HIM
Tears On Tape


2.5
average

Review

by CaptainAaarrrggghhh USER (14 Reviews)
April 17th, 2013 | 43 replies


Release Date: 04/26/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Parental advisory: explicitly dried out band ahead

Cainotophobia – fear of novelty or newness.

Starting with a dash of medical information, let’s look at the latest offering from Finnland’s most famous pop-rock quintet. Yes, it’s no mystery to anyone that H.I.M. is a pop act, a salesman with five heads, and what they sell is their own brand of pop: greasy guitar riffs ramble over simplistic drum beats, while soft baritone voice is singing about the need for love, the loss of love, the hurt of love, the height of love, the weight of love, the love of love etc. etc. etc.

H.I.M. is a sad case of a band that was self-denyingly digging a creative grave for itself for over ten years, and there’s no one to blame but the band’s frontman, Ville Hermanni Valo. The guy seems to be incredibly afraid of change. Since their sophomore album, “Razorblade Romance”, released in 1999, H.I.M. almost never changed the direction of their music. The dominating song structure was the old verse-chorus-verse-chorus routine, all melodies were siblings with traits of each showing here and there. It was a game of hit and miss: a song was either listenable and enjoyable to a certain degree, or was just bland, but they all sounded similar. A random person would hardly notice the difference between H.I.M. albums.
But I have to be more precise here, for I’m no stranger to H.I.M., mostly for nostalgic reasons. After “Razorblade Romance” they kind of rocked back and forth while still standing at the same spot. “Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights” leaned more towards an even poppier side, “Love Metal” rocked back with a more straightforward approach (and overall better songwriting). “Dark Light” played with the softer alternative rock moments, “Venus Doom” suddenly shrugged towards the (gasp) doom metal sections and massive production (that album is pretty damn good, actually). “Screamworks” was so painfully trying to be appealing to everyone with it’s pop-punk-ish tempo changes and keyboard ornaments that it fell flat on its face, leaving very little tolerable material. And now we have “Tears On Tape”.

Nothing changed in the paradigm.

What really kills any joy for the listener is that Valo can only do so much with his songwriting approach. Similarities in H.I.M. songs were always quite obvious. On “Screamworks” it became a major problem and “Tears On Tape” does nothing but substantiate the sad conclusion: Ville Valo’s creative vein is dried up like an African creek in the summer. An especially painful moment is put in the middle of track 3, “Love Without Tears”, where the band “pays tribute” to Black Sabbath by inserting a re-working of the main riff from “A National Acrobat” into the song. I say “pays tribute” only because I don’t want to say “steal”. After all, their guitarist IS married to Iommi’s daughter.

There’s nothing really to say about any of the songs. They’re all copies of copies of copies. Lyrical content is no better: erase the word “love” from Ville Valo’s mind and he might probably never sing again. However, there is ONE single song I would like to pinpoint: it’s the penultimate track entitled “W.L.S.T.D.” (I suggested it stands for “We Love Satan To Death”, but the truth turned out to be even less exciting). Starting with an almost stoner-influenced riff (gasp again) it has some nice groove and the vocals are pleasantly low (nice tribute to Peter Steele there, eh?). It’s probably the only track that was written with any remnants of care in Valo’s soul.

It seems H.I.M. are horrified by the perspective of any change whatsoever. It may be the fear of losing the sweet spot, losing the target audience, but to be fair, their glory days are gone and I doubt that more of the same will keep any of the fanbase interested, let alone lure in any newcomers.



Recent reviews by this author
Swans To Be KindBlur Think Tank
the GazettE DIMParadise Lost Gothic
Pain (SWE) PainThe Birthday Party Prayers on Fire
user ratings (70)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
AleksiS (3.5)
Chapter VIII - Drawn and Quartered...

Raul Stanciu STAFF (3)
Love Metal redux....


Comments:Add a Comment 
CaptainAaarrrggghhh
April 17th 2013


179 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Didn't read it through so there may be little grammar fails.

Sconza
April 17th 2013


264 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Where is there a stream for this?

Cipieron
April 17th 2013


3508 Comments


I dated a girl whose favorite band is HIM


She's an ex now

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
April 17th 2013


1922 Comments


I just read an article about H.I.M.'s "return" concerning the fact that a couple of years ago the band were on the verge of splitting up forever. I've never really been a fan of the band, but Valo and the other members said in a recent interview that they felt "re-invigorated" and that this album would be their best in years. Judging by your review (which is pretty good) I feel that's not really the case, but I'll probably still give it a listen.

Digging: Execration (NOR) - Morbid Dimensions

Emethyst
April 17th 2013


25 Comments


Have to agree, they past their peak a long time ago. This album sounds like a watered-down Razorblade Romance with none of the catchiness.

joshieboy12345
April 18th 2013


5371 Comments


Bam Margera's favourite band. Besides CKY of course.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 18th 2013


3502 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I really like All Lips Go Blue. It must be one of their best tracks in years. However, the rest is mostly the same, which is their major issue. They are unwilling to experiment. W.S.T.D. is another good track because it reminds of Venus Doom (I still enjoy listening to that album from time to time).

@sconza - There isn't one yet.

Digging: Motorpsycho - The Motorpnakotic Fragments

DrHouseSchuldiner
April 18th 2013


5643 Comments


Boring band

Asmodeuss1990
April 18th 2013


210 Comments


Good review... although I really enjoy HIM I don't know how I feel about this album. You're pretty much right though man as much as I'd hate to say it. Ville Valo has NEVER fucking changed it up much through the years. It's a shame because if they did something more creative the band would have way more fans and appeal to their music. I enjoy Ville Valos vocals but I feel like for some reason the bands name doesn't really seem fitting when he controls the direction of the music/lyical content... instead its not really HIM... its the "Ville Valo Band".

Well at least in my mind it is.

Vakarian12
April 18th 2013


3923 Comments


album title is lol

demigod!
April 18th 2013


45266 Comments


only thing this band has going for them is that they are Finnish and Finland rules
let's hope after this they are finished





i'll show myself out

Digging: Black Sabbath - Master of Reality

DrHouseSchuldiner
April 18th 2013


5643 Comments


Finnish but boring

demigod!
April 18th 2013


45266 Comments


yeah just jam Kingston Wall instead

BigPleb
April 18th 2013


37948 Comments


Even the band name sends a shudder of contempt down my spine.

Digging: Arc Iris - Arc Iris

DrHouseSchuldiner
April 18th 2013


5643 Comments


Never enjoyed anything out of these guys all they have done is eeh

manosg
April 18th 2013


6705 Comments


lol at this being classified as metal.

Digging: Whitesnake - Slide It In

PumpBoffBag
April 18th 2013


330 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Always had a soft spot for this band, but after how boring Screamworks was I can't say I'm particularly surprised by this. Nice review though, good job.

KjSwantko
April 18th 2013


9448 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm a big fan of their early stuff but wow I just can't even bring myself to listen to this. All the stuff they put out now is atrocious. I mean "Tears on Tape"? Give me a fuckin' break you fags

lostforwords
April 18th 2013


446 Comments


even the album title is ridiculous

HIMika
April 20th 2013


1 Comments


I so dont care who says what...anyone can say whatever they want, BUT i say that HIM are just the best! Their music is full of feelings, emotions, thoughts...everything normal person can have.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy