Screamworks: Love In Theory And Practice
World Exclusive: Track-By-Track Guide To The New HIM Album
Ode To Solitude – Eerie industrial drums lead into a beast of a riff. It sounds like 80’s hair metal with a punk chug and all wrapped up in HIM’s inimitable style. The chorus has an insanely catchy hook that evolves around the lyric “here’s to pain”. A storming, up-tempo start to the album.
Scared To Death – It’s a very poppy second track. By that we mean that it’s tailor-made for the radio. It’s played at a similar pace to Funeral Of Hearts but doesn’t have the same moody overtones. The lead hook evolves around the lyrics “I’m not afraid to say I love you”.
Heart Killer – After an intro that sounds like it was put together on a Casio-keyboard, arena-sized guitars crash through the barricades. HIM are setting their stall out here, it’s the commercial know-how of Dark Light combined with the pace of Love Metal. There’s an epic building solo in the middle too, really impressive stuff.
Dying Song – It’s got the sound of a single. Off-kilter drums build to a massive, epic chorus where Ville croons that he’s shedding skin to a dying soul. There’s also a heavily Slash-influenced solo on display.
Disarm Me – Opening with acoustic guitars, the 5th track is a sweeping ballad that sounds like it could be the gothic soundtrack to a Hollywood blockbuster. Twilightcore? Hmmm, possibly not but it’s certainly in that ball-park.
Love The Hardest Way – The sound of a band rediscovering their strongest areas of expertise. Unmistakably HIM, it’s fuel-injected and recapturing the anthemic sounds of the Love Metal era.
Katherine Wheel – Atmospheric verses give way to one of the finest choruses on the album. “These are the things that you make me do” sings Ville.
In The Arms Of Rain – Once again, a bizarre keyboard intro that sounds like it could be lifted direct from the 80’s video-game Pong (ask your dad). The song itself sounds like Killing Loneliness on steroids. Massive vocal hooks all around this track and if it’s not called ‘In The Arms Of Rain’, we’ll eat our hat.
Shatter Me With Hope – The heaviest moment of the record so far, HIM break out the palm-muted riffs but it does once again have a very radio-friendly edge. Be warned: there’s a monster of a dirty riff in the middle of this one.
In Venere Veritas – “Let’s fall apart together now” is the sultry introduction to this slick and club-friendly track. There’s an odd almost monk-chanting moment in the middle but this is perhaps the poppiest track on the album.
Acoustic Funeral – Keyboards that sound as if they could come from a music box usher in a massively dramatic track that builds around sweeping, ringing power chords. Not a full-on ballad but certainly one of the more tender moments on the album.
St Valentine – A drum n’ bass (yep, you read that correctly) intro gives way to a stomping riff. HIM reach out beyond their comfort zone and into the unknown on a song that continuously mentions St Valentine. It’s bold and brave but it certainly works!
Smother A Heart – And now for something completely different. 80’s fat bass sound that sounds as though it’s been lifted from a horror movie from the same era. Gentle electronic drums play on this ambient ode that sounds like DJ Shadow’s interpretation of HIM. It’s still distinctly HIM because of Ville’s unique vocal tones but it’s done in a electronic/restrained way. One of the best tracks on the album but this will definitely ruffle a few feathers.
‘Screamworks: Love In Theory and Practice’ is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2010.
Catch our interview with Ville from a past Metal Hammer podcast, our video interview with Ville from the band’s stint on the Projekt Revolution tour and Ville talking us through his tattoos and his reasons for them.