HIM at KOKO
The early 20th century, blood-red decor of the KOKO auditorium is reminiscent of a set from Dracula. On Friday night the theatre thronged with Halloween revellers and the gothically clad fans of one of Finland’s biggest musical exports – HIM. The opening act was Massachusetts-based post-rock band Caspian; a selection of their sweeping, “gothic” instrumental tracks set the mood for the evening.
The night’s big event was introduced by way of Unleash the Red, the first song from HIM’s latest album Tears on Tape. The evening’s performance featured a crowd-pleasing mixture of favourites like Your Sweet Six Six Six, Chris Isaac’s cover of Wicked Game and the classic Join Me in Death, as well as tracks from the 2013 studio album, including the hit title song.
The show was energetic, flashy and full of crunch. Singer Ville Valo’s seductive voice was accompanied by the virtuosity of guitarist Lily Lazer (Mikko Lindström) and bass player Mige Amour (Mikko Paananen). Both proceeded to show off their talents, cavorting in front of the band’s famous heart/pentagram logo during an instrumental solo that brought back the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll and musical free-wheeling of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Van Halen (without guitar-smashing, though Lily Lazer did manage to hurl his across the stage). Indeed, these guys have in the past worked on a more typically rock ‘n’ roll album under the name of Daniel Lioneye and the Rollers, with the various band members reshuffled.
Characteristic brooding, so-called goth metal (or as the band prefer to call it “Love Metal”, playing on the two main themes of their music: love and death) shone through, with chilly synthesiser sounds recalling dark, Nordic winters. His Infernal Majesty delivered a cracking finale to the spooky Halloween festivities.
Photos: Alejo Garcia
For further information and future events visit HIM’s website here.
Watch the official video for Tears on Tape here: