Love Metal Archives Vol. 1- HIM

Release Year: 2005

Rating: 8/10

Hopefully by now you’ve heard how Finnish band HIM will make their return this fall. To celebrate their comeback, let’s look at their Love Metal DVD. It seems the band had one goal in mind when putting this together: making sure the fans got their money’s worth. Not only will you find just about all of the band’s videos up to 2004, you also get tons of live performances and behind the scenes looks at your favorite videos. As the box boasts on the back, it’s over 5 hours of material. Unfortunately, it does seem like too much at times.

First, the music videos. You get to watch HIM’s videos from 1997-2004. There are even alternate versions of certain clips available. For instance, there are three different versions of “Wicked Game” and two different videos for “Heartache Every Moment” for your viewing pleasure. When keeping this in mind, it’s weird that only one version of “Join Me in Death” pops up since there are three as well. Personally, I don’t think many of HIM’s videos are super exciting as they all seem to be reminding the viewer how sexy Ville is (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but still it’s great for anyone who wants to have their videos in one place, especially since some of the alternate versions are difficult to find online. At this time, this is the only video collection for the band, so it’s pretty cool to have. With their return, hopefully they’ll release an updated version that includes their videos from Dark Light onward.

As a bonus, you also get more than 25 live performances. It’s great that the band included these clips to make it different from other video collections, but the issue at least for me is HIM is not a great live band. It’s not that they don’t sound good, they usually sound spot on. It’s that they aren’t that energetic or anything. They’re not a visual band like Green Day or Marilyn Manson. Ville usually just stands there looking sexy while smoking a cigarette. He sounds good, but he just doesn’t move much. Also, there are so many clips that unless you’re in a really good HIM mood, you won’t get through all of them in one sitting. Usually, one or two live clips will satisfy your HIM craving as trying to get through them all is pretty tiring.

But if the live performances don’t do it for you, not to worry because the band included extra goodies! There are the standard biographies and photos for each HIM album up to Love Metal, but there are also behind the scenes of videos, interviews with Ville and even promotion kits from BMG. This last bit is my favorite because it tells you information about whatever album it’s for, plus it has interview footage of Ville and other members of the band. One of them is just 24 minutes of the front man discussing the birth of Love Metal. Whether you want to learn more about the band or just want to see how much you know, these extras are a must see.

What I find cool about the DVD are the menus and the navigation. I like how most of the live performances, the extras, and the videos are separated by album. To find the “In Joy and Sorrow” video just look under Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights and so forth. Or if you just want all the videos to play back to back, just hit the play all videos option. You can also do the same for the live performances. Or if you want to see everything the DVD has to offer, just hit the A-Z option. Not only are the menus handy, they’re also beautifully decorated with ornate patterns and the heartagram.

My only complaint about the DVD is that it’s seems like too much at times. I guess it really depends on your mood, but sometimes it feels overwhelming. It’s like there’s way too much to get through or by the time you finish watching all the videos you won’t have enough energy to watch the bonus footage. But I think it’s better to have too much on the disc, rather than too little. There’s nothing worse than paying 20 bucks or more for a disc that lacks in extra features. At least they made sure it was worth buying.

Overall, the DVD gets 8/10. So far it’s the most definitive HIM DVD out there. It may not have every single video of theirs, but it comes pretty close. Music videos, live clips, photos, and interviews are enough to get your HIM fix. While it may seem to be too much at times, it’s still great to have all these clips on one disc. It’s definitely something you can put on anytime and find something new that you may have missed before. Now that the band is making their return, maybe they’ll release another disc like this to go along with their new compilation album.

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