HIM just doesn’t see the ‘Light’

Credit: Jason Hall

Let’s face it – not every album ever released is a great album, or even an average one. Occasionally, a record comes out that is so bad it leaves the listener wondering what he just did with the past 45 minutes of his life. This usually comes with a blank, puzzled look on the listener’s face that is equivalent to a monkey staring at a road map. The latest release by HIM, Dark Light, is one of these terrible records.

If you combine influences of AFI and Fuel, but neuter and bastardize both of those influences quicker than Bob Barker at a volunteer session at the Humane Society, you’ve got a pretty decent idea of what HIM sounds like.

The album’s opening track, “Vampire Heart,” sounds as if it was recorded while lead singer Ville Valo was hunched over a stool, staring at some cold General Tso’s Chicken and fiddling around with a pair of chopsticks. Barbara Streisand would be able to rock out to idiotic goth-metal guitars in a more convincing fashion than Valo could ever hope to – and that’s sad, folks.

After the first track, it only gets worse. “The Face of God” does nothing to differentiate itself from any other tracks on the record, with the exception of Valo’s terrible vocals – he sounds as if he’s going to cry like a pre-pubescent kid who just got his lunch money stolen from him. The lyrics are vapid and devoid of any meaning, so it’s hard to figure out why Valo’s inflection is more depressing here – perhaps because he realizes there’s a chance his family will hear this record, and subsequently disown him.

It’s a very simple concept: Friends won’t let friends buy a copy of Dark Light, no matter how alluring the band’s little Heartagram (a stupid looking Pentagram infused with a heart) might appear to be to Hot Topic aficionados. Stay away – stay far, far away.

– Ben Breier


Dark Light

Released on Sire Records

Stater rating (out of four):

no stars