HIM - Tears On Tape
Gothic Metal / Gothic Rock / Love Metal
13 songs (40:56)
Release year: 2013
Reviewed by Metalette

This album makes me feel really sentimental. Well it would if I had sentiment, ‘cause that’s not metal, right? Anywho, this year’s release from HIM is bittersweet and full of lost love, broken hearts, scars, and tears. Yet it’s also uplifting, which is something HIM always manages to be, and I think that sets them apart from more glum, wallowing-in-pity bands. Tears On Tape is sophisticated and dignified, but also painful and soul-baring. And the album artwork is mesmerizing; major props to the artist.

There’s a meaty track list – with 13 songs – on the album, although one comes to find that there are really 9 full songs, and 4 intro/outro/transition tracks. Unleash The Red is an elegant, mood-inducing intro that blends seamlessly into the first song. Trapped In Autumn and Lucifer’s Chorale are instrumental (kind of) pieces that, I’ll be honest, I really don’t get. They’re artsy and full of odd noises, but that’s about all. But Kiss The Void is an extremely well-done outro that wraps up the album with a feeling of profound reflection. I love outros like that – you just kind of sit there, bowled over by the weightiness of the whole album and then, in Kiss The Void’s case, the outro ends so abruptly, you’re left feeling wonderfully hollow and desolate. Yeahhh.

I’m a big fan of Ville Valo’s vocals (that was fun to say!) and was not disappointed in the least by his vocals on this album. He uses a range of techniques throughout the tracks, including plenty of his trademark falsetto and sighs. In W.L.S.T.D., he makes great use of his rich, deeper vocals and during the key-change at the end, really just belts it out magnificently. I was impressed.

A couple of notably fun leads can be heard in All Lips Go Blue – plenty of “wah” on the guitar – and Love Without Tears. I enjoy being able to hear the bass in songs, so I was pleased to hear all the chugging, throaty bass keeping a steady line under the music throughout the album (a good example is the bass in the song Tears On Tape).

My favorite songs on the album include Into The Night, Tears On Tape, W.L.S.T.D., and All Lips Go Blue. The hand-claps and groovy beat of Into The Night, along with the long falsetto notes in the chorus, make it a fun song to rock to. The title track, Tears On Tape, is beautifully riveting and just made to be sung along with. I would describe W.L.S.T.D. as generally intense, with the great vocals I mentioned earlier; just a really cool song and a bit heavier than much of the album. All Lips Go Blue has a great main riff, a cool acoustic interlude, and a catchy chorus, altogether making it a fitting song to start off the album (after the intro).

It’s an album full of the quality and melancholy that you expect from HIM. The famous Finnish rockers have done it again with Tears On Tape.

Killing Songs :
All Lips Go Blue, Tears On Tape, Into The Night, Hearts At War, W.L.S.T.D.
Metalette quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by HIM that we have reviewed:
HIM - Dark Light reviewed by Ben and quoted 75 / 100
HIM - Love Metal reviewed by Jay and quoted 79 / 100
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