HIM: XX - Two Decades Of Love Metal

Ville Valo presents 20 years of highs and lows

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In case anyone is still wondering what ‘love metal’ actually is, this new Best Of from Finnish romantics Him is your answer: a marriage of danceable 80s goth and the doomy sensibilities of Sabbath, who are after all credited as the band’s main inspiration.

Things have been eerily quiet on the Him front this past year, so XX is perhaps the perfect way to ease the pain of waiting for a new album. This career-spanning chronicle of life, love, sex and death has it all, from the Romeo And Juliet-inspired Join Me to the bone-crunching riff-laden Bleed Well to the infectious Heartkiller.

XX also includes a new track in the form of cover song Strange World, a 90s hit reworked in classic Him style, which could have been taken straight from their own Dark Light album. Him’s music has always acted as a kind of sonic diary for the band’s brooding frontman Ville Valo, who channels the spirits of Peter Steele and Jim Morrison with his poetic angst and distinctive baritone.

XX is brimming with the agony and ecstasy of love, but this is only a snapshot of Him’s glittering career. Here’s to another 20 years!