Venus doom

HIM, the purveyors of Finnish "love metal", return with their sixth full-length CD, and the second to receive wide U.S. release. 2005's Dark Light sold over 500,000 copies and went gold. Anticipation was high for their newest album. Venus Doom will satisfy the band's legion of fans, although it may not draw a huge amount of new converts to the cause. This album is a little heavier than Dark Light, and a little darker as well. The songs blend doom, gothic metal and rock into a very melodic and accessible package. The guitar work is excellent, and is the dominant instrument on this album instead of keyboards.
Charismatic frontman Ville Valo showcases his throaty baritone voice on several songs along with a more traditional melodic style. He throws in a few yells along the way as well. HIM is a band that is really polarizing amongst metal fans, and they have been known to win both "best band" and "worst band" awards in the same magazine poll. They also don't get a lot of love from critics. But when you toss out all the hype and b.s. and evaluate HIM on the music alone, they are a solid gothic metal band that writes catchy songs, and Venus Doom is a definite improvement from their last one.

Chad Bowar

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