There is a time when you need something from the past, a disc that captures the enchantment of yesterday’s beauty. I can hardly describe VENUS DOOM, by HIM, with other words. Doesn’t mean I dislike their other albums, but this one in particular has become quite special for me.
The band’s usual soft rock sound becomes a little bit wilder on this record, mostly due to Ville Valo’s screaming. Dark tones can send shivers down the spine whenever he reaches maximum potential, especially in the first songs “Venus Doom” and “Love In Cold Blood.”
HIM’s music evolves to a more rock-oriented type with “Passion’s Killing Hope” and “The Kiss Of Dawn,” more focused on pure, primal feelings of love and loss, life and death, the epitome of Gothic aesthetics, or, even better, rescuing the best charm of the old-school with “Cyanide Sun,” one of their best tracks on VENUS DOOM.
“HIM becomes way much darker and even doom-like”
HIM becomes much darker and even doom-like on one of their longests tracks, “Sleepwalking Past Hope,” proving that different genres work just as well for them as their usual style. What I love the most about this album is the lyrics; although metaphorical, they are straight to the point and express a unity of feeling from different perspectives.
I found it most appropriate to include live versions of songs as emblematic as “Killing Loneliness” and “Wings of a Butterfly,” very special tracks for the audience at the time VENUS DOOM came out to market, and certainly a good detail for hardcore fans of the band.
Although I am at war with the great majority of critics, I accept that this is a much more experimental album for the band; they try new song structures, and deal with bizarre romance in the most elegant way possible. Worthy of admiration.
The remixes that appear at the end are curious and risky, especially “Love In Cold Blood (Special K RMX)” for its Arab rhythms. It’s strange to see traditional music mixed with electronic elements.
With its pros and cons, VENUS DOOM is still a great work of art, and proves to showcase one of HIM’s best sides.