Rating:
5.2
HIM - Screamworks: Love In Theory And Practice
8 February 2010


Disc I
01. In Venere Veritas
02. Scared To Death
03. Heartkiller
04. Dying Song
05. Disarm Me (With Your Loneliness)
06. Love, The Hardest Way
07. Katherine Wheel
08. In The Arms Of Rain
09. 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

Disc II [Limited Edition]
Acoustic versions of all songs


You know what really sucks? You're out with some unfortunate suckers friends, and you see some pretty girl standing in some line. She looks mighty fine from the profile, and she's just about your height (a major plus if you're kinda short for your age). And so you try to elbow, claw and bite your way through the crowd to make a move. You slowly approach, thinking of something to say... and then she turns around. Lo and behold, she's wearing a HIM shirt. Why, why, why? Can't she just listen to Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga or something? And so you sadly turn away, cursing.

I won't even try to hide my profound dislike for this band. From the music to image and lyrics, there is something about this band that I'm allergic to. And no, don't think I'm just hopping on the trveness bandwagon here. My best female friend is heavily into HIM, so I know just what I'm talking about. She's been keen on getting me into them as well, which caused many a stir between us. This review represents my opinions on her latest attempt to corrupt me via this album.

If I were to pigeon-hole the sound of the album, I would describe it as a somewhat heavier version of radio-friendly rock. Someone not very knowledgeable could mistake this for Gothic rock, due to heavy synth usage, and maybe lyrics, to a certain extent. The riffs, the song structures, mostly everything is completely predictable, safe and bland. I'm quite amazed as to how a band can make an album where every song follows the exact same pattern. There are a few chunky, heavy, memorable riffs scattered through the album that did make me say: "Oh, I guess HIM aren't totally worthless". The only problem is that Valo immediately ruins the song as soon as the chorus starts. By the way, choruses are repetitive as all hell, consisting of one simple phrase repeated over and over. On some tracks, this even goes so far that I had to check if my Media Player got jammed into repeating the same section. From this description, I think it's safe to say that HIM are about as proficient musicians as a bag of sardines. At least, that's what they want you to think. You see, some moments on this album actually managed to grab my interest, but it's like HIM got afraid that they were getting too good, so they just chickened out and returned to the synth mish-mash and Valo's repeating the same phrase over and over with the repetitiveness that would even leave Rebecca Black scratching her head.

Still, I understand why HIM has legions of brainwashed thralls fans. The music is easy to listen to, requiring almost no mental effort from the listener. It sinks easily and has catchy hooks. Add the quasi-dark, tragically romantic feel to the whole thing, and you've got yourself an instant chick magnet. Oh, and I forgot that Ville Valo is, like, the cutest and most handsomely gorgeous guy in the known universe. For realz.

In short, if you like what HIM have been doing thus far, this is a sure bet. Sweet, romantic songs all wrapped up in a shallowly dark package. I, on the other hand, will throw a hand grenade on my friend next time she tries to make me listen to this, right before I go to Mordor and throw the CD into its fires and make sure it never re-surfaces again. Peace.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Production: 9


Band profile: HIM
Album: Screamworks: Love In Theory And Practice


 


written by Slayer666 | 21.07.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Slayer666 - 21.07.2011 at 12:40  
Written by Guest on 21.07.2011 at 12:17

Slayer666, have you tried to listen to Dark Light album?

Not sure. Like I've said, I've been exposed to a lot of HIM against my will, but I think I've never heard the album in its entirety. I've heard some songs, for sure. I don't see much of a difference.
Windrider - 21.07.2011 at 13:11  
Actually my first real favourite band... I dont listen to it nowadays nevertheless, and this album sucks big time... Their first was pretty cool.
pagb666 - 21.07.2011 at 14:03  
I remember listening to this one while at work, and the repetitive choruses and the fact that 90% of the album runs at the very same BPMs also made me think that I was listening the same broken track over and over again. Ultimately I ended up ignoring the music and sticking to my job.
Mindheist - 21.07.2011 at 18:39  
Well, I'm sorry but I have to comment on something other than your review and I apologize in advance for getting off-topic. Dude, you walked away just because she was wearing a HIM shirt? In similar circumstances, I wouldn't even consider giving up. I mean, even if she was wearing a Britney Spears shirt and shouting "Heil, Hitler!" I would still make my move .

But all kidding aside, I haven't listened to this album yet (and to be honest, I can't recall the last time I gave this band a listen) so I won't comment until I've done it. But just a small tip though, maybe you might not want to make your "hatred" toward this band known in the review .
Coolingsrock - 21.07.2011 at 19:58  
Written by Mindheist on 21.07.2011 at 18:39

Well, I'm sorry but I have to comment on something other than your review and I apologize in advance for getting off-topic. Dude, you walked away just because she was wearing a HIM shirt? In similar circumstances, I wouldn't even consider giving up. I mean, even if she was wearing a Britney Spears shirt and shouting "Heil, Hitler!" I would still make my move .

But all kidding aside, I haven't listened to this album yet (and to be honest, I can't recall the last time I gave this band a listen) so I won't comment until I've done it. But just a small tip though, maybe you might not want to make your "hatred" toward this band known in the review .


Ya But its still okay to review bands you hate....even though the possibilities of being an ''accurate'' review are slim to none. But hey after all it's just an opinion.
Slayer666 - 21.07.2011 at 21:08  
Written by Mindheist on 21.07.2011 at 18:39

Well, I'm sorry but I have to comment on something other than your review and I apologize in advance for getting off-topic. Dude, you walked away just because she was wearing a HIM shirt? In similar circumstances, I wouldn't even consider giving up. I mean, even if she was wearing a Britney Spears shirt and shouting "Heil, Hitler!" I would still make my move .


I know, but HIM is where I cross the line. I can stand anything, and I do mean anything. But not HIM. Or Green Day, for that matter. My love life sucks anyway, that was just one more swing-and-a-miss on the list.

@coolingsrock
I did my best to describe to the listener what he may expect from the album, both from my standpoint and from the standpoint of someone who doesn't get internal bleeding every time he hears Valo's voice.
Marcel Hubregtse - 21.07.2011 at 21:19  
Lucas used to be a big HIM fan. there's a picture around of his backpack with HIM written on it
Slayer666 - 21.07.2011 at 21:28  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 21.07.2011 at 21:19

Lucas used to be a big HIM fan. there's a picture around of his backpack with HIM written on it

Lulz. I never would have expected that from him. Now every time he musically disagrees with me, I'm just gonna say: "Shut up, dude, you had a crush on Valo".
Marcel Hubregtse - 21.07.2011 at 21:35  
Written by Slayer666 on 21.07.2011 at 21:28

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 21.07.2011 at 21:19

Lucas used to be a big HIM fan. there's a picture around of his backpack with HIM written on it

Lulz. I never would have expected that from him. Now every time he musically disagrees with me, I'm just gonna say: "Shut up, dude, you had a crush on Valo".




but nowadays he has a crush on that extremely ugly Madonna wannabe called Lady Gaga. I don't know what's worse
clifford - 22.07.2011 at 06:47  
I remember when Razorblade Romance came out... It was really cool... every song was sweet - even the slow stuff. Then came Love Metal... this was proof that real rock n roll was still out there. But once Dark light came out my first and remaining impression was 'Sell out'

Remember, nothing lasts forever.
Lady Margoth - 22.07.2011 at 11:21  
Yeah, I wear HIM t-shirt to scare off HIM haters. But, actually, what does the t-shirt mean? It's just a fucking piece of cloth. That girl probably was a nice girl and didn't deserve such quick opinion based on her shirt. o.O

I like your review. It made me smile. I agree with you about shallowness of the last album. It's quite pathetic, I must add. Romantized nothing. Dark themes wrapped in kind of joyful melodies which I particulary hate.
I know some HIM haters. Mostly they judge on the ground of some songs they've heard. It's like an instant sickness from Ville's voice and the soft style of music. No one of them wants to go deeper into this music - to reveal the reasons why so many people like HIM. It's like: no, I'll never listen to this crap. Most haters hate HIM because it's not the "real" metal and it's mainstream. Imho, who cares?

I like their first albums. I even like some tracks of Dark Light. He's not the cutest guy though. But I agree about Ville's magnetic powers, girls find him very attractive but the real lure is the music itselt (that velvety voice). And I agree that this music is easy to listen, it's simple in lyrics and melodies. It's shallow and the darkness is theatrical. But metal music cannot be really deep. That would be my opinion.

Don't throw the grenade at your friend. Quarrels about the matters of taste are out-of-date.

P.S. Slayer666 I viewed your profile expecting to see some really qualitative metal examples since you find HIM shallow an nerdy. But Slipknot, Cradle of Filth... hehe. ^.^ They've legions of brainwashed thralls too. But it's ok.
Slayer666 - 22.07.2011 at 13:29  
Written by Lady Margoth on 22.07.2011 at 11:21

Yeah, I wear HIM t-shirt to scare off HIM haters. But, actually, what does the t-shirt mean? It's just a fucking piece of cloth. That girl probably was a nice girl and didn't deserve such quick opinion based on her shirt. o.O

Meh, she'll probably do just fine without me. I mean, I know I'm hot, but she'll pull through.

Quote:

I know some HIM haters. Mostly they judge on the ground of some songs they've heard. It's like an instant sickness from Ville's voice and the soft style of music. No one of them wants to go deeper into this music - to reveal the reasons why so many people like HIM. It's like: no, I'll never listen to this crap. Most haters hate HIM because it's not the "real" metal and it's mainstream. Imho, who cares?

I don't know any other HIM haters, but I don't hate them because they are mainstream. I hate them because I can't stand their music, that's all.

Quote:

But metal music cannot be really deep. That would be my opinion.

No? You're very wrong. Sure, 80-90% of metal isn't. but it's the other 10-20% you need to look out for.

Quote:

Don't throw the grenade at your friend. Quarrels about the matters of taste are out-of-date.

'Course not, that was just some exaggeration to serve the purposes of the review. I'm fine with her listening whatever the heck she likes. As long as she isn't making me do the same. It's like: "I don't bombard you with Shining and Esoteric, so why do you have to bombard me with HIM?".

Quote:

P.S. Slayer666 I viewed your profile expecting to see some really qualitative metal examples since you find HIM shallow an nerdy. But Slipknot, Cradle of Filth... hehe. ^.^ They've legions of brainwashed thralls too. But it's ok.

Hah, I think you'll find CoF's first 5 albums far, far from shallow. Even regular, full-time CoF haters agree that, for example, Cruelty and the Beast is a good album, at the very least.
Slipknot, yeah, I use them when I need to rest my brain.
Lady Margoth - 22.07.2011 at 14:06  
Hehe. ^^
I've said that about metal shallowness being aware that there of course are many exceptions. Diamonds among the stones. For example, Ayreon, Tiamat, Theatre of Tragedy (older releases) and so on...

Then I think that even full-time HIM haters should agree that some HIM albums or songs are good. (:
AnGina-- - 27.08.2011 at 00:19  
Well, this is a pretty interesting review I must say. I don't wear a HIM t-shirt, even though I have been a fan for a decade now Unfortunatelly, yes, musically Screamworks isn't something to squirt about, however I just can't overcome the fact that in the review there is not much the bla bla about the album, apart from the thingy about the synths, as it is the blah blah blah about HIM, and us, their fans, being brainwashed n'stuff Yea, sure. Haven't met many, huh Newsflash, HIM isn't only for 14 yera old girls, and we, who listen to HIM are not brainwashed by far and oh one more, one do can enjoy HIM on one hand and just as easily something less ''shallowy''. I mean DERP

What intetests me on this album is that the song I love the most is The Foreboding Sense of Impending Happines, which is completeley guitar free. Maybe Mr. Valo should consider HIM a break and go into the darkwave waters. Just maybe.

I do understand the dissing the girl with the shirt tho. I do that with guys who don't like Christopher Lee and cats, jerks.

It's kay tho, haters shall be haters, I'm not really sure why HIM is still on MS, cause they haven't released a metal album since.... well, since Greatest Lovesongs 666, but why the hell not 10 years ago I was like: nooooo, why all metallers hate HIM and I like them, I must be such a poser, now..... I just laugh it off

KIDS, STAY IN SCHOOL. AND GET OFF MY LAWN!!!
Slayer666 - 27.08.2011 at 11:08  
Written by AnGina-- on 27.08.2011 at 00:19


KIDS, STAY IN SCHOOL. AND GET OFF MY LAWN!!!

Will do, miss. Will do.

And in my defense, concerning the HIM fanbase issue, I have only yet to meet (in person) who is a fan of HIM but isn't a teenage girl. I'm actually quite surprised to see this many people comment on this review and trying to persuade me I was wrong.
Marcel Hubregtse - 27.08.2011 at 11:23  
Written by Slayer666 on 27.08.2011 at 11:08

I'm actually quite surprised to see this many people comment on this review and trying to persuade me I was wrong.


But you are right, and they all know it, that's why they try and persuade you that you're wrong.
Slayer666 - 27.08.2011 at 11:33  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 27.08.2011 at 11:23

Written by Slayer666 on 27.08.2011 at 11:08

I'm actually quite surprised to see this many people comment on this review and trying to persuade me I was wrong.


But you are right, and they all know it, that's why they try and persuade you that you're wrong.


Damn straight! Screw the HIM fanboys/fangirls. They wouldn't know good music if it bit them in the ass.

This kinda reminded me of Lucas, though. What's going on with him? I haven't seen him online in ages.
Marcel Hubregtse - 27.08.2011 at 11:37  
Written by Slayer666 on 27.08.2011 at 11:33


This kinda reminded me of Lucas, though. What's going on with him? I haven't seen him online in ages.


Probably off in Lady gaga and HIM land
Slayer666 - 27.08.2011 at 11:40  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 27.08.2011 at 11:37

Probably off in Lady gaga and HIM land

Damn.
I miss his reviews, they used to be a real treasure trove of new and interesting stuff.
AnGina-- - 27.08.2011 at 11:43  
Written by Slayer666 on 27.08.2011 at 11:08

And in my defense, concerning the HIM fanbase issue, I have only yet to meet (in person) who is a fan of HIM but isn't a teenage girl. I'm actually quite surprised to see this many people comment on this review and trying to persuade me I was wrong.


Well, just as your review is based on your opinion, so are our comments. I'm not trying to persuade anyone, because your belief is very strong, but what, does that mean we are only allowed to comment on reviews we agree with?

Besides, there are like a few comments about your review and HIM's music, not very many. Most of HIM haters just leave it out and don't even bother.

And I'm surprised that you feel the need to quote almost every comment on your review and state yourself. If you're 100% in what you've written, there's no need for that.

Come to Slovenia, I'll buy you a beer You only know teen fangirls, because you are a teen and it's your circle and they simply need to show themselves off. I myself don't need to dress in bands t-shirts and be all in black, to define me and to let people know, what my music taste is.
Marcel Hubregtse - 27.08.2011 at 11:49  
Written by AnGina-- on 27.08.2011 at 11:43

You only know teen fangirls, because you are a teen and it's your circle and they simply need to show themselves off.


I am 40+ and I also only know teen fangirls of HIM. Not a single person of over 20 I know who digs HIM. And, yes, old people (like me) also wear band shirts with their favourite bands on it.
Slayer666 - 27.08.2011 at 11:51  
Written by AnGina-- on 27.08.2011 at 11:43

Well, just as your review is based on your opinion, so are our comments. I'm not trying to persuade anyone, because your belief is very strong, but what, does that mean we are only allowed to comment on reviews we agree with?

No, no, that's not what I meant. I meant that people either wouldn't give a crap or that I was going to get a bunch of "FUCK HIM!!!111ONEONE" comments.

Quote:

And I'm surprised that you feel the need to quote almost every comment on your review and state yourself. If you're 100% in what you've written, there's no need for that.

I most certainly don't need to, it's just a friendly discussion. I stand by what I wrote 110%.
Plus, I love inflating the number of comments on the review, it makes it seem more important.

Quote:

Come to Slovenia, I'll buy you a beer

You know, I just might, somewhere in December. There is a Gorgoroth gig I don't want to miss, since they're not coming to Serbia. You owe me a beer, now.
AnGina-- - 27.08.2011 at 15:45  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 27.08.2011 at 11:49

I am 40+ and I also only know teen fangirls of HIM. Not a single person of over 20 I know who digs HIM. And, yes, old people (like me) also wear band shirts with their favourite bands on it.


Exactly. I'm not saying older people/metallers/rockers don't wear band T-shirts (even I own a couple of them and of course wear them, to classes, to work, when going out....), what I'm saying is that there is a difference between a teen and an adult when it comes to the motive, why wearing it. There are some teens out there who wear them just to make a statement ''hey, look at me, I'm a metalhead, obscure and alternative not giving a fu*k what you think about me'' just to show off, whilst, I assume, older, mature people don't do much anymore, because as you get older, you pretty much wear band T-shirts because you really like the band. I know when I was growing up a lot of my so called metal peers were wearing CoF, Dimmu, Slayer, Diecide, Cannibal Corpse T-shirts just because they were badass. Most of them aren't even into metal anymore nowadays.

On the contrary of you and Slayer666, I don't hang out with teens and know a couple of HIM fans/listeners in their 20s, 30s, even 40s. None of them is a radical fan, having Ville Valo tattoos, HIM bracelets, slippers, posters all over the walls, but just fans of music. What differs from one to another is actually the music background they're ''from''. As HIM have been a rock band from RR on, going quite ''ear friendly'' from Dark Light on, it doesn't surprise me at all, that a lot of people who are totally into mainstream pop, rock, electronic music, ambiental and also, in some rare cases, metal, like HIM. You won't see that in most metal bands, like hey, my favourite artists are Moby and Daft Punk but you know, I heard of those Necrophobic and they're a blast! Because HIM's music is easily available on the radio, MTV and so on and well and it catches on. And if I remember reading the review right, even Slayer666 doesn't hate HIM and Screamworks because of HIM being mainstream and popular, but because of music. So that's a total + on my side.

So, summa summarum, there's no valid statistics in this, so it seems. You know no ''older'' HIM fans, I do, where does it leave it us? Nowhere. It's just became so tiring to read in this reviews how shallow and stupid HIM's music is and just how HIM fans know no good music. I know, judging from myself and some of my close friends who like HIM, none of us is particularly stupid and we all listen to a whole bunch of other rock, metal, punk, punk-rock bands alongside HIM. So about biting the music in the ass.... Bleeeh.

Written by Slayer666 on 27.08.2011 at 11:51

You know, I just might, somewhere in December. There is a Gorgoroth gig I don't want to miss, since they're not coming to Serbia. You owe me a beer, now.


Yea, the date is 8.12.2012 and I'll be there Just make sure you get 18 by then or get a fake ID, because it's not allowed in Slovenia to sell alcohol to minors. I'll make sure not to wear a HIM t-shirt, so you won't be embarassed
Ok, this may be a stupid question, but still, I saw CoF among your faves, did your ears bleed when you heard Ville Valo sing on The Byronic Man?
Slayer666 - 27.08.2011 at 18:00  
Written by AnGina-- on 27.08.2011 at 15:45

Ok, this may be a stupid question, but still, I saw CoF among your faves, did your ears bleed when you heard Ville Valo sing on The Byronic Man?


Actually, this was quite a surprise to me as well, but that part was one of the more likeable moments on that atrocious album. Damn catchy.

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