Dark Light Review

artist: him date: 07/12/2006 category: compact discs
him: Dark Light
Released: Sep 27, 2005
Label: Sire
Genres: Goth Rock
Number Of Tracks: 10
After conquering the rest of the world with chart-topping albums and sold-out tours, Finland's HIM (His Infernal Majesty) makes its U.S. debut with Dark Light.
 Sound: 8.7
 Lyrics: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Overall rating:
 9.2 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.2 
 Users rating:
 9.2 
 Votes:
 182 
reviews (6) 16 comments vote for this album:
overall: 6.3
Dark Light Reviewed by: Dyuha, on september 27, 2005
17 of 23 people found this review helpful

Sound: It's to be regretted that HIM isn't really a metal or at least gothic rock band anymore... At the begining of their music career the critics have christened HIM's genre as "love metal." They've played rather heavy music with a lot of growlig guitars. Take for example one of their most knowing cover version -- "Wicked Game," originally performed by Chris Isaak. They were really be able to impart a hard sounding to such melodic song. Their earlier creation was the same -- hard but melodic songs with mostly quiet smooth intros and versions mixed with distorted bridges and choruses. In a word, HIM has always played an obviously guitar-oriented music. But from the album to album their sounding become more pop-ish and pop-ish... The lead positions of guitar riffs have gone away. The songs has become more and more down-tempo, the dominant of the songs' structure has become the piano sounds as well as Valo's oversmoked and overdrunk vocals. I don't care if that are their attributes and features, but HIM (His Infernal Majesty) isn't a 'Majesty' (and especially 'Infernal') anymore! They are just a mediocre emo boys-band with slightly weighted sounding. Don't get me wrong, HIM still rocks, but it's not that attractive and mysterious HIM which we used to know. With "Dark Light" -- the latest studio release -- HIM desided to conquer the North American audience. And it seems to be a practicable plan. There is no even a little allusion to their scandinavian roots with its intricate music wafts and martial spirit. I would call them an 'emo-hard-rock' band. Only one thing is still here -- they play very melodic and catchy music, but being an admirer of more agressive formations I don't like it. // 5

Lyrics: The other thing that still remains is a lyrical content. Mr. Valo has always wrote about love and death... love to death... death in the name of love... love with dead... broken hearts... broken dreams... broken bones... Is it enough? "Dark Light" isn't an exception. These 'main' themes -- or the most of them -- are still here. The same thing I can notice concerning Valo's vocal skills. His voice has always been so wistful and impressive. If you've ever heard it before you will remember it forever -- its intensity and beauty -- even if it's 'oversmoked and overdrunk'. // 8

Overall Impression: In conclusion I want to say -- all that you've red above is just my own perception from this album an HIM as a whole. I would recommend this album both for the devoted HIM's fans and for the listener who has never heard of them before. "Dark Light" is a great example what the real 'metal heads' should avoid, but all the inexperienced musicians should aspire to. In my humble opinion this album is rather average release to measure of so skillful band. Hey, mr. Valo and Co, make something really powerful and interesting in place of these girlish melodies! Don't lose you listener! // 6

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overall: 9.7
Dark Light Reviewed by: Frèak!!!!, on september 26, 2005
8 of 12 people found this review helpful

Sound: Him have been going through a dry patch the last 2 years, But that is all to change. This album mixes metal and goth. It is a very melodic sound to it and the songs just stick to you. Their is a lot of keyboard in the album but it mixes in perfect. This is a album that will make you very happy music wise. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are great very weird which I like like in the first song Vampire Heart the chorus "Hold me like you held on to life, Like when all fears came to life, love me like you love the sun, scorching the blood in heart," I love that. Ville Valo is a great singer when he wants to and this album is a great example of him. // 10

Overall Impression: This is probley the best of their albums previous. My favourite song is Vampire Heart, Rip Out The Wings Of A Butterfly and The Face Of God. They're all good just some of them are soft, They're my favourite ones. The album has great artwork on it and comes with a cool case. If I lost it I'd buy it again it is a great CD that your CD rack should not be without. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Dark Light Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 28, 2005
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Ok for starters, people know HIM a band that supplies "Love Metal." In this case it is true with this album. Yet different in attempt to try something different, they pass with a A-. Being a HIM fan for many years I have to admit I did not like it at first hear. But it grew on me the second time through. The instrumentals were nice, the guitar provided by Lind were not as hardas they usally are but there are plenty catchy riffs in this album. I noticed a bigger use of the piano/keyboards by Burton, so I was happy to hear more from teh one guy that is usally unheard of from this band. This CD definalty reminds me of thier earlier release of "Deep Shadows And Brilliant Highlights." // 9

Lyrics: Honesty their lyrics were nice. They seemed well thought out and more in-depth than the older CDs. But just as loveable than the rest. Only owning the CD since about 10:00 this morning for the US release date, I can tell you I have read and heard all that this CD has to offer. The lyrics really bring out the instrumentals, or is it the other way around. Either way it is great. Ville Valo seems like his vocals have improved. It seems not as deep as in the other albums. // 9

Overall Impression: It does compare to the other albums and it will be one of the sleeper hits from this band. Once somebody that has never heard this band hears it and likes it, it will definately open the doors for the other more harder rocking albums. I really loved "Rip Out The Wings Of A Butterfly," "Under The Rose," "Drunk On Shadows," and "Killing Loneliness." I love this album plain and simple. What do I hate, nothing. I just wish the guitar riffs were more harder and and have the whole "Love Metal" edge to it. I would buy it if it was lost or stolen, just because it rules and HIM rocks. // 10

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overall: 10
Dark Light Reviewed by: rhima, on april 08, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Dark Light was Finnish Alternative Metal band HIM's fifth full length album. This album was released on September 26, 2005 internationally and on September 27, 2005 in the USA with a limited edition pre-release of 20, 000 some days before. This limited edition came in a tin case with a 24 page booklet with hand written lyrics by the bands lead singer, Ville Valo, a certificate of authenticity and a key chain flash light that flashes the bands infamous Heartagram. It debuted in stores, however, with a glossy black plastic wrap covering the front, so in order to see the real cover you needed to purchase it. This album was originally supposed to be produced and mixed by Andy Wallace, an accomplished Americas producer, but vocalist Ville Valo said he made HIM sound too 'American' and they fired him, hiring Tim Palmer with whom they had worked before on Love Metal and And Love Said No. The first single released from the album is "Wings of a Butterfly." // 10

Lyrics: Dark Light switches back forth between the hard (albeit melodic) rock sounds of Wings Of A Butterfly, and fellow stand-out tracks Face Of God and Vampire Heart, to an occasionally softer sound that demonstrates why at least 50% of the band's following is female. The albums strength lies in the former. Vampire Heart, the album opener, is a fantastic melodic mash of metal, while Behind The Crimson Door and The Face Of God proved the same type of thrills and enhance the gothic imagery. Ville Valo's smooth-as-silk voice is impeccably timed with the chords and song hooks. This is a band that has mastered the art of the gothic metal ballad. // 10

Overall Impression: Despite sales of 3 million, their huge cult following and being one of Europe's most popular bands, most of HIM's mainstream commercial success has been courtesy of Bam Margera's slightly worrying obsession with lead singer Ville Valo. With their new album, Dark Light, HIM are trying to take the success of 2003's 'Love Metal' and break through to the mainstream. If you've listened to HIM before, you'll be familiar with Valo's distinctively smooth and eerie vocals and the bands melodic brand of love metal. Dark Light opens with 'Vampire Heart'. With its 80s synth-pop intro, it's slightly different to what you would expect from this album; perhaps an indication as to the market that this album is targeting. 'Rip Out The Wings Of A Butterfly' is a catchy, radio-friendly track with a sing-along chorus, making it perfect for the first single to be released from this album. Admittedly, the lyrical content doesn't seem to make much sense, irrespective of how much emotion is poured into them; I'm not sure how ripping the wings off a butterfly helps your soul, and I can't make out much of a metaphor here, but it will stick in your head nonetheless. The essence of HIM's music is the beautifully written romantic lyrics, sung by Valo in his trademark dark and sullen voice. Without listening to the lyrics, you might as well not bother listening to the album-it will be meaningless. There are a number of stand out tracks on the album, with the gut-wrenching lyrics of 'Killing Loneliness' and 'Behind The Crimson Door' as well as the previously mentioned 'Rip Out The Wings Of A Butterfly'. Unfortunately, accompanying the good, is the bad. With the cheesy 'Dark Light' you can't help but think that you're listening to a collaboration with Keane on a Christmas single, with its chiming enhanced chorus. To make matters worse, just as you think it's about to end, there is a Eurovision-esque key change to ensure that you're fully aware of how painful this song is. Perhaps Terry Wogan will be introducing this as Finland's entry next year. Dark Light is nothing new for HIM, except you get the feeling that they have tried too hard with this album to appeal to the masses, as opposed to increasing their cult fan base. As a result, at times, this album appears to be to too 'pop' and over-produced. Dark Light isn't going to cause a huge stir, but will undoubtedly please those Heartogram hoody clad mini-moshers and enable Ville to retain his status as Kerrang poster book favourite. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Dark Light Reviewed by: myampgoesto11, on march 13, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: HIM has gotten poppier and poppier as time goes on, losing some of the fans who loved the deep snarling sound that was they're past albums. But HIM is definatly a very talented band. I'm always excited when I hear any of they're songs. HIM as always had a melodic mood to it, but I think Dark Light has lost some of that tone. It is still a very good band, but Love Metal was arguably more instrumental. Maybe I'm buying the CDs in the wrong order, but the pianist gets better and better each CD I buy. HIM popularity has grown in the States, but it will never be as large as Finlands love for HIM. // 9

Lyrics: Ville Valo is probably the best songwriter I've ever heard. He seems to write poems rather than lyrics. He is probably also better than most poets as well. He is tremendously talented vocally, there isn't anything more I could want. There really isn't anything more to say, either. Mr. Valo is the best singer I've heard yet. // 10

Overall Impression: HIM is the pinnacle of goth-metal. There will never be anyone who is as talented as HIM. There really isn't much to hate (unless your one of those metal-heads who listens to just people screaming into the mic). If it was stolen I'd sic an attack dog on the theif. I'm trying not to sounds like one of those unregistered n00bs who say "omfg him r0xXors" but it's hard considering the fact that HIM is so musically talented it blows some bands out of the water. // 10

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overall: 10
Dark Light Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 12, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Now as any HIM fan knows, each album as a different sound whilst keeping the melancholic atmosphere to it. Dark Light is the same, compared to Love Metal, Dark Light is a lot softer. It probably has the most in common with Deep Shadows And Brilliant Highlights, poppy sounds with heavy guitars. Although not all of Dark Light, well only a few tracks actually have heavy guitars in. A brand new album with a brand new sound, it brings different stories from different cultures of life. // 10

Lyrics: Ville Valo never ceases to impress, a lot of the songs have mythological lyrics whilst some are more real. In a lot of the tracks you'll have to look deep into the lyrics to find the real meaning, or just wait till Ville tells you. 01. Vampire Heart - a story of domestic violence, putting someone you love through hell. The lyrics are complex but amazingly poetic. 02. Rip Out The Wings Of A Butterfly - a poppy song telling part of a story belong to Greek myth. In which Cupid told Venus to rip out the wings of a butterfly to live forever. The lyrics are pretty straight forward, it tells a story about exitement then regret. 03. Under The Rose - this song is more poetic, the meaning isn't clear. One could put "Your heart under the rose," as a person being dead with a rose on their casket. It sounds as if he can't help falling in love with someone, but not wanting to show defeat by leaving. 04. Killing Loneliness - strange, one would first assume that the song was to a girl, but infact it is to the class A druge which is Heroin. The song tells of someone, believed to be Brian Novak, killing loneliness with heroin but knowing that it's wrong. Feeling now he's lost someone he loved that nothing else matters. 05. Dark Light - based on a book by a finnish author also titled "Dark Light". The song basically is was the book is, a girl who's hopeless but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Again the lyrics are poetic and scarce in their real meaning. 06. Behind The Crimson Door - after Ville's joke about the anal passage being behind the crimson door, one could assume that Ville is singing about a vagina. But all is not certain, obvisouly the crimson door is something special to be people, some protecting whilst the world happens around them. 07. Face Of God - amazing lyrics, again very poetic and the meaning is hard to justify. The song was written along time before Dark Light, some believe that the lyrics tell of Jesus trying to save someone but never escapeing the eyes of God. 08. Drunk On Shadows - a story about a fallen angel, or a person who's doing very badly. The are not as poetic as other tracks but aren't exactly straight forward either. It could be about a "good" egg gone "bad", metophorically speaking. A good sould turned bad and messing around with things that go with hell "Nightside of Eden" 09. Play Dead - a slow song with pretty straight lyrics, probably the first time HIM have released a song about the state of the planet. Someone feeling alone in our crumbling world. You don't want to play your stereo full blast with this track on, it begins with an irritating long "beep". 10. In The Nightside Of Eden - a story of which clearly tells of hell, "circle number four", "mathematic of evil", just two lines which reveal this. It tells of constant torture in hell, like forever being cruxified. 11. Venus (In Our Blood) - follows the same the basic story of Rip Out The Wings Of A Butterfly. But in a different area of Venus's life. Lyrics a deep and show a beauty that not alot of songs do now days, amazing song. 21. The Cage - the cage could tell a story about someone locking everybody out because of the horrors she's being put through. // 10

Overall Impression: It definately compares to the other albums in the sense that every albums as a different touch to it. This album as a sweet, tender and huge impact on the listener. I would definately replace it if it were to become lost or stolen, the only problems it seems to have with me is the fact that most of the songs have the same basic structure. Instead of having more verses or an interlude, but even with that fact it's an amazing album. // 10

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