New Musical Express
For rational music fans, at least, HIM are a hard band to warm to. What with their too-beautiful-to-be-male frontman Ville Valo, and their heartagram logo becoming to tattoo artists what a short back’n’sides is to a barber – it’s a fair assertion that more people have heard of HIM than have heard their music. Despite the band’s claims that this is their heaviest output to date, there’s little audible change to their formula of hook-laden metal melodies – Valo’s vocals are still overdubbed to a point that Freddie Mercury might have deemed a little excessive (‘Venus Doom’), while keyboard and guitar vie for dominance in increasingly amusing battles (‘Passion’s Killing Floor’). Though it’s pretty easy to be the best band in their self-created genre of ‘love metal’, if you can ignore the cartoon goth twaddle that comes out of Valo’s mouth, you’ll find an extremely well-executed pop-metal album underneath.