Title: Tears On Tape
Release Date: 26th April 2013
Label: Universal Records / DoubleCross
Half a year after the compilation of ‘XX-Two Decades of Metal’, Finnish HIM have returned with a brand new album. The band claims this will be a –hold onto something – “return to its roots”. But, before we get to this point, first thing comes first. The band has faced quite a few problems the last two years. And the ‘Tears On Tape’ was meant to be something more than just another CD the band releases; it was to be an effort of reaffirming the band’s status in the genre. Ville Valo composed the songs and everything was on track from last November.
The band but more specifically Valo reduces the Poesque view of love to an amour propre et eternelle for frustrated teenagers. Pompous and tragicomic most of the times his songs talk about the breaking down of relationships with the aura of erotic despair found in abundance in the dramatic monologues of those under twenty. They are addressing exactly the audience who keeps fantasising about the funeral of their beloved as the ultimate expression of love. Because the penultimate must surely be the tapes many used to record ages ago as expressions of love, something which must have remained in Valo’s mind when the CD was titled ‘Tape of Tears’. Set aside the fact that Valo is an awful poet and let’s talk about the music.
In that, the BLACK SABBATH and TYPE O NEGATIVE riffs are dominant along with the usual sugary tunes that surround Valo’s vocals. It is interesting that there are four instrumental songs here which actually offer a different, at times, darker, and certainly more refreshing node to the CD. Without them this release would be on its knees, crawling. Mediocrity prevails; safety and security of sales came first in their priority list. Under these conditions it isn’t surprising that the most notable song to be found is the ‘Hearts at War’. Heavy and melodic at the same time it is surely a return to the roots of the band and a potential ‘hit’. For the same reasons, plus because it is between two interesting instrumental songs stands the ‘W.L.S.T.D.’ that moves even closer to SABBATH’s sound. One of the lowest must be the ‘Into the Night’ in its CHRIS ISAAK’s ‘Wicked Game’ imitation without the darker and astonishing layer that was later inserted by David Lynch’s ‘Wild at Heart’.
And it is this last notion that should close this review. HIM offer another glorification of the chastity belt Lady d’Arbanville used to wear. Certainly they were the first to go into the parallel and asexual universe of Twilight but since this universe became a resort overpopulated by teenagers with mouthfuls of popcorn the band should hear the alarm bell ringing and abandon that wretched ship.
01. Unleash The Red (instrumental)
02. All Lips Go Blue
03. Love Without Tears
04. I Will Be The End Of You
05. Tears On Tape
06. Into The Night
07. Hearts At War
08. Trapped In Autumn (instrumental)
09. No Love
10. Drawn & Quartered
11. Lucifer’s Chorale (instrumental)
13. Kiss The Void (instrumental)
Ville Valo – Vocals
Mikko ”Mige” Paananen – Bass
Mikko ”Linde” Lindström – Guitar
Janne ”Burton” Puurtinen – Keyboards
Mika ”Kaasu” Karppinen – Drums
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Total: 6 / 10