2007-02-02 / Columnists

The Music Beat

H.I.M.- His Infernal Majesty
Commentary by Leanne Edwards

Self-described as "love metal," the boys in H.I.M have been playing music for over a decade and have kept a steady fan base throughout all of Europe. H.I.M, also known as His Infernal Majesty, is an alternative-metal band from Finland that blows any other alternative-rock band out of the water. Their mixture of heavy rock with romantic and sentimental lyrics puts this band on a completely different level than anything I've ever heard.

Prior to 2001, I had never heard of H.I.M before, mainly because they weren't as popular in America as they were in Finland. But six years later, almost everyone knows about H.I.M. I myself sport a heartagram tattoo, which is the band's logo and is noticed throughout the music scene. The symbol combines a heart and a pentagram which represents the juxtaposition of love and hate, or life and death. Ville Valo, lead singer of H.I.M, created this symbol and it is also used by professional skateboarded Bam Margera.

H.I.M's latest album, "Uneasy Listening Vol. 1," is a compilation CD with rare tracks, remixes, and acoustic versions of previously released songs. Some of these tracks have been sitting in the H.I.M vault since 1996. Ten years later they are re-mastered and ready to be released. The remixes on this album are truly amazing, with certain instruments enhanced Valo's voice highlighted in just the right way. His deep voice and the mixture of instruments would send anyone into a frenzy.

"The Sacrament," the first and my favorite song of H.I.M.'s is remixed, having rich piano and anxious strings. The second song is an acoustic version of "The Funeral of Hearts" which is simple and beautiful all on its own. "Join Me in Death," the third track on the album, has a Romeo and Juliet vibe with Goth appeal. The fourth song is "Close to the Flame," which is melodramatic and beautiful. The string version of "In Joy and Sorrow" is the number five track, but vocals are also used.

A few unplugged radio versions are thrown in as well. "It's All Tears" is one of them and almost has a Doors feeling to the music. One of the next songs is "Gone With The Sin"; the original version was slow and dark, but in this version violins are added and the usual bass and drums are nowhere to be found. "Salt In Our Wounds" is the tenth song and is completely redone. It has a much heavier sound than the original version, giving it a very dark grungy club vibe.

There are a few more acoustic versions after this. I like the way the album flows; it has a few surprises and then brings you back to the raw talent that H.I.M possesses. "The Path" is the second-to-last song on this fifteen-song compilation. It is called "P.S. version," which is creative. The vocals sound muffled and gives the song a unique edge. The final song is "Lose You Tonight." The original version was upbeat and in-your-face, but this remixed version is called the "Thulsa Doom Extended Dub" and takes a step back. It is slow and bewitching.

Overall, the compilation CD is definitely worth the money, even if you're not a fan of H.I.M.'s. The CD is one for the rack.

Any questions or comments? Feel free to email me at musicarticles@ yahoo.com.

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