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HIM Brings Hard Rock From Sweden

Of the Oakland Press

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There's a first time for all things. And for Swedish hard rockers HIM, the group's eighth album, "Venus Doom," is "the first time in our super-long career that everyone seems to be super-psyched about the whole thing," according to frontman Ville Valo.

"It's hard to have five guys loving the same album," Valo, 30, notes, "so it's a beautiful situation to be in. Everyone is super proud of their performances, the production and everything.

"I'm glad. It makes it fun to get back on tour."

"Venus Doom" entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 12, the best debut ever for the group. Valo says the goal for the album was to "raise the bar" -- "Not bad for a guy that just came out of rehab," he cracks -- which he says is pretty much the mission every time HIM (originally named His Infernal Majesty) hits the studio.

"You've got to challenge yourself, always," Valo explains. "I'm a big fan of AC/DC, but, still, I can't see our band doing the exact same thing for 20 years like that. We try to do something different.

"We have various influences and various idols in music and cinema who influence what we do. They all have a vibe of creating a bit [i]more.[/i] That's what we were after, to find something new and refreshing for the band. In that, I think we succeeded."

HIM and Bleeding Through perform Tuesday (Oct. 23) at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Tickets are $28.50 in advance, $31 day of show. Call (248) 399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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