HiM – Our Point of Departure

Our Point of Departure

June of ’44 has sunk. From what I hear, the band is no more. Like many sunken ships, this one had a treasure still to be looted. The sailors wasted no time recovering bits and pieces of what was gained on that June of ’44 voyage. Him comes as pieces of that treasure. Three of the four members come together to play nothing close to the sound that Jo44 had. They even play their same instruments and come nothing close to those glory days at sea. The other land lovers in the group come from the bands The Boom, The Sorts, and Golden. To list the other bands would take to long, so just look at a Jof44 family tree somewhere on the net.
Having two percussionists would seem a bit overpowering, but they pull it off smooth. It is layered well and keeps the same tempo throughout the whole album without ever getting boring. Jazz influenced layers of sound keep the chaos going while the percussion drives you down a long straight freeway.
A hint of Latin influence drumming begins in “Arrival.” Electronic beats come in sounding like pennies being dropped and rattling until they stop. Saxophone eventually comes in to add a more jazz flavor. “Liberation Part 1” starts off with electronics with a dark feel mixed with a grooving beat. The guitar layers are very minimal and the horns dance in between the spaces of the percussion. Since the tempo is the same through the whole album, the transistions between songs flow like nothing else. “Liberation Part 2” keeps the fast groove as the guitar kicks back and says a few words in the background.
Somehow with a fast and steady tempo, “Third Wish” conjures up a mood of mellowness. The approach of “Weary Not Beaten” comes in softly. The song has an intricate and precise background with diverse and free foreground. In “Persistent Life,” the instruments come forward gradually one at a time. It turns into an interplay of a sax and trumpet and gradually fades away. Sounds like a persistent life to me.
I have to admit, I was upset when I heard Jof44 would not be playing together. If remnants of the wreckage keep coming out looking like Him, I will get over it soon.