HIM – Tears on Tape


Artist

Album

Tears on Tape

Label

Razor & Tie

Year

2013

Genre

For Fans Of

The 69 Eyes - Negative

Summary

Slow, gothically inclined rock.

Rating

65 / 100

Finnish goth-rockers HIM return with new album, ‘Tears on Tape.’ A common thread throughout their career has seen the band play on both the heavier elements of metal and the varied elements of softer rock. There’s no doubting, HIM have produced well loved heavy albums such as ‘Venus Doom’ and their predecessor, ‘Screamworks.’ However, ‘Tears on Tape’ seems to take a different route altogether with its sound certainly lacking their previous heavy elements.

Beginning with instrumental song, ‘Unleash the Red,’ the tone feels dark, slow and rather gothic. This introductory song maps out the entire full-length, which encompasses such a slow rock sound. ’Tears on Tape’ is infused with another two instrumental songs, the interlude ’Trapped in Autumn’ and the outro ’Kiss the Void.’ The album itself seems to try to be a resurrection of their previous ‘Love Metal’ with 41 minutes of slower, heartbroken pleas.

With the beginning of the first lyrical song ‘All Lips go Blue’ we are met with an attempt for a heavier rock sound, contrasting with the instrumental introduction. However, the initial outburst of hard rock doesn’t last too long as throughout the course of the album it seems to all merge as one as most of the songs hold little distinctive qualities, but rather all sound very similar to one another. While this creates a feeling of cohesiveness, the use of the interlude/instrumental songs seem out of place, like an unnecessary divide in the album.

In saying all this, included within are some catchy, stand out songs such as, ‘W.L.S.T.D’ (When Love Starts To Die), which happens to be one of the heavier songs in the album. ‘Tears on Tape’ itself, while it seems to hold a classical HIM sound, also stands out as one of the catchier songs on the album, really capturing the dark poetic sound of Ville Valo’s voice.

Tears on tape’ does hold the sweetly dark and poetic tones that HIM are known for. After a three year gap the suspense surrounding this new album created anticipation. ‘Tears on Tape’ could either greatly please or confuse and disappoint  fans. While it holds some stand out songs and some catchy melodies, the album as an entirety feels less passionate and exciting than previous works from HIM. They have shown us the potential for amazing music in the past, however ‘Tears on Tape’ seems to be missing something that made previous works so successful and well known.

Conclusion

‘Tears on Tape’ holds some good, intriguing sounds with its slow rock instrumentals mixed with its dark, poetic lyrical sounds. There are some stand out songs that make it worth a listen if you are interested in HIM. However, if you have heard HIM before it may not be the pick of the bunch.

Tracklisting

1. Unleash the Red 
2. All Lips Go Blue 
3. Love Without Tears 
4.  Will Be the End of You 
5. Tears on Tape 
6. Into the Night
7. Hearts at War 
8. Trapped in Autumn 
9. No Love 
10. Drawn & Quartered 
11. Lucifer’s Chorale
12. W.L.S.T.D.
13. Kiss the Void

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