Finnish rock band HIM (His Infernal Majesty) will release its new album, "Tears On Tape", on April 30 via Razor & Tie in North America and on April 29 through DoubleCross (Cooking Vinyl's specialist rock imprint) in the U.K. and Ireland. The "love metal" act's eighth official album was recorded at Helsinki's Finnvox Studios with longtime producer Hiili Hiilesmaa (APOCALYPTICA, AMORPHIS, MOONSPELL) and was mixed in London, England by Tim Palmer, who previously helmed 2005's "Dark Light" and 2007's "Venus Doom".
"Tears On Tape" track listing:
01. Unleash The Red
02. All Lips Go Blue
03. Love Without Tears
04. I Will Be The End Of You
05. Tears On Tape
06. Into The Night
07. Hearts At War
08. Trapped In Autumn
09. No Love
10. Drawn & Quartered
11. Lucifer's Chorale
13. Kiss The Void
In addition to the 13 new tracks, the very exclusive and very limited "fanpack", presented by Metal Hammer magazine and DoubleCross Records features some not-to-be-found-anywhere-else content. Exclusively available from April 29 for four weeks, it comes with a bespoke 132-page magazine edited by frontman Ville Valo himself that plays as the ultimate sleeve notes to the album, including:
* Full studio album + 2 bonus tracks ("Buried Alive By Love" and "The Kiss Of Dawn" recorded live in the studio)
* Giant double-sided door poster
* Exclusive interviews with Ville Valo and all members of HIM
* An extended track-by-track guide to "Tears On Tape"
* An interview with the architects behind the sound of "love metal" Hiili Hiilesmaa and Tim Palmer
* A detailed guide to HIM's extensive back catalog
* The true, exclusive story of the Heartagram
* An exclusive gallery from the band's own private collections
* Interviews by the band with as assortment of their own heroes
The album's artwork, which artist Daniel P. Carter describes as having come about via "a series of strange coincidences involving Lee Dorrian, sacred geometry and the ramblings of a madman," is revealed below.
"I think Ville and I share similar interests in a lot of the more esoteric things," says Dan, "so working on the art was an intense and exciting collaboration..."
"Basically, we're making what I'd call 'modern retro,'" HIM singer Ville Valo told Revolver magazine about the musical direction of the new album, which he says will sound like "ROY ORBISON meeting METALLICA." "We wanted it to be nasty, fucked-up, and messy, and have that punk-rock attitude. But then on the other hand, it would also have that Roy Orbison naive, sentimental, dream-like quality."
According to Valo, HIM was originally scheduled to begin work on "Tears On Tape" at the end of 2011, but a repetitive-strain injury suffered by drummer Mika Kristian Karppinen (a.k.a. Gas Lipstick) — which left the skinsman unable to lift even a cup of coffee, much less pound a drum kit — forced the bandmembers to re-evaluate their desire to carry on.
"I think because he had the ailment, we had the opportunity to reassess what we had," Valo explained. "It was a miniscule existential crisis. We had to figure out what we really want to do and if we really like each other enough to continue through the hardest times-or do we want to call it a day?"
Asked about the meaning of the new HIM album title, Valo said, "For me, what it means is how songs —I'm not talking about our songs, but songs in general — can be milestones. You hear a song and it brings you to where you heard that song for the first time, or when it meant something really big to you. 'Tears On Tape' means that I appreciate the people who have really poured their souls and hearts out on tape, and showed that to the rest of the world for the better or for the worse. I wouldn't be here without those tears of Elvis Presley on tape."
HIM's current lineup is Ville Valo (vocals), Mikko "Linde" Lindström (guitar), Mikko "Migé" Paananen (bass), Janne "Burton" Puurtinen (keyboards), and Mika "Gas" Karppinen (drums). The band is managed by Seppo Vesterinen at Hinterland, Inc. and represented for U.S. touring by Justin Hirschman/AGI.
HIM performed a brand new song entitled "I Will Be The End Of You" during their headlining concert at the Helldone festival on December 29, 2012 at Tavastia in Helsinki, Finland. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below.