Thank you to all of my friends, especially in the HIM fanbase, for help with some details of the biography, and the discography in particular.
His Infernal Majesty (HIM) is:
Ville Hermanni Valo -- Vocals
Migé Amor -- Bass
Linde Lazer -- Guitar
Gas Lipstick -- Drums
Emerson Burton -- Keyboards
Summer 1995 - Ville Hermanni Valo, aged 18, forms a band with four others. Two of these members, Migé and Linde, would remain with the band until the present day, with several people coming and going throughout the band's life. And they named this band, "His Infernal Majesty".
Originating from Scandinavia, and with their chosen name, many people confused them for Satan-worshipers. It was at this point they adopted their current title, "HIM".
Their first EP, "666 Ways to Love" was released in 1996, in Finland only. But their first album was released in the autumn of 1997, titled, "Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666". In the eyes of their many long-term fans, this was their greatest work ever. Songs such as "Your Sweet Six Six Six," "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," and a cover of "Wicked Game" would define the sound of HIM for years to come. With music something like "Sentenced," HIM created something special. Labeled, "Death metal," "Gothic rock," and "Black metal" by some, Ville more than any other captured the essence of his music - "Love metal".
"Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666," has won HIM awards in the Best Album category, and earned them the chance to write a song for the Sci-Fi movie, "The 13th Floor." The song they wrote, "Join Me In Death," was a beautiful song, slow and soft, with HIM's characteristic melodical piano and a bassy guitar track. This song is also sadly misunderstood. It was far from a song about suicide, and physical death - as was perceived by many - but a song about the end of a relationship.
It was with a new member, Gas, and a second album, "Razorblade Romance," that the band finally earned the fame they deserved. The album quickly sold millions and went gold in Scandinavia. This album contained the slightly heavier songs: "Join Me In Death," "Right Here In My Arms," "Poison Girl," and "Gone With The Sin". Their concerts were always full and they played live with a great enthusiasm. Wherever they played there were screaming women, and they sounded even better live than on their albums.
Their third album, "Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights," was, yet again, slightly heavier than the last and the lyrics held greater depth and meaning. Ville explains why they chose the name, "In this album you can hear songs which I'm very satisfied, they are brilliant highlights, but there are also songs with which I'm not so much satisfied so they are deep shadows." It seems that most of their fans agreed with Ville, and many people were unhappy with the new songs. However, it did indeed have it's highlights, in particular, "In Joy And Sorrow," and "You Are The One". In early 2002, a new keyboarder, Burton, joined the band, completing the band's permanent members.
On the 10th of April 2003, HIM released their new album, "Love Metal". It seems that they have now turned their sights on the UK, with the video release of "Buried Alive By Love," and a new website to replace the old one, which was, to say the least, not worthy of the band. Love Metal is notably different than their other releases. It is fair to say that perhaps their work is a little tainted with modern "Nu-metal;" the tracks are, again, heavier than their others. "The Funeral Of Hearts," harkens back to old HIM tracks, but with a slightly more metallic sound, found in mainstream metal today. Personally I feel this is the reason, "Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights," failed to impress fans, but with their new sound, they are far more likely to break into the UK. As for America, I doubt they will release more than one album in the future, so the US seems like an unrealistic target. Still, it is in all a good album, if not a true sequel to, "Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666."
Whether HIM can regain the popularity that they experienced in Scandinavia with, "Razorblade Romance," remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: HIM are unlike anything you've heard before. They have a unique style, and their music is deep and emotional.
If you would like to hear HIM, I would suggest that you pick up yourself a copy of "Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666," truly one of the best albums ever made, and certainly His Infernal Majesty's.
Some of the track-listings below may differ from country to country. Most of these are the International versions. These are all the digipak-editions, which contain one or two more songs than the normal editions.
"Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666"
(3/11/1997 in Finland)
- For You (intro) -- 3:59
- Your Sweet Six Six Six -- 4:11
- Wicked Game -- 3:53
- The Heartless -- 4:01
- Our Diabolikal Rapture -- 5:20
- It's All Tears (Drown In This Love) -- 3:37
- When Love And Death Embrace -- 6:07
- The Beginning Of The End -- 4:07
- (Don't Fear) The Reaper -- 6:23
"Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights"
- I Love You (Prelude To Tragedy) -- 3:08
- Poison Girl -- 3:50
- Join Me In Death -- 3:36
- Right Here In My Arms -- 4:00
- Gone With The Sin -- 4:21
- Razorblade Kiss -- 4:18
- Bury Me Deep Inside Your Heart -- 4:16
- Heaven Tonight -- 3:18
- Death Is In Love With Us -- 2:57
- Resurrection -- 3:39
- One Last Time -- 5:10 (not on international version!)
- Sigillum Diaboli -- 3:53
- The 9th Circle (OLT) -- 5:11
- Salt In Our Wounds -- 3:57
- Heartache Every Moment -- 3:55
- Lose You Tonight -- 3:40
- In Joy And Sorrow -- 3:58
- Pretending -- 3:54
- Close To The Flame -- 3:46
- You Are The One -- 3:25
- Please Don't Let It Go -- 4:29
- Beautiful -- 4:33
- In Love And Lonely -- 3:46
- Don't Close Your Heart -- 4:14
- Love You Like I Do -- 5:36
Special edition also released in Finland, with some of the tracks replaced by new ones.
(14/04/2003 in Finland - four days after the UK!)
- Buried Alive By Love -- 5:01
- The Funeral Of Hearts -- 4:30
- Beyond Redemption -- 4:28
- Sweet Pandemonium -- 5:45
- Soul On Fire -- 4.02
- The Sacrament -- 4:32
- This Fortress Of Tears -- 5:46
- Circle Of Fear -- 5:27
- Endless Dark -- 5:35
- The Path -- 7:44
- Love's Requiem