Him remasters ‘honour’ originals

HIM frontman Ville Valo says the band decided to remaster a selection of their older releases as they wanted to freshen up their sound.

The Finnish rockers, who supported Fields Of The Nephilim in London for two nights last weekend, have just released Lashes To Ashes, Lust To Dust: A Vinyl Retrospective ’96-’03. It features their first four albums: Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666, Razorblade Romance, Deep Shadows And Brilliant Highlights and Love Metal, along with their debut EP 666 Ways To Love: Prologue.

And Valo says while he was happy with the original albums, remastering them gave the band the opportunity to bring their sound up to date.

He tells Artisan News: “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the albums but the EP was done in 1996, the first album was in 1997, and it was 1999 when we recorded Razorblade Romance.

“That was a long time ago, and that was when the ‘loudness wars’ started, so people started to master everything so loud that rock albums started lacking dynamics. The best example was Death Magnetic by Metallica. It’s terribly loud but it’s probably what they went for, and it does sound aggressive, but at least in my ears it wears them out easy.

“We had albums that were done during the ‘loudness wars’ and stuff that was done before that so we were able to tweak them. They sound more fresh and more in your face but have all the essentials.”

He continues: “At the same time we have to be careful with it. We had George Marino, who was a legendary mastering engineer. He did a few masters for us before he passed away in 2012, so we didn’t want to mess about with those too much.

“You have to be faithful and honour the original, but there’s no rules. That was the exciting part. We were working with Sterling Sound again and producer Justin Shturtz did an amazing job. So it was way easier than I thought.”

The band’s last studio outing was Tears On Tape which launched in 2013 via Razor & Tie. They’re now in the US for a seven-date tour which wraps up in Las Vegas on December 19.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.