H.I.M.’s Dark Light ironically shines

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A warning: Before I listened to H.I.M.’s new album Dark Light, it never occurred to me that H.I.M. actually stood for something (His Internal Majesty for those of you in the same boat); not to mention I had never even picked up a H.I.M. album-I guess you could call me a H.I.M. novice. So if I am unfaithful to the band I offer my apologies to all you diehard H.I.M. fans reading this.

The H.I.M. mission is to reinvent goth metal. But, these Finland rockers are not what I would call “goth metal,” even though they might come off as Marilyn Manson’s new side project with the long black hair and loads of white makeup. Contrary to what the image suggests, H.I.M.’s sound is something a little more complicated yet easier to listen to than the traditional, pound-your-ears-into-submission, goth metal band-what H.I.M. fans call “Goth Romanticism.” A mix of classic rock and new age metal that never gets dull is what H.I.M. fans have come to expect from a band that really took the world by storm, all in the span of two years. Back in my high school days, here were so many H.I.M. shirts  that I couldn’t count them all.

Dark Light, produced by U2’s producer Robert Plant, proves that all the H.I.M. memorabilia you’ve seen is not without merit. H.I.M. is no flash in the pan. The opening track “Vampire Heart,” begins with an extravagant guitar riff reminiscent of AC/DC. Yes, they’re that good: They could be this generation’s AC/DC.

“Wings of a Butterfly,” which some consider the best H.I.M. song to date, is certainly the most catchy on the album-but I wouldn’t call it the best. The most complex and intricate song on the album has got to be “Behind the Crimson Door.” The voice of the lead singer resonates over the hard yet not distorted guitars, resulting in an indescribably beautiful sound. H.I.M. succeeds where most bands fail. H.I.M. is always complex but never over the top. H.I.M. is simple, just darn good music. It’s great for parties, too.

The title track, “Dark Light,” with its spooky piano and guitar orientated intro, sounds like a spooky song a trick-or-treater would hear walking up the steps of a dark house on Halloween night. “Dark Light” is creepy, yet good. My suggestion: Do not listen to this song while you are lying on your bed before you go to sleep.

“Play Dead” is a beautifully crafted song-lower than most, but good nonetheless. It is an intense dark-sounding song, mixing pianos, low sounding guitars and wait-could it be?-violins. Yes you read that correctly; H.I.M. doesn’t just use guitar strings.

Perhaps the only flaw of Dark Light is it’s length. At only 10 songs, H.I.M. fans may be asking for more when the CD stops spinning. It helps that the ten songs are of genius caliber in all areas: song writing (the lyrics are never cheesy), instruments, and vocals. Don’t let the length stop you, however, from driving a 100 miles an hour (OK, not that fast) to your local music store to pick up a copy. Dark Light is worth it. Whether you want to spend a Friday night alone in your room or party hard, H.I.M.’s Dark Light offers enough songs for both.

I don’t want to call this their masterpiece, because who knows what’s to come? One thing is for certain: it’s time for me to pick up the rest of H.I.M.’s albums.