16th February 2008
HIM & Paradise Lost
HIM opened their “Venus Doom-Tour 2008” in Berlin with an unforgettable concert. They were supported by PARADISE LOST, the Gothic Rock legend from Halifax in England. With the Tempodrom, a quite big venue was chosen for the show in Berlin and it was the right choice because lots of people gathered to see HIM.
In the end of the 80s, beginning of the 90s, when the Death Metal was on its top, most of the bands intend to build an image of “fast metal” and brutality, PARADISE LOST were waiving of that exaggerated way and tried to convince with slow guitar-riffs. To support their dark, with Death growls realized sound, they were borrowing her name from John Milton's most important masterpiece: “Paradise Lost”.
Their mixture from Doom and Death Metal is concentrated in two demo-tapes, before they get the attention of the new and rising record-label “Peaceville Records”. And consequently they released their debut-album ‘Lost Paradise’ with “Peaceville Records” in 1990. In this album they're still following their style of the two demo-tapes, but nevertheless they are making some good impressions on the media and also on their fans. With Kay Fields they also were the first Death Metal-Band with female vocals on their disc. The facts that they are almost in the genre of Doom but also the cryptic and interesting lyrics of front-man Nick Holmes are the great attractions of that British band.
PARADISE LOST ware filling their fans with enthusiasm of their mixture of rocking ballads but also with the typical metal “head-banger-songs”. Song for song was heating the atmosphere. They didn't played bonus tracks but I think, in this situation, as a support-band, that's not their job to play bonus tracks.
Singer Nick Holmes animated the audience with shouts like “Put your hands up”. And the audience was following his “animations”. Almost everyone was head-banging. Unfortunately the light-conditions were not ideal to take photos.
Three letters, one band, one front-man - and the world is their oyster! H.I.M. (= His Infernal Majesty) is Finland's best music export and one of the most important rock-bands of the last decade and was founded in 1995 by front-man Ville Hermanni Valo and some of his friends in Helsinki to realize his personal idea of Dark-Rock with “pop-appeal”. The first EP ‘666 Ways to love’ was not released under the abbreviation H.I.M. but under the full name His Infernal Majesty. Later albums were released under the abbreviation H.I.M and finally under the name HIM. In the USA they used in the beginning the band-name HER (= His Evil Royalty) because there was just another band named HIM. Later HIM achieved the rights of the name HIM and so they could publish their albums also in the USA under the name: HIM.
From an “Underground-Rock-Band” they were developing themselves consequently since their world-success ‘Razorblade Romance’ (2000) into idols of thousands of young girls, mainly because of front-man Ville Valo. Two of their five albums reached chart-position one in the German album-charts and one single stayed on the top chart position in the German single charts. On September 14th 2007 they released their sixth studio-album with ‘Venus Doom’. After the successful but controversial fifth album, HIM wanted to go back to their Dark-Rock roots with the ‘Venus Doom’ album.
When PARADISE LOST left the stage, the line-check of HIM began. The drummer was received with expectant cheers and the crowd was more and more impatient and eager to see and hear finally the headliner of the concert. But the crowd had to wait for a while, cheering rhythmically before HIM finally started their concert. When the first sounds finally started, the crowd was not to stop any more for all their enthusiasm. Stage fog arrived and a red light was shining through it. Then HIM appeared on stage. The fans were ecstatic.
The first song, ‘Passion's Killing Floor’, was from the new album ‘Venus Doom’. The audience reacted with the utmost enthusiasm to it. But HIM enchanted their fans also with popular songs like ‘Join Me’ or ‘Wicked Game’ and a lot of other catchy tunes, and put a spell on the audience. Ville Valo's multi-faceted voice once again was at its best. A so called screaming, without any musical accompaniment, rounded off the end of every song. It just gave you goose pimples.
More than once Ville Valo smiled his canny smile, which went right into the girls' hearts. No wonder if you swoon. And it did happen; some girls had to be pulled out of the mass of people by security. The nice ballad ‘The Funeral of Heart’ was played to the glimmering of the mirror ball, which created the impression of a starlight heaven. In the middle of ‘Join Me’ the music stopped for a moment, so that the band could see how well the fans knew the lyrics. They passed the test superbly.
01. Passions Killing Floor
02. Wicked Game
04. Wings of a Butterfly
05. The Kiss of Dawn
06. Vampire Heart
07. Poison Girl
08. Dead Lovers Lane
09. Join Me
10. Your Sweet 666
11. Sleepwalking past Hope
12. Right Here In My Arms
13. Soul on Fire
14. Killing Loneliness
15. Bleed Well
16. The Funeral of Heart
17. It’s All Tears
18. Under the Rose
19. Razorblade Kiss
20. The Sacrament
It was a fantastic and enthusiastic mood, principally in the standing places. The sitting audience was calmer, but therefore the standing audience was twice as much enthusiastic.
All pictures by Nadine Ginzel