Artist – H.I.M.
Album – Dark Light
Year – 2005
Genre – Alternative Metal/”Love Metal”
HIM’s genre is labeled by frontman Ville Valo as “Love Metal.” I think that’s too awesome not to put under the genre tag. In reality, HIM’s darkness and doom infused lyrics and melodies harken back to bands like Type O Negative and Depeche Mode who were founders of the “goth” scene. Although that particular stigma may have faded a bit, there is no doubt that the darkness still remains, and HIM does a damn fine job at carrying the torch. It’s both a heartbreaking and passionate song at the same time, which I think adds a lot of credence to the strength of Valo’s lyrics.
This song is another one that’s all about the little things. The haunting piano intro is the first of many small surprises in the song that add to its well laid framework. The song almost has a classical feel as the crunching guitar fades in and strings play across the background. Valo’s voice and the way he uses it is another little thing that just adds so much to the experience the song gives you. It’s delicate and emotive to be sure, but he has melody and power, and he uses that to great effect. The first verse and chorus are spine tinglingly good as Valo weaves in subtle vibrato with his rich baritone romance.
Speaking of melody, there is literally NOT a catchy part of this song. Both verse and chorus have hooks that grab and don’t let go, especially the final lines of each chorus. The descending notes really were a good choice for an ending, as is evidenced by my constant humming. That is, if you could hear through the computer.
“Killing Loneliness” is a song where you come for the band, who does a pretty good job at establishing a decent sound in terms of your standard rock instruments and who shine on the backing classical instruments like the piano, which sounds fantastic against Valo’s voice throughout. However, you’re going to stay because of the lyrical power of the song.
“Memories sharp as daggers
pierce into the flesh of today”
What a way to start a verse. The pain in Valo’s voice may be difficult to discern behind his crooning voice, but it’s there, and it’s thick if you can pick up on it. It’s a phenomenal opening to a song laden with dark romance and longing. If that line doesn’t get you, then check these lyrics out:
“With the warmth of your arms you saved me,
Oh, I’m killing loneliness with you
I’m killing loneliness that turned my heart into a tomb
I’m killing loneliness”
That’s the final part of the chorus, and if you can have a chorus with words like that that strike right to the heart of what loneliness and love is, AND have a catchy, well crafted and extremely emotive melody, then by God you’ve got a winner on your hands. I think the lyrics to this song are gorgeous, and you’ll have to discover the rest on your own. I’m at a point in my life where I can really relate to these words, so thank you Ville Valo for blessing me with your “love metal.”
Great lyrics, great melody, great singing…”love metal.” I just can’t get over that, can I? Still though, this song is for all those who love a great balance between light and dark, romance and despair. Like life, this song is a two sided coin, and you have to know both sides to truly appreciate it.
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