Overall Score: 7/10 Structure: 8/10 Riffs & Solos: 7/10 Atmospheric Qualities: 6/10 Pros: Great guitar riffs | catchy vocals | 80's influences Cons: Kept it safe | Lack of stand out tracks
After two decades together as a band, HIM have returned once more with an outstanding roller coaster of an album in `Tears On Tape`. Although at times the band can sound quite repetitive or straight forward they do have some excellent material.
The keyboard/synths that start straight from the beginning in ‘Unleash The Red’ do not prepare the listener for what happens next, the impact of the storming guitar riffs and the beautiful 80’s influences in ‘All Lips Go Blue’ will leave fans staggering with the drum beats bursting to life; this is a brilliant way to start off the album.
The album then continues to grab attention by the extremely catchy choruses in songs like ‘Love Without Tears’, ‘Into The Night’, ‘No Love’ and of course the title track ‘Tears On Tape’, and have perfected an atmospheric, eerie ambiance in this album. Tracks like ‘Unleash The Red’, ‘Kiss The Void’, ‘Lucifer’s Chorale’ and ‘Trapped In Autumn’ change the mood and flow between songs brilliantly.
Throughout this record frontman Ville Valo continues to experiment with his vocals so it brings out the raw emotion. In songs like ‘Hearts At War’ & ‘Dawn & Quartered’ he has a very comforting sound, then in the song ‘W.L.S.T.D’ he comes across hurt and revengeful.
There is still the doom and gothic style they have always projected but at the same time bringing it to up to date with rock. So whether you are an old dedicated fan or a new fan, you will have something to enjoy about this addition to their discography.
Personal preference: My favorite song of the album would be ‘W.L.S.T.D’ (When Love Starts To Die) for the slow head-banging guitar, steady beat and the poetic expression that leads perfectly to the outro ‘Kiss The Void’.
You can experience HIM live in the UK on the following dates throughout the Autumn of 2013:
OCT 21 WOLVERHAMPTON – CIVIC HALL
OCT 22 NEWCASTLE – O2 ACADEMY
OCT 23 GLASGOW – BARROWLAND
OCT 24 MANCHESTER – ACADEMY
OCT 26 NOTTINGHAM – ROCK CITY
OCT 27 CARDIFF – CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
OCT 28 SOUTHAMPTON – GUILDHALL
OCT 29 NORWICH – UEA
OCT 31 LONDON – KOKO ***sold out***
NOV 01 LONDON – KOKO