HIM - Screamworks: Love In Theory And Practice

Album cover
Alternative, Metal
Sire Records
HIM
Screamworks: Love In Theory And Practice
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Finnish “love metal” originators HIM have been hard to miss over the course of the last decade. Amassing a total of six studio albums of emotionally distraught arrangements conducted by vocalist Ville Hermanni Valo, HIM's cult-like status is undeniable. As such, fans have generally known what to expect from the band. Be it the melancholy “Join Me In Death” or hard-driving uplifter “Right Here In My Arms,” the band's subject matter lyrically hasn't changed drastically over the course of their long standing reign of the “goth-rock” genre, opting to stick with what they know. This minor shortfall is overshadowed by consistent progression both vocally and instrumentally throughout the years; Screamworks is no exception to this fact, and stands as some of the prominent material from the band in some time.

While 2007's Venus Doom saw the band wander extensively into the heavier side of the musical spectrum, Screamworks rests somewhere in the middle, with a extensive reliance on hooks, hooks, and more hooks. Perhaps a greater keynote to take into account is Valo's sobriety during the completion of the album, allowing time and energy past spent in pubs to be instead directed towards the perfection of the album; it certainly shows, as his baritone has never sounded so brilliant, nor have the lyrics been this substantial. As with previous efforts, the gloomy and somber overtones are plenty, though there are several instances where glimpses of hope shine through.

This time around the band has a keen reliance on synths actually sounding synths instead of emulating keys or strings, initially witnessed on first single “Heartkiller.” “In The Arms Of Rains” finds the band again utilizing a synth based intro and constant strum before breaking into the most outstanding chorus Screamworks has to offer, with the up-tempo “Ode To Solitude” following in close second. “The Foreboding Sense Of Impending Happiness” closes the album with a brooding synth trance before dissolving in a haunting echo.

Being one of the most well-progressed artists in their genre, it's not surprising that the album does little to disappoint. Though the album touches on subjects such as heartbreak and loneliness, it is deeply hard not to fall in love with Screamworks.

1. In Venere Veritas
2. Scared to Death
3. Heartkiller
4. Dying Song
5. Disarm Me (With Your Loneliness)
6. Love, the Hardest WayWay
7. Katherine Wheel
8. In the Arms of Rain
9. Ode to Solitude
10. Shatter Me With Hope
11. Acoustic Funeral (For Love in Limbo)
12. Like St. Valentine
13. The Foreboding Sense of Impending Happiness

There are multiple artists with this name:
1) HIM is an alternative rock band from Finland.
2) HiM, a solo project put together in 1995 by Doug Scharin (drummer for June of 44, Rex, and Codeine).
3) HIM, acronym for "Hiromasa Ijichi Melodies," a Japanese group.

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