It would be too easy to dismiss Finland’s HIM as a lighter, prettier side of doom rock. If we’re going to use analogies, you could consider HIM, with photogenic frontman Ville Valo, as doom rock’s Twilight, while Type O Negative are more like pioneering bloodsucker pic Nosferatu. But the comparison doesn’t quite work out, mainly because HIM have the musical chops to back up their dark romantic aesthetic. Their combination of Black Sabbath-inspired dirge, goth and New Romantic slickness has cut through genre barriers over seven albums. A HIM concert regularly attracts anemic goth kids, surly bikers and strippers who have the night off. The band’s latest album, Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice, is its most rock-oriented record, and “Heartkiller” is a near-perfect synthesis of HIM’s influences. The recent focus on the “rock” part of the group’s equation means a more solid live show this time around, with Vallo living it up as the charismatic leader. HIM play House of Blues (308 Euclid Ave., 216.523.2583), with We are the Fallen, Dommin and Drive-A opening at 7 p.m. Tickets: $26 advance, $28 day of show. — Norm Narvaja
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