Having endured a decade-long ascendancy to the level of hysteria they can now command, His Infernal Majesty – or HIM as they are better known – can hardly be accused of being fly-by-nights or not having worked their way to the top. Aiding their rise was the creation of the ultimate branding for the teen angst generation in the Heartagram. By blending the two key components of love and metal, *HIM *have the perfect backdrop to their powerful, goth-tinged rock ‘n’ roll.
With Dark Light, the Finns have released an unremarkable, yet solid record that features Ville Valo’s magnificent voice and some routinely dull hooks backing him up less than aptly. The compelling frontman deserves so much more than the turgid backwash his band provides him with. Having earlier clearly been inspired by goth legends such as Sweden’s Dimmu Borgir, it is a shame to receive such a watered-down commercialised piece of rubbish adorning Valo’s unflexed talent. There is no mystery as to where the songs may go; nothing interesting enough to keep your attention beyond the next page of the magazine that you’re reading. This is dreary background music built for identikit stadia worldwide.
Berating this band for reasons other than the poor music they are offering now is churlish and unnecessary because *HIM *have damaged their image and reputation through their own choices. This was a band that had the potential to be remembered as one of the great heavy rock bands of our time but their pop-metal phenomenon will not last.
5Raziq Rauf's Score