antiMusic Logo
Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Feeds
spacer
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

.



advertisement
advertisement

.
News Reports
.

• Day in Rock:
Megadeth's Nick Menza Cause Of Death Confirmed- Van Halen's Future Pondered By David Lee Roth- Led Zeppelin Trial Forces Robert Plant To Cancel Benefit Show- more

• Day In Pop: 1 Killed, 3 Wounded In Shooting At T.I. Concert- Brad Paisley Reveals Demi Lovato Duet 'Without a Fight'- Justin Bieber Sparks Controversy With Argentinean Flag Tossing- more

• Motley Crue Ended On Bad Terms?- Rock Is Dead Says Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea- Crazy Train: Ozzy Osbourne To Get Tram Named In His Honor- Paul McCartney- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock


advertisement

.
Rock News Stories
• Megadeth's Nick Menza Cause Of Death Confirmed

• Van Halen's Future Pondered By David Lee Roth

• Led Zeppelin Trial Forces Robert Plant To Cancel Benefit Show

• The Tragically Hip Announce Farewell Tour

• Allman Brothers Band Albums Set For Audiophile Reissue

• KISS' Paul Stanley Explains Why He Reunited With Ace Frehley

• Manowar Announce Plans For Farewell Tour

• Asking Alexandria Release 'Here I Am' Video

• Gwar Working On First Album Without Dave Brockie

• Periphery Streaming New Song 'The Price Is Wrong'

• Pink Floyd To Be Honored By Royal Mail With Stamp Collection

• The Dead Daisies Release Teaser Video For New Album

• Aerosmith's Joe Perry Asked Johnny Depp For Guitar Lesson

• Four Year Strong Release Who Cares? Video

• Henry Rollins Helps Dinosaur Jr. Announce New Album

• Toby Jepson Announces New Band Wayward Sons

• Aisles Announce Double Concept Album 'Hawaii'

• Alice In Chains's Jerry Cantrell Brought Deftones To Tears

• Halestorm's Lzzy Hale Was Inspired by Moment Of Jealousy

• The Virginmarys Release 'Motherless Land' Video

• Lacuna Coil Interviewed By Sock Puppets In New Online Video

• Blessthefall Release 'Oathbreaker' Video, Announce Summer Tour

• Between The Buried And Me Figured It Out With 'Coma Ecliptic'

• Hellions Streaming New Song 'Quality Of Life'

• Motley Crue Ended On Bad Terms?

• Rock Is Dead Says Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea

• Crazy Train: Ozzy Osbourne To Get Tram Named In His Honor

• Paul McCartney Launches Virtual Reality Series

Other Music News Stories
• 1 Killed, 3 Wounded In Shooting At T.I. Concert

• Brad Paisley Reveals Demi Lovato Duet 'Without a Fight'

• Justin Bieber Sparks Controversy With Argentinean Flag Tossing

• Florida Georgia Line Cover Backstreet Boys Song

• One Direction's Niall Horan Working On New Songs

• Jay Z's References 'Lemonade' and Prince On New Remix

• Beck and Flume Release New Song 'Tiny Cities'

• Lil Wayne and Birdman Call Off Settlement Talks?

• Randy Travis Stars In New Film 'The Price'

• Bruce Springsteen Offers His Coat To Underdressed Adele

• OneRepublic Talk New Song 'Everywhere I Go'

• Maren Morris Goes R&B With 'No Diggity' Cover

• Dierks Bentley Discusses The Inspiration For 'Black'

• Anne Hathaway And James Corden Face Off In Rap Battle

• Singled Out: D. FRANCISCO's I Want Ya

• Dierks Bentley Lines Up Media Appearances For Black Release

• Kanye West Sued For $2.5 Million Over Plagiarism Claim

• Drake's 'Views' Smashes Streaming Records

• Little Big Town Announce Pharrell Produced Album 'Wanderlust'

• A Great Big World's 'Won't Stop Running' Inspired By MS Battle

• Ariana Grande Releases 'Into You' Video

• Pink Surprised By Her Fan-Girl Crush Johnny Depp

• Chewbacca Mom Gets A Lesson From J.J. Abrams

• Beyonce Pays Tribute To Prince in Minneapolis

• Kanye and Kim Celebrate Their 2nd Wedding Anniversary

• Singled Out: The Devyl Nellys Funk Is Free

• Liam Gallagher Has Strong Response to Oasis Reunion Rumors

• Lady Antebellum To Host ACM Honors

Reviews
• All Recent Reviews and Interviews

• Red Tide Rising - Voices

• Denner Shermann - Satan's Tomb

• The Blues: Blind Lemon Peel Blues All-Stars - Don't Tear My Clothes

• Steve Porcaro - Someday/Somehow

• Kiefer Sutherland Live

• The Allman Brothers Band - Live From A&R Studios, New York, August 26, 1971

• Howardian - A Smurf at Land's End

• Anvil is Anvil

• Album of the Week: Generation X

• Root 66: Darryl Purpose - Still the Birds

• Quick Flicks: The Dollyrots - Family Vacation: Live in Los Angeles

• 5 Star Friday: Searching for Sugar Man

• Rock Reads: Show Posters: The Art and Practice of Making Gig Posters

• Vehemence - Forward Without Motion

• Ben Craven - Last Chance to Hear

• The Rides - Pierced Arrow

• Psychedelic Shack: Black Rainbows- Deadsmoke- Duel- Holy Grove

• Roots of Creation - Livin Free

• On The Record: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Live - Volume 1

• Classics: Prince's Purple Rain

• The Blues: New Blues Revolution, Golden State - Lone Star Blues Revue, Peter Karp

• Lita Ford - Time Capsule

• The Blues: Jeff Healey - Heal My Soul

• Rock Reads: Little Gray Bastards- The Incessant Alien Presence

• Guns N' Roses Month: Chinese Democracy

• Iron Maiden Live In Chicago

• Grey Heaven Fall - Black Wisdom

• The Blues: Keb' Mo' - Keb' Mo' Live: That Hot Pink Blues Album

• Guns N' Roses Month: Use Your Illusion I and II

• Passport: Lakou Mizik - Wa Di Yo

• Keith Morris & the Crooked Numbers - The Dirty Gospel

• Road Trip: Treefort Music Fest 2016

Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2016 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved.

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.