UG Team, on september 21, 2007 6 of 7 people found this review helpful
Sound: You can listen to the entire album on Ultimate-Guitar: Venus Doom album.
You only have to check out the websites HIMclub.com or Heartagram.com to know that the band Finnish band HIM has some very loyal devotees. It's more than just the dark, Jim Morrison-like vibe that vocalist Ville Valo has at times (although there is certainly no vocal similarities) or even the darkly romantic lyrics that touches on topics like vampires or love surpassing death. There has always been an air of mystery to HIM and the latest record Venus Doom does a pretty good job at keeping that romanticism alive. Granted, HIM's brooding, epic songs may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's still hard to deny the musical talent at play on the latest record.
The inspiration for Venus Doom remains in line with the poetic sensibilities of HIM's past releases. According to the band's bio on the official website, the album was directly inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy, most specifically the Inferno portion of the epic poem. Just as Dante's hell encompassed 9 circles, HIM also decided upon having 9 songs it that would potentially be as varied as circles of the Inferno. While the record isn't quite as diverse or dramatic as Dante's images of hell, it is still a beautifully executed record. There are more than a few songs that bounce between a metal-esque feel and a sweet serenade. By the end of the record, it seems like there are more songs than not in which guitarist Mikko Mige Paananen will lay down both gorgeous acoustic licks and brutal electric riffs.
One of the standout tracks is Bleed Well, which is jam-packed with some fantastic moments. The song features one of the most impressive guitar hooks in the introduction, and it actually would have made a killer opening to the entire CD. Valo's vocals are consistently strong, but there is one part of the song that is shockingly good. He starts singing a low-register note, and all of the sudden he escalates until he reaches a vocal crescendo of sorts. It's the kind of singing that gives you chills and makes you understand why all the HIM fan clubs abound.
Most talk about the album has revolved around a 10-minute-plus track called Sleepwalking Past Hope. The grimly titled song not surprisingly starts out with a dramatic piano intro that sets the mood of the epic number. The acoustic touch doesn't last long, and it's soon replaced with a deep, gritty guitar line. The listener is taken through several turns and twists along the way, and for a band like HIM, the song construction works perfectly. Valo doubled (or perhaps even tripled) his vocal lines for much of the song and it gives him somewhat of an otherworldly sound. Even the guitar solo has more than a few tracks layered upon it, and the overall vibe of Sleepwalking Past Hope is cinematic.
On the other end of the spectrum is Song Or Suicide, a track that lasts a little more than a minute and is easily the shortest track on Venus Doom. It's 100 percent acoustic and creates just as much of an impression as the epic tracks do. There are a few songs on the album that are just not as memorable as one might hope, but the argument could be made that Valo's vocals make anything sound good -- and that's absolutely a valid point. // 9
Lyrics: One of the most alluring aspects to HIM for many fans is likely the lyrical content, which has a tendency to explore anything involving death and/or eternal love. The love songs are not just sweet poems, but rather intense blood oaths to whomever the object of affection might be. Venus Doom is full of this untraditional type of love song, with Passion's Killing Floor providing the best example of the band's style. Valo sings, My heart's a graveyard baby; And to evil we make love; On our passion's killing floor; In my arms you won't sleep safely; And of lust we are re-born. There are a lot of people who absolutely adore this intense approach to their lyrics, and HIM is one of the best bands at conveying a simultaneously creepy and seductive message. // 9
Overall Impression: Don't be scared away by the band's declaration that Dante's Inferno is a direct source of inspiration. Sure, that might seem a bit melodramatic and Venus Of Doom probably won't gain the reputation of Dante's poetry, but it is understandable why the comparison was made. There are multiple layers to each song -- whether we're talking about the number of layered vocals or just the number of sections in a track -- and there was obviously a lot of work put into recording the 9 tracks.
Venus Doom represents one of the best -- if not the very best -- albums that HIM has released since it's early releases in the '90s. Although the lyrical message may be a bit too over-the-top for your average radio listener, there is obviously an audience that is hanging on Valo's every word. And even if you're not a huge fan of dramatic, gothic rock, HIM is able to present the songs in a way that could potentially have crossover appeal. // 9
CAT666, on september 21, 2007 2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: HIM has been the first real band for me to be a fan of. Maybe I'm not so objective but I try! The sound has changed a lot. Venus Doom sounds more like their first Album Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666 with a touch of Love Metal and you can hear the influences like Iron Maiden or Black Sabbath. You can hear more guitar riffs and guitar parts in general than on Dark Light. // 10
Lyrics: Ville Valo is a great singer. His voice totally fits to the music and the dark lyrics (he has a dark voice). He was great from the beginning, so didn't really need to get any better. The lyrics are good, but sometimes they don't fit as good as Valo's voice, because there are some filler words and stuff like that, but all in all Valo did a great job lyrically and with his voice! // 8
Overall Impression: You really feel that they're trying something new and not just rewriting their popular albums, of course it's still HIM and they haven't lost their special something. In my personal opinion, Venus Doom can't reach their famous album Love Metal, but tops Dark Light. My new favorite song probably is Bleed Well. There's an acoustic song called Song or Suicide (sounds really emo, no) which is also very good and if you liked their first single 'Kiss Of Dawn' or 'Passion's Killing Floor' from the Transformers soundtrack, you should buy the album. I would buy it everytime again. // 9
Courtney-1805, on december 21, 2007 1 of 9 people found this review helpful
Sound: HIM is awesome! any fan of HIM would say this. They're Know for being a Finnish 'love metal' or 'Goth' band as shown in their icon the Heartagram, Heartagram meaning love & hate. Venus Doom their latest album to date is rather different. It combines alternative rock, with metal and goth and make it sound great! Venus Doom released in Finland on September 14, 2007, is said to be the bands heaviest material to date. // 4
Lyrics: The lyrics in Venus Doom work in sync with the instruments, I think They've really worked hard on this album. Their longest song 'Sleepwalking past hope' 10:05 fits together really well it doesn't drag on like most other 10 minute or more songs. And their shortest song 'song or suicide' being 1:11 even though little instrumental sound is played, is also good. // 4
Overall Impression: This album is definitely their most rock genre album, I still love it though! HIM is so different to any other singers or songwriters I don't think I can compare them with anyone else, because there so good, because they have suck wicked talents. there's nothing really about this album that I hate, apart from the fact I just want to listen to it all day! I think the most impressive songs in Venus Doom would be, 'Love In Cold Blood', 'Passions Killing Floor' well pretty much all of them! Great work guys! // 5
DG_XXX, on january 26, 2009 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: We all know HIM for their unique brand of "Love Metal", Venus doom wanders away from the typical sound of HIM, Trading Synth heavy songs for more classic rock. It is a departure from the ballad filled albums like "Dark Light" and Deep Shadows" but any HIM fan would agree that Venus doom stays true to the original him sound and ventures back into the classic sounds of "Razorblade romance" and "Greatest lovesongs vol.666".
As Ville Valo has said, this album was written in tragedy,, This sense of Gloom and Granduer can be heard in every recording on this album, From the opening riffs of feature track "venus doom" to the final chords of "Cyanide sun" Him have re-created their sound from poppier sound to heavy guitars and 'doom riffs' without alienating fans. As I've mentioned before this album is the heavier side of him, but fear not, Ville Valo's Deep and Soothing vocals still remain and sound amazing with the new sound.Valo's performances on this album are some of his best efforts to date, with powerful use of all techniques. He has proved that he is one of the greatest vocalists in rock.
01.Venus Doom: the opening track does it's job perfectly, with heavy riffs, chunky chords and an exellent melody. Upon hearing this you may actually think you have got the wrong CD until Valo's all to familiar voice kicks in.The breakdown features one of the darkest sounding grooves HIM have ever recorded, with ville valo's voice in top shape This song is easyily one of the best. The guitars sound great and blends perfectly with the synths, bass and drums. 10/10
02.Love in Cold Blood: another heavy song, the riffs sound great and the drums are exellent, Valo's voice on this track is one of his best performances. This song deserves special mention as it it the first song on this album that displays Linde's guitar skill as a lead player with a great solo.An overall good song, this is the perfect song to show HIM's Talent at mixing Heavy with Melodic.9.5/10
03.Passion's Killing Floor: this song as used on the transformers soundtrack ventures into the more POP sounds that him have created, With an interesting intro riff the song is good, Valo's vocals are amazing and this song is another exellent track. With a breakdown that uses Dark sounds it shows HIM's ability to mix pop with rock.Great Riffs and Great performances all around. The only problem is that it can get a bit repetitive but still is a good track. 8.5/10
04.The Kiss Of Dawn: the band describes this as their "metallica moment", This song does not let the album down,. the first single features one of the coolest/heaviest riffs and solo's HIM have ever done.The Chorus hook will grab you and will be on your mind for days on end. This song is Tribute aswell, dedicated to one of Valo's friend who commited suicide during the recording sessions.This to features a breakdown that sounds great, Valo's vocals on this song are fantastic you can hear the emotion in his voice. the perfect track. 10/10
05.Sleepwalking Past Hope: the 10 minute epic of this album, begins with a lovely keyboard motif that turns into a very dark sabbath sounding groove, the song sounds exellent start to end with many different sounds, from the Rock based song to the almost electronic interlude into the metal breakdown.Features some of the best solo's that I have heard. Valo sounds spectacular and demonstrates his signature deep voice in the breakdown.This song features everything you could expect from HIM, heavy riffs, classical grooves, Keyboard solo's, Guitar solo's and good ass drumming. 10/10
06.Dead Lovers Lane: a more upbeat track, is a good follow up to SLeepwalking, The appregio's in the verses sound great and the guitar solo is particularly good. The chorus is hella catchy also. Valo sounds great and the drums are good.The breakdown sounds great aswell. 9/10
08.Song Or Suicide: a beautiful piece, just an acoustic guitar and Valo's voice. It serves as an interlude between trackls and only goes for around one minute. Valo's voice is beautiful on this piece and the guitar is lovely.the only downside is that it's incredibly short, but none the less it is a great song.9/10
09.Bleed Well: another sabbath sounding riff, This potentially is one of best tracks on the album, Valo's vocal performance matches those on 'Love Metal' and 'Dark Light' and sound great. The guitars sound great, the crunchy kinda sound you'd expect from Black sabbath are on here, This Track has the best Solo in HIM's musical career. this song is the best.with catchy hooks, awesome riffs and music this is what HIM does best. 10/10
10.Cyanide Sun: this song is a nice way to close the album, a slow Soft song. This goes head to head with any other acoustic style track him have done (killing loneliness, Funeral of hearts). Valo's vocals are sublime and the guitars are amazing, the solo is one of the most beautiful pieces I havce heard. This is the best way to end an album, with the closing seconds of valo singing. this song start to end is amazing. 10/10 // 10
Lyrics: Valo has always created moving and beautiful lyrics, the Content of each song is Similar to all other Him Songs. The Ballad based lyrics are common in him, and this gives Him it's definitive sound.lyrics go from being very well crafted and metaphor based like in Passion's Killing Floor:
"its poetry carved in the flesh, This beautiful hell of ours, to the deadliest sins we confess"
and in Bleed well:
"No love lost under her will, I heard you weeping, and in those words a church was bulit, to keep the pain in, If death is the answer to loves mystery, then bleed on my darling to a sound of a dream"
to the out right and obvious-Bleed well:
"Bleed Well the soul you're about to sell, for passion derrange, bleed well the heart your about to fail, for reasons insane"
or Kiss of Dawn:
"I'm reaching for your shadow drowning, in the kiss of dawn, touching the pains taht you left me with, the kiss of dawn"
These lyrics appear to be directed at somebody, while some other topics are just un directed lyrics, like in cyanide sun:
"Should have known how hard it is to stop, tearing each other apart, seperating souls entwined"
and in Venus Doom:
"watch me fall for you my venus doom, hide my heart, where all dreams are entombed, my venus doom""grieve all your hearts out as she writhes and falls, in tragic, ecstatic agony"
Romance and death and love and loss is the premise of all these lyrics but Valo's lyrics never get repetitive or tiresome. He creates some of the most beautiful lyrics that I have read. // 10
Overall Impression: HIM is one of my favourite bands, and this album did nto dissapoint, I was mezmerized from the start, the heavy ounds blew my mind and the original styles of him were still present. This is without a doubt one of theier strongest releases to date. it goes boot to boot with any other HIM album or song. HIM have released one of the greatest sounding Cd's and this is worth buying, for Him fans and people who just want a good rock cd. This will not dissapoint. Highlights include.
Sleepwalking past hope
Kiss of dawn
Passion's Killing Floor
Love In Cold blood // 10
next.matt.heafy, on september 21, 2007 0 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album has brought back the "Rock" from HIM. Ville Valo stated in an interview that this album is much more guitar heavy, yet still manages to be atmospheric and have that characteristic HIM doom feel, it just punches you in the gut that little bit harder. I felt that we needed a lot less keyboards and there was just going to be more punching to the face type of thing, Valo says, referring to the differences between Dark Light and Venus Doom. The songs are longer also, so there is much more difference within the songs in reference to arrangements. I would also love to shake the hand of HIM guitarist Mikko "Linde" Lindstrom, for bringing some amazingly fun soloing to the album. I'm not going to tell you which tracks they're on, listen to the wole album for yourelf, and you'll appreciate it more. This is HIM at their best we've seen them. Mixing melody and atmosphere with straight up rock and just having fun, this album will not dissapoint. // 10
Lyrics: Ville Valo and his incredible vocal range once again are the perfect fit for HIM's sound. The lyrics are incredibly personal, and still follow that similar, love and loved ones lost and romance gone wrong kind of theme. The lead single, Kiss Of Dawn, was inspired by the death of one of his close friends. One of my mates from here in L.A. committed suicide two and a half years ago, and that's a tribute to him, Valo says of the song. It's about how it is on the other side and how we react to it on this side. Just a young guy who had the world, everything is possible, but deep depression and too many drugs cause you to do stupid things. So the subject matter is not light on the album. But it's good to get this out. It's cathartic. // 9
Overall Impression: This album could be compared to bits and pieces of many of their previous studio efforts, but it is largely a new formula, argely influenced by one factor: maturity. The band has grown a lot, with keyboardist Burton even having his first child, prompting the band to record at home in Finland, influencing the doomier aspects of the album even further. On the lighter end the hooks are even catchier, Every day since I've bought the album I've had a different favourite song, so I won't influence your choice by listing any of the songs. Once again, I encourage you to just listen to this album through, over and over again, asi am presently doing, and appreciating it's mulit-faceted, incredibly talented feel. // 10