HIM - Tears On Tape [Review]

Release date: April 30, 2013
Genre: Gothic Metal
Label: Razor & Tie
Website: http://www.heartagram.com

Rating: 8.5/10
Reviewer: Tristan French

HIM’s last few offerings have been quite experimental. In the sense that I’m pretty sure that 2007’s Venus Doom was some of the most pleasantly depressing stuff I’ve ever listened to and 2010’s Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice was actually quite upbeat...well..for a HIM record. With this in mind, the newest gothic metal opus Tears On Tape has made me feel like that 14 year old goth rock fan again whilst still maintaining that air of HIM that we know and love.  At it’s essence this is HIM telling us a story, in the eeriest and best way possible.

This record is chock-full of purely anthemic tracks, all with the potential to be future singles. The album’s first single “All Lips Go Blue” is perfectly suited to be so, and rightly the first vocal track on the record. Easing listeners in with that familiar HIM groove that we’ve come to know and adding an almost rock’n’roll feel to the record, this track serves as but a harbinger of what’s to come, in the same vein as “Your Sweet 666” (1997) and “Vampire Heart.” (2005).

This record also brings forward some quite subtle yet noticeable synth backings, increasing the eeriness of rocking tracks Love Without Tears and I Will Be The End Of You, whilst Tears on Tape and Drawn and Quartered provide some supremely catchy mid-temp calmness after the pump of the first few tracks.  Upcoming single Into the Night on the otherhand provides a good marriage between both the tranquillity and heaviness, allowing axeman Mikko Lindstr├Âm to show off his versatility as well as his obvious skill.

The record’s strangest and most notable moment comes with final track "W.L.S.T.D (When Love Starts To Die)" where tempo is slowed right down to the gothic doom sound that was explored on Venus Doom. Frontman Ville Valo prominently displays his awesomely low vocals to almost a subsonic level, only enhancing the already doom metal esque-atmosphere brought forward by the track.

On the whole, this record serves as a testament to consistency. No matter what the release, you know that you’re getting a HIM record and you know what to expect. Sure some of the tracks may sound similar, but that’s the beauty of it. The albums are like one big song, whilst maintaining individuality. This record stands out in particular as it can be said to be HIM returning to the foundations of their sound and presenting us with some straight-up gothic rock. Overall, I’m giving Tears on Tape  a rating of 8.5. The love metal kings have returned!

Order "Tears on Tape" through:

HIM online:

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I love their new video for "All Lips Go Blue" too :) http://smarturl.it/HIMALGBVEVO