By Emma Dean

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over twenty years since love metal hit our stereos and hearts. Whilst Scandinavia has always been well-known for its metal acts, HIM has been one of the main pioneers to pave the way for more Finnish bands to be seen on the world stage. And what a path they have blazed!

Unlike their previous remix compilation albums ‘Uneasy Listening Vol I & II’, ‘XX‘ is a collection of all the bands singles and a cover of the 1996 hit ‘Strange World‘ originally made famous by androgynous pop star . Whilst an unusual cover choice, the band are famous for taking obscure hits and making them even better than the original (yes Chris Isaak I’m talking to you).

Mostly radio edits of the singles, ‘Strange World‘ is followed by a track from their most successful album (and my personal favourite) ‘Razorblade Romance‘ – ‘Join Me in Death‘. Next up is the poppy ‘Heartkiller‘ from ‘Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice‘, a well chosen representative track of an album that veers into the groups more light-hearted sound.

Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly’ is probably the bands most well-known song from album ‘Dark Light’. Other fan favourites like ‘Your Sweet 666’, ‘Poison Girl’, ‘Heartache Every Moment’ and of course ‘Wicked Game’ round out the album.

Whilst some people see compilation albums as a sign of the end for a band, don’t be alarmed – ‘XX’ is a celebration of twenty years of hard work for HIM, who have well and truly earned a place in the history books.

‘XX’ is also here to tide us over until their next release, ‘Tears on Tape‘, which should hit the shelves mid-2013. ‘XX’ is a must for all die-hard fans or for those curious about just what the hell love metal is, it’s never too late to learn.



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