HIM: Tears On Tape

Heavy sounds from love metal’s crown princes.

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However you seek to classify Finland’s biggest export since Hanoi Rocks, be it goth, metal, rock or indeed ‘love metal’ – a term coined from their 2003 album of the same name – it’s hard to deny their appeal.

From their blackened imagery and unashamed balladry to founding frontman Ville Valo’s near‐obsession with literate turns of phrase, they’re easily one of the world’s most prolific and beloved cult bands. So it comes as good news for their legion of devoted fans that their eighth release is perhaps the strongest summation of these Helsinki natives’ strange brew of Chris Isaak crooning, Sabbath‐worship and Type O Negative‐inspired self‐loathing.

From the candy‐sweet chorus of the title track to the Stooges‐loving Into The Night, this is manna from purgatory for the Twilight generation, and a glorious return to form for one of the world’s most peculiarly successful bands.