“HIM changed my life in a big way”: Celebrating the enduring impact of Love Metal

On April 11, 2003, fourth album Love Metal changed the game for Ville Valo and HIM. And it fans’ changed lives, too…

“HIM changed my life in a big way”: Celebrating the enduring impact of Love Metal
Kerrang! staff

April 11 marks the anniversary of Love Metal, the breakthrough fourth album from Finland's finest, HIM, released in 2003. It was the record that would launch Ville Valo and co. to stardom beyond his native land for the first time, and it would change the lives of countless fans around the world. Don't believe us? Then get a load of this lot below. We asked HIM fans to get in touch and send in their stories, photos, tattoos and album's enduring appeal and impact. We were inundated and we couldn't possibly publish everything, but here is a selection of some of our favourite submissions.

Thank you for all for sending everything. Here's to Love Metal…

Provo Kathi

“I remember when Love Metal came out in 2003. The Funeral Of Hearts video was all over MTV and this pale and dark, almost ghost-like figure with an incredibly beautiful, comforting voice and piercing green eyes caught my attention – and my heart. Since then I have been under his spell. The duality of the heartagram symbol fascinated me: good and evil, light and dark, life and death, love and pain. Valo’s philosophy on life, constantly caught between these two entities in an eternal circle, became my own. Yet it took the painful death of a beloved person in 2016 to getting it inked on my skin. I never thought that one band could contain all the highs and lows that my life has put me through, but letting go of HIM also meant letting go of them.”

Diego Mendoza

“HIM changed my life in a big way. I got into rock’n’roll thanks to them, I learned guitar to Venus Doom, I formed a band and made tons of friends, all thanks to my love for HIM. They were the merging of everything I love in music: a unique voice, heavy guitars, solos, yet cool ballads and melodies, great pianos, and poetic lyrics. HIM are to me what Black Sabbath were to Ville. He is my hero; so dark and mysterious yet so down to earth, and a musical genius. Through his lyrics and his interviews, he was the first person to put into words things that I thought were only in my head. I relate perfectly to HIM, the heartagram and Ville Valo. I don’t see myself as just a rocker, metalhead, punk or thrasher. Love Metal is the perfect description of my life. My tattoos are my favourite band (the heartagram), my hero and my favourite album ever.”

Hayley Lyda

“My fiancé proposed to me after a HIM show in Dallas. He even made reference to my favourite song when he asked me. We drove eight hours to get there and we were the first people in line at 5am. It was truly the best day of my life and I’ll always have HIM to thank for that.”

James Oakley

“Where do I even start trying to explain this obsession? It’s not every day you pick up an album, and find yourself still buying every single item the band ever released 18 years later. That alone shows how much of an impact HIM have made on my life. Even now that they have sadly called it a day, I’m still finding new things to add to the collection.”

Anne-Marie Scholich

“I first heard HIM’s music when I was 13 years old and I was sold. I swore I would never wear anything other than black again! My mum then took me to one of their gigs and then the both of us fell in love. Thanks to HIM we’ve been going to shows together for years now.”

Aimee Kennedy

“I’ve been a huge fan of HIM for the past 10 years. I introduced them to my best friend and we bonded over them, so after the farewell tour we decided it was probably about time we got matching tattoos. Ville is an incredible singer and songwriter so I can’t wait to see what he does with his solo career. Love Metal is probably my favourite album ever.”

The feature was originally published on April 11, 2018, celebrating 15 years of Love Metal.

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