Saturday, November 19, 2005

H.I.M. On Stage at Avalon!

Finnish goth-metal merchants H.I.M. took the stage Thursday night at Boston's Avalon and proved that the heavy sounds they make on their CDs are nothing compared to those they conjure in their shows.

Singer-frontman Ville Valo went from pensive poet to whirling dervish depending on the song. Guitarist Linde provided plenty of buzzsaw riffs and more of the lean and mean solos that were missing from the newly released CD Dark Light. Burton's eerie keyboards provided the gloomy atmosphere for the rhythm section of Mige on bass and Gas on drums to move the room with a pulsating beat.

By my count, the boys did six songs from the new CD: Vampire Heart, Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly, Under the Rose, Killing Loneliness, Behind the Crimson Door, Dark Light. They also featured tunes from previous releases Love Metal (Buried Alive By Love), Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights (Pretending), Razorblade Romance, Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666 (Diabolikal Rapture*). All in all a pretty good mix of the old with the new to provide enough contrast between the heavier stuff with the more melodic moments.

I ran into more than a few people who saw Valo and Co. last year at the Middle East (a show I missed), and they were impressed with how much they say the band has improved. These guys are getting a good head of steam behind them and it is my guess that they will soon be playing to football stadium sized crowds before very long in this country, as they have been doing throughout Europe for the past few years. Again, a much appreciated hat tip to Stew in the U.K. who saw these guys in July at England's Download Festival.

* This is not a stone thrown at former U.S. Vice President J.Danforth "Spel Chek" Quayle. This is the way the title was spelled on the CD liner notes.

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