HIM (sometimes stylized as H.I.M.) was a Finnish gothic rock band from Helsinki. First formed in 1991 by vocalist Ville Valo and bassist Mikko “Mige” Paananen under the name His Infernal Majesty, the band broke up after only a few years, only to be reformed in 1995 by Valo and guitarist Mikko “Linde” Lindström. After being rejoined by Mige, as well as keyboardist Antto Melasniemi and drummer Juhana “Pätkä” Rantala, the band, now called HIM, released its debut album Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666 in 1997. In 2000, now with drummer Mika “Gas Lipstick” Karppinen and keyboardist Juska Salminen, the band released Razorblade Romance, which reached the number one spot in Finland, Austria and Germany. The first single “Join Me in Death” also charted at number one in Finland and Germany, eventually going platinum and gold, respectively. Following the addition of Janne “Burton” Puurtinen on keyboards, HIM released Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights (2001) and Love Metal (2003). Both cracked the top ten in several countries and allowed the band to tour in the United Kingdom and the United States for the first time.
In 2005, HIM released Dark Light, which became the group’s most commercially successful album to date. HIM also became the first Finnish group in history to receive a gold record in the US. In 2007, HIM released Venus Doom, the making of which was marred by problems in Valo’s personal life. Nevertheless, the album gave the band its highest chart position in the US at number twelve. After 2010’s Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice, HIM went on a hiatus after Gas Lipstick was forced to take medical leave. Following several months of uncertainty, the band regrouped and released the album Tears on Tape in 2013. Gas Lipstick announced his departure from the band in 2015 and was subsequently replaced by Jukka “Kosmo” Kröger. On 5 March 2017, HIM announced that the band would be disbanding following a farewell tour in 2017. The band played its final show on New Year’s Eve 2017 as a part of its annual Helldone Festival.
HIM is one of the most commercially successful Finnish bands of all time, with sales of over ten million records. HIM has also received numerous accolades, including eight Emma Awards. The band is known for its distinct sound, which combines more melodic and melancholic elements with heavier influences. This made it difficult for audiences to categorize HIM’s music, which led to the band coining the term “love metal”. HIM is also known for its logo, the heartagram, which has made numerous appearances in other media.