Until recently, Finnish goth/metal quintet H.I.M. has been one of the most above-ground underground bands in America.
Until recently, Finnish goth/metal quintet H.I.M. has been one of the most above-ground underground bands in America. While three of its albums have been released here, the group has been perhaps best-known for its "heartagram" logo, appropriated by fan Bam Margera ("Jackass").
That's set to change with the Sept. 26 release of "Dark Light," the band's debut for Sire Records, and also its first to be released simultaneously worldwide.
Currently mixing songs at New York's Electric Lady studios with producer Tim Palmer (David Bowie, Ozzy Osbourne), frontman Ville Valo says the band was inspired by the works of film composer Angelo Badalamenti. "Our approach on 'Dark Light' was to work on key words to make the music more cinematic, epic, and close to the listeners," he tells Billboard.com.
"Dark Light" continues the lush, melodramatic mix of goth, rock and pop that marked albums like 2003's "Love Metal." Songs like possible first single "Killing Loneliness" and "Under the Rose" expand on that signature sound, which Valo says has always been based on Scandinavian melancholy.
The title track is a power ballad, while "Behind the Crimson Door" is a driving song with the refrain "your love will be the death of me." Other song titles include "Face of God," "Wings of a Butterfly" and "Drunk on Shadows."
After the album is mixed, H.I.M. head out on the road, playing festivals in Europe and Asia. A North American jaunt is being penciled in for October and November.
While joking that "the amount of work we have will double" now that the band is signed to a proper U.S. label, Valo says H.I.M. is ready to conquer the States. "We've rehearsed for this for 10 years!" he says.