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Vanguard: H.I.M.- Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights
By Greg Howell

You know those albums you listen to and before the first song is over, all you can think is, “My God, this is an awesome album.” That’s what I thought after hearing H.I.M.’s sophomore release, Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights. The follow up to their 2000 release, Razorblade Romance, which received a 5-star rating from, build on the goth rock foundation they laid down in 1996.

H.I.M., which stands for His Infernal Majesty, started in 1995 in Finland. The band is fronted by Ville Hermani Valla, with Migé Amour on bass, Lily Lazer on guitar, Gas Lipstick on drums, and Emerson Burton on keyboards.  They count pro skateboarder, Bam Margera as one of their biggest fans and the legions of H.I.M. fans grows with each album.

Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights starts out right with "Salt in our Wounds". It provides an energy that is carried throughout the whole album. That’s something I rarely find in albums these days. 

"On Heartache Every Moment", the listener is treated to a beautiful keyboard melody before Valla’s vocals come in and lash out against a former love with the proclamation, “It’s a heartache every moment, from the start to the end, it’s a heartache every moment with you.”

"In Joy and Sorrow", starts out with acoustic instrumentals and Valla sings softly and almost sounds like Johnny Cash on some of the low notes. The energy then picks back up for "Pretending"  Valla dares the subject of the song, to ‘keep on pretending’ and tells them it is a flame they can’t attain, leaving an echo that listener will remember.

If I had one complaint it would be that the album is too short. After it ends, I found myself wanting more. But if you want your music frothy with songs of love and gothic overtones, then I would highly recommend grabbing Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights as this is easily one of the top albums of 2004.

CD Info 

H.I.M.- Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights
Label: Universal Records
Salt In Our Wounds
Heartache Every Moment
Lose You Tonight
In Joy And Sorrow
Close To The Flame
Please Don't Let It Go
Don't Close Your Heart
Love You Like I Do
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