Love, loss, Satan and Sex... what more could you need?
Her Despair are a doomy rock 'n roll duo from Berkshire, UK, combining elements of metal, punk and goth to create a sound that is chilly yet romantic, lush yet stark, that will get you through many, many dark nights.
Hymns For The Hopeless is not as bleak as it sounds - it's actually a rather carnivel-esque good time, albeit a damned, haunted one. It kicks off with a falling piano refrain of "Dearly Departed". which sounds like a tense horror/thriller, ratcheted up to 140 bpm, with thick sheets of guitar and blastbeats. Her Despair flesh out their doom rock aesthetic - think The Doors or The Sisters Of Mercy - with flavors of black and doom metal, which helps iron out some of the cartoonish tendencies of Goth.
Basically, to make a long story short, if you like goth, darkwave, horrorpunk but are occasionally turned off by the cheese factor, Her Despair will lift your spirits. James Riley's vocals have the classic Goth baritone delivery - think Andrew Eldritch from The Sisters Of Mercy or Type O Negative's Peter Steele - which can be a hard look to pull off, but Riley does it, with some help by badass instrumentation.
As a former gothboy, I can judge this type of music pretty harshly, after listening to 1,000,000 bad cheesy goth records, so when I heard that chilly carbonite delivery, I froze, thinking I'd have to dredge the depths of my memory banks for a way to not be hideously insulting, but my fears were waylaid after a couple of songs. Even if they may SOUND like Type O Negative, they are not that. And, in light of some recent years camp explosion, most notably the band Ghost B.C., I've rediscovered an appreciation for this kind of campy, ghoulish, cartoonish romanticism.
If you dig movies like The Lost Boys, or bands ranging from The Cramps to the aforementioned goth superstars, you'll love Hymns For The Hopeless. Her Despair are in the process of expanding from a duo, to put together a fully fledged live band, so they are one to keep an eye on, for sure. They've got aspirations.
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