"Venus Doom"

(Sire Records 2007)Him - Venus Doom

While you were busy watching Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan trying to save their dying careers this past summer by going to rehab, you may be surprised to know that they were joined at Promises by Him's frontman Ville Valo. Wonder if the trio shared any vocal or make up tips? With his new found sobriety comes Him's sixth album, "Venus Doom." Blending piano ballads with quick shredding guitar, the Finnish rock band continue their accessible take on metal.

A choir of voices unites on the quick moving title track before pulling away for a dark interlude that sees Valo asking for you to "hold me inside your infernal offering." Similarly, "Passion's Killing Floor" contrasts a dreamy melody with reverberating, grinding riffs for a poppy result. Squealing guitar and Valo's seductive purr on heavy parts early on give way to a disappointingly soft chorus for "The Kiss Of Dawn." The rockers even dabble in some doom metal as the slow and heavy guitar riffs churned out are head bang worthy, even if they are short lived, on "Cyanide Son" and the lengthy ballad "Sleepwalking Past Hope."

Him seem most intriguing when Valo's vocals are in full control, really commanding listeners with the vocal strength and ability, or when the band are able to take over, the intricate instrumentation providing a spirit of its own. But, while it is hardly a criticism and more an observation, Valo's vocals do not always command and the instrumentation does not have as much free reign as it could. While the album does not push Him as far or as hard as it could, "Venus Doom" delivers all the palatable metal and hard rock with catchy choruses and memorable melodies that fans are undoubtedly looking for.


buy it!