, a gothic rock that regularly flirts with metal, much like Type O Negative. H.I.M.'s main originality lies in its lyrics, whose recurring theme is Love. But if the whole is not innovative, it does not lack personality and knows how to vary the pleasures. Already present on the 1996 EP, the cover of Chris Isaak's 'Wicked Game' is revisited in heavy style, succeeding in being personalized while remaining easily recognizable. The cover of Blüe Öyster Cult's '(Don't Fear) The Reaper' is also revisited, becoming a duet with singer June Hyde.

In terms of compositions, each track is worth a closer look, as we navigate through territories ranging from pop ('The Heartless') to heavier, almost indus influences ('The Beginning Of The End'), all the while maintaining a coherent whole. When a track ventures squarely into progressive, hypnotic territory ('Our Diabolikal Rapture'), it nonetheless possesses a captivating, theatrical approach that always makes it catchy. 'For You (Intro)' sees its melancholy heaviness streaked with surprising and welcome slide strokes, while 'It's All Tears (Drown In This Love)' and its otherworldly vocal gimmick ends with a surprising stereo effect. 'Your Sweet Six Six Six' is more upbeat but still melancholy, with a catchy chorus. The single 'When Love And Death Embrace', with its fragile, yet profound vocals, will be a hit on the national FM airwaves.

Although it didn't export H.I.M. beyond Germany, "Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666" received belated and well-deserved recognition. Laying the foundations of the band's identity, it proved to be one of the Finns' best opuses, with a number of pieces already finely crafted in a blend of melancholy, heavy guitars, moving keyboards and theatrical interpretation. A must for all fans of dim lights and tortured yet hypnotic atmospheres.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. For You (intro) - 4:00
02. Your Sweet Six Six Six - 4:11
03. Wicked Game - 3:54
04. The Heartless - 4:02
05. Our Diabolikal Rapture - 5:20
06. It's All Tears (drown In This Love) - 3:43
07. When Love And Death Embrace - 6:08
08. The Beginning Of The End - 4:07
09. (don't Fear) The Reaper - 6:30
10. Hidden Track - 7:51

LINEUP:
Antto Melasniemi: Claviers
Juhana Rantala: Batterie
Mikko Lindström: Guitares
Mikko Paananen: Basse
Ville Valo : Chant / Guitares
Asta Hannula: Chant / Invité
June Hyde: Chant / Invité
   
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