Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Tour Dates/Tix | Feeds
HIM - Screamworks

by Robert VerBruggen

.
On 2007's Venus Doom, Finland's HIM explored the darker side of their "love metal" sound. On the new Screamworks, they keep things light and poppy; it's a catchier record than its predecessor, but it doesn't always have the emotional impact it could, and a lot of the ideas seem recycled from the rest of the band's catalog.

Listening to Screamworks, the first thing that's obvious is that the band has come a long way since its last attempt at a radio-ready rock album, 2005's Dark Light. Whereas Dark Light's entire second half was filler, Screamworks is a good listen straight through. Also, they've rid themselves of a few career-long bad habits; they no longer end their songs with cheesy key changes, they resist the temptation to drag decent ideas out too long, and while their music still isn't exactly complex, they've learned how to make the various layers sound a little denser than they used to. Perhaps the only bad habit they've kept is cramming too much of their best material at the beginning of each record: "In Venere Veritas," "Scared to Death," and "Heartkiller" are all standouts.

Unfortunately, the second thing that's obvious is that the band has become a little too professional in its songwriting. Often, the material sounds like it was cooked up in a secret lab somewhere, engineered for the twin purposes of taking over American rock radio and landing the soundtrack to the next Twilight movie.

Which isn't to say these songs are unsuccessful. To the contrary: Even as fans miss the Sabbath-inspired guitars of Venus Doom, and even as they pick out fragments of riffs and melodies they've heard before, they'll find Screamworks oddly pleasing to listen to. Sure, it's bland in places, and some of the songs seem to run together, but there's no filler in sight, and a few tracks feature absolutely stellar hooks. Even the overkill power ballad, "Disarm Me," features just enough darkness and attention-grabbing melodies to win over an open-minded listener.

After the aforementioned trio of great songs that kicks the record off, Screamworks settles into a groove of mid-tempo pop tracks, but there are some other compositions of particular note. "In the Arms of Rain" feels just a little exotic thanks to some odd keyboard sounds, and the choruses to "Ode to Solitude" and "Like St. Valentine" are unusually catchy. "Acoustic Funeral (For Love in Limbo)" does a great job of weaving together different guitar tones and textures. "The Foreboding Sense of Impending Happiness" is a great ballad with an almost Depeche Mode feel.

In the end, Screamworks serves as a sort of companion album to Venus Doom, fleshing out the aspects of the band's sound that Doom ignored. Those who think HIM sounds a little lightweight when it goes pop—a position that's far from indefensible—will want to keep their expectations low or skip this record completely. Those who thought the band should have finished what it started with Dark Light, on the other hand, will eat Screamworks up.

-- Robert VerBruggen is an associate editor at National Review. You can follow his writing at http://www.google.com/profiles/robertv4311.



Info and Links

HIM - Screamworks
Rating:

Preview and Purchase This CD Online

Visit the official homepage

More articles for this artist

tell a friend about this article

.


...end




.
News Reports
.
• Day in Rock:
Family Confirms AC/DC's Malcolm Young Has Dementia- Jimmy Page Looks To Form New Band- New Found Glory Claims One Direction Stole Their Song- Weezer CD Stream- more

• Day in Pop Chris Brown Vs TMZ- Jennifer Lopez Rear-Ended By Drunk Driver- Annie Lennox Calls Out Beyonce As 'Feminist Lite'- One Direction Fans Vs Jon Stewart- more

• B-Sides: Scott Ian Relives Metallica Drama In Excerpt From Memoir- Queen Release Alternate Version of Freddie Mercury's Love Kills- Rancid Releases Video For Three New Songs- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock

.
 
Reviews
.

• Bryan Adams - Tracks of My Years

• MorleyView: St. Madness

• Virgin Steele - The Marriage of Heaven and Hell - Part One

• Evergrey - Hymns for the Broken

• On The Record: The Turtles- Skylar Gudasz

• Quick Flicks: David Bowie is

• Road Trip: Elvis in Shreveport: Still in the Building

• Cannibal Corpse - A Skeletal Domain

• MorleyView: From Light Rose The Angels

• Death - Leprosy

• Road Trip: Under the Volcano: Fun Erupts on Star Flyer Cruise to Nicaragua

• Godsmack - 1000hp

• Rock Reads: An Ozzy Osbourne Day-by-Day- Teenage News Issue 2

• The Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett Story

• Devo - The Men Who Make the Music

• Hot In The City: Voodoo Sex Cult's A Year and a Day

• Anthrax - Chile on Hell


.
.
.

Search for Tickets

Or Browse For Tickets

.
.
Today's Rock News
.

• Family Confirms AC/DC's Malcolm Young Has Dementia

• Jimmy Page Looks To Form New Band

• New Found Glory Claims One Direction Stole Their Song

• Weezer Streaming New Album Online

• Guns N' Roses' Bumblefoot Says It's Not So Easy For Axl Rose

• Judas Priest Already Looking Forward To Next Album

• Sixx A.M. Went For Bigger Vibe On New Album

• Halestorm Producing 'Magical' Moments In The Studio

• Nine Below Zero's Classic Lineup Reunites For Tour

• Pink Floyd Engineer Andy Jackson Releasing New Album

• Yes and IO Earth Lead Cruise To The Edge Lineup

• Idlewild Ending Their Five-Year Hiatus

• Enslaved Get To Work On New Album

• Nick Cave Launching Winter Tour

• Funeral For A Friend Announce Album and Release First Song

• U2 Eligible For A Grammy After All

• Tesseract Ink Deal For Release Of Next Album

• Devin Townsend Launches Ziltoid Web Video Series

• Engel Reveal New Album Release Plans

• John Petrucci Glad Dream Theater Stayed True


Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

.
.
Today's Pop News
.

• Chris Brown Vs TMZ

• Jennifer Lopez Rear-Ended By Drunk Driver

• Annie Lennox Calls Out Beyonce As 'Feminist Lite'

• One Direction Fans Vs Jon Stewart

• Preacher Threatens Kendrick Lamar, Jeezy with Lawsuit Over Sample

• Rain Man Sues Krewella For $5 Million

• Steve Aoki and Parody Site in Cease and Desist Battle

• Gwen Stefani Working On New Album With Pharrell

• Florida Georgia Line Reveal New Song Bumpin' the Night

• Darius Rucker Releases Homegrown Honey Video

• Dierks Bentley Raises $335K at Miles & Music Benefit

• The Game Releases New Track With Jeezy and Kevin Gates

• Chromeo Recruits HAIM, Napoleon Dynamite for 'Old 45's' Video

• Snoop Dogg Makes Offer To Alaska Over Legalization Bill

• DJ Mustard Releases Music Video for 'Ghetto Tales'

• Kanye West Not Done With New Album, Theophilus London Now Says

• Pharrell Williams Goes 64 Bit For It Girl Video

• Steve Aoki Talks Neon Future

.
.
Latest B-Sides News
.


• Scott Ian Relives Metallica Drama In Excerpt From Memoir

• Queen Release Alternate Version of Freddie Mercury's Love Kills

• Alice Cooper Goes Behind The Scenes of Paul McCartney Project

• Rancid Releases Video For Three New Songs

• Three Days Grace Reveal New Song 'I Am Machine'

• Original Judas Priest Singer Streams New Atkins May Project Song

• Lady Antebellum Launch 747

• Paul McCartney Releases New Wings Video

• Enchant Streaming Title Track From First Album in 10 Years

• Prog Supergroup Soen Release New Video

• Mark Lanegan Band Streaming New Song

• Singled Out: A is for Atom's Song For You

More News

.
 
anti Worthy Links
.
• AudioNationRadio.com • The Screen Door • A Journal of Musical Things • Lloyd Zeffler blog • Demolish Mag • Nightwatcher's House of Rock • CJ Chilvers • Deja Voodoo • The 1st Five • thecopycat.biz • Hard Rock Memorabilia • Day in Rock @twitter

.
  .
.

Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!
Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!



 

Tell a Friend about this page - Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2014 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved. antiMusic works on a free link policy for reprinting of our original articles, click here for details. Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.