Sound — 9
This album is a compilation of 19 songs from HIM's backcatalogue and one new track, a cover version called "Strange World" by artist Ke. This "Best Of" features only songs which have been released as a single from one of HIM's previous seven albums. According to lead singer Ville Valo, Sony wanted to release another "Best Of" record including songs from 1997 to 2004, when the band contacted Warner to include tracks from 2005 to 2010 as well and make it a career-spanning compilation. It's put together nicely and starts with the new song "Strange World", "Join Me" and "Heartkiller". Most songs, such as "The Funeral Of Hearts", "The Kiss Of Dawn" or "Right Here In My Arms" are the Radio Edit versions.
Lyrics — 10
Not much to say about Ville Valo - some say he's repetitive but after all that's what the band does: Love Metal. The lyrics are, with exception of the new track, very personal and emotional. Valo has a great baritone vocal range, said to maintain an octave range of around 4 or 5. He's one of the most charismatic songwriters and frontmen these days.
Overall Impression — 10
"XX - Two Decades Of Love Metal" is certainly a compilation for new fans or collectors, however it is nice that after being on break for two years there's a sign the band is alive and well. It features the band's most important songs and prepares fans for the forthcoming New Year's Helldone 2012/2013 festival in Helsinki. It also shortens the time until HIM's next full-length studio record, "Tears On Tape" will be released in early 2013.