Though they have been around since 1991, HIM was brought to the attention of the American public thanks to Bam Margera.
The band's sound is driven by the signature forlorn and pleading voice of front man Ville Valo. He has a swooning voice that is rare in the heavy/gothic metal world. Their newest album, Venus Doom, has an even grittier and darker sound than its predecessors.
"The idea to have nine songs was based on Dante's Inferno, cause hell has nine layers, so it's like going deeper down into hell and then coming back," Valo says, according to the band's Web site.
Doom does just this. It brings you to hell and back. As the songs fade into one another, the music leaves the listener feeling like they are leaving one layer and entering another. By the time you get to "Cyanide Sun," it still feels dark with a tone of hope. But it ends with an almost lofty reminiscent tone - like you have just surfaced from a dark journey. You can't help but feel like you have just gone through the nine layers of hell and came up to the sight of the "Cyanide Sun".
Though I did not find the album as good as Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights or Love Metal, the album has some highlights. "Kiss of Dawn," "Bleed Well," "Passion's Killing Floor," "Cyanide Sun" and "Love in Cold Blood" are all highlights. The album has a few songs that could be skipped. "Song or Suicide" and "Sleepwalking Past Hope," the longest song on the album, can both skipped.