HIM, 'Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice' (Sire)

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Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice
Critical Mass
Label: Sire

by Jon Dolan

This Finnish "love-metal" band had a minor modern-rock hit with 2005's "Wings of a Butterfly," while 2007's Venus Doom grasped for proggy cred. But here they're back trying to build that elusive American fan base by sounding like a pro forma emo-fed hard-rock band with some likably silly Euro-doom flourishes. Old-school romantic Ville Valo croons as often as he screams, so that even when aiming for the stylistic median, a bit of local weirdness oozes forth to make Screamworks more interesting than it's designed to be.

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