Band :  HIM

Album : Tears on Tape

Genre : Love Metal

Release Date : 26.04.2013

Record Label : Razor & Tie

There’s a lot more to a record than simple notes, lyrics, and sounds. An impactful piece of music always remains wrapped in emotion. Love, hate, sadness, and joy resound at the greatest decibel imaginable. At the end of the day, a song’s feeling will carry on as long as the melody will—and just as loudly.

HIM holds that philosophy in the highest regard on its eighth full-length studio album, Tears On Tape [Razor & Tie]. The platinum-selling Finnish quintet—Ville Valo(Vocals), “Linde” (Guitars), “Migé” (Bass), “Burton” (Keyboards), and “Gas” (Drums)—finds rapture in divine rock ‘n’ roll hooks, eerie synths, and elegantly cinematic lyrics. You’ll undoubtedly feel each tear they shed.

Album Review

‚Tears on Tape‘  welcomes us with the amazing intro song „Unleash The Red“ . This is the perfect intro for the album; I find it melancholic but hopeful at the same time and I am sure it will make the listeners wonder how the album sounds like.  The intro also indicates that  ‘Tears on Tape’ might not be the heaviest HIM album out there but it surely is colorful and full of surprises.

The album continues with the second song, “All Lips Go Blue”. I like the fact that this song is somehow bonded with the intro and that both songs are different from each other. Unlike the intro, “All Lips Go Blue” is a full-on, ‘heavy’ HIM song full of amazing riffs and melodies. As a matter of fact, this song can be considered as one of the heaviest songs of the album. From the beginning, this song is the proof that Mr. Valo’s talent in writing songs did not disappear at all; the song is heavy, melancholic and catchy (you just gotta love the clapping part in the song! :D)

Tears on Tape softens up a little bit with “Love Without Tears” although the heaviness is still there. I especially love the lyrics of this song; “love without tears, just a story told to keep us hangin’ on”. One thing that is easily recognizable are the riffs once again; those riffs are definitely a tribute to the ‘oldies’ and it shows us that HIM is still dedicated to their roots a bit. The same thing can be said about “I Will Be The End of You”; I just love the beginning of the song and the catchy melodies.

With the songs “Tears on Tape” and “Into The Night”, the album (unfortunately) become pop/rockish. I immediately get that ‘Screamworks’ vibe from the album. Considering that Screamworks is my least favorite HIM album, I can’t say I like the vibe of these songs; as a fan of the heavy songs of the band, both songs were too poppish for me and I am sure the fans who love the old-era of HIM will think the same. As a matter of fact, the beginning of “Into The Night” reminded me of a typical indie rock song so I was a bit ‘surprised’.  

Just when I think I can’t be surprised anymore, the last half of the album surprises me more. With “Hearts At War”, the album gets heavier (and a bit more melancholic) and the songs “Trapped in Autumn” and “Lucifer’s Charole” make the listener wonder what is really going on! 😀 These songs are more like ‘transition’ songs which fit perfectly to the album in a really bizarre way. In contrary to these transition songs, “No Love” spices up the album again.

With the song “W.l.s.t.d.” (When love Starts To Die), ‘Tears on Tape’ reaches its doomiest state; surely, when I say ‘doomy’, I am not talking about the doomy vibe of the “Venus Doom” album (which happens to be one of my favorite HIM albums), but there is something in this song that makes me want to cry everytime I listen to it regardless of my mood.

‘Tears on Tape’ finishes with the perfect outro “Kiss The Void”. Just like the intro “Unleash The Red”, this outro fits perfectly to the album and it shows just how diverse this album is.

Generally, ‘Tears on Tape’ is an album full of diversity and surprises. The transition songs definitely add another element to the whole concept of the album and I like how the album is ‘confusing’ in a sweet way; it starts out heavy and softens and then gets heavy again. However, as a fan of the doom-side of HIM, I liked the heavy songs such as  “W.l.s.t.d.” or “Hearts at War” more than the pop/rockish songs.

One thing that got my attention is Ville Valo’s voice. I think it’s quite obvious that Ville’s voice is not the same as it used to be; I was expecting deeper, melancholic vocals but after listening to the album, I understood that it’s probably not going to happen. Especially, when I read the statements and the interviews  that  said ‘Tears on Tape’ was going to be the heaviest HIM album, I was quite excited and I expected doomy vocals but I was a bit disappointed to see that that wasn’t the case.

My favorite from the album is definitely “W.L.S.T.D.”. I think this song still shows that the band is still dedicated to its roots despite their change of style. It is also the doomiest and the most melancholic song in the album.

I can recommend ‘Tears on Tape’ to any rock music fan out there. Especially, if you like the ‘happy’ and the ‘pop/rock’ side of HIM (Screamworks and Dark Light era), you will love ‘Tears on Tape’. However if you are craving for those doomy and melancholic riffs and the typical HIM songs that want to make you cry, ‘Tears on Tape’ might be too ‘happy’ and ‘lovey-dovey’ for you.  (Speaking of ‘lovey-dovey’,  this album will take you to other dimensions if you are in love or feeling the love ;))

Rating : 6/10

TEARS ON TAPE Tracklisting :

  1. Unleash The Red
  2. All Lips Go Blue
  3. Love Without Tears
  4. I 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 Charole
  12. W.l.s.t.d.
  13. Kiss The Void

HIM is :

Ville Valo – vocals

Mikko ‘Linde’ Lindstrom – E-guitar

Mikko  ‘Mige’ Paananen – bass guitar

Mikka ‘Gas’ Karppinen – drums

Janne ‘Burton’ Parttinen – keyboards