Red hot goth rockers H.I.M. (His Infernal Majesty) are certainly the
most famous band to come out of Finland and many might agree - the
most talented. H.I.M.'s unique marriage of glam and goth have produced
some rabid fans as witnessed by the fervent response shown a couple of
nights ago at The Congress Theatre in Chicago.
Opening the show with "Soul On Fire" lead singer and goththrob Ville
Valo let it be known who was the master of the house. He exchanged
seductive wordplay with a voice that can be darkly full flavored
and then turn into a creepily sinister falsetto. Valo's stage presence
is at times Jaggeresque in his preenings and something all his own
with his devilish smiles that are clouded by the never-ending cigarettes
he smokes. "Join Me in Death" had Ville's lyrics and voice grow more evil as the
eerie piano and brooding rhythms took shape. The band consisting of
Valo, Mige Amour (bass), Lily Lazer (guitar), Gas Lipstick (drums)
and Emerson Burton (keyboards) are actually very good musicians who
create a swirling disarray of sound that all come together in
chaotic fashion under the structure of melody and hook. Their music is
rife with love songs about death and darkness. "Vampire Heart" took us to a darkly worded place with it's
hook-laden edge and deceiving cheerfulness. "Right Here In My Arms,"
a testament to togetherness, ended with Valo screaming the chorus "I
got a TV eye on you..." from The Stooges "TV Eye." Chris Isaak's
"Wicked Game" created layers of sound with echoing guitar riffs and
crashing drums building on Valo's extreme delivery.
Other songs that built on H.I.M.'s penchant for crushing guitars and
glowing melodies were more than evident with "Soul on Fire," "It's All
Tears" and "Killing Loneliness."
There were three large chandeliers that were suspended above the band
and moved about in some strange choreography with the music
throughout most of the show most notably on "Razorblade Kiss." The
song stormed on with slicing guitar licks and a chorus loaded with a
brooding melody. "Behind the Crimson Door" featured much softer verses
with a very strong chorus. The band closed their dynamic set with a
blistering encore of "Under the Rose," "Funeral of Hearts" and
"Buried Alive By Love."
Here's Your Chance
Your feedback will be featured on Rant or Rave within 24 hours.