And so ends a new beginning. Nine short months have passed since "Neon Noir" cast its goth-inflected enchantments on the world. As a record, it was more than twelve wrought-iron statements of intent. It marked a triumphant return of HIM frontman Ville Valo to the live stage, and the ensuing seasons have seen His Infernal Majesty summoning a long dormant worldwide flock with a bold new testament to his rare ability to craft timeless melodies that speak powerfully to matters of the heart.
But while VV's glorious second act has already seen its share of brilliant highlights, it now emerges that some of its brightest moments are yet to come. More importantly, it has been announced that they will not shine forever.
Hot on the heels of a rapturously received "Neon Noir" tour and a current U.S. run with BLACK VEIL BRIDES comes a new slew of dates which will include the return of legendary, Valo-curated New Year's bash Helldone Festival on December 31. It will also see VV making a historic, headlining appearance at one of the most prestigious and revered music venues in the world: London's Royal Albert Hall on May 10, 2024.
As the artist formerly of the band HIM now reveals, these are more than mere upcoming appearances. Not only will they mark the end of "Neon Noir"'s touring cycle. They will also herald the end of Ville Valo's latest reincarnation.
He says: "The idea behind VV and 'Neon Noir' was to symbolically finish what HIM started, and after the bangs and whimpers at the Royal Albert Hall, it's time to reshuffle the pieces of the puzzle once again and give Herbert West a shout." As for what might come next, well — that's a mystery, for now. "I had no expectations whatsoever when releasing music under the banner of VV, so I've been quite shocked to see people still find my kind of racket enjoyable, warts and all. Touring has been way less painful than I dared to hope, and as we say in Finland, it fits my arse like a glove. A mourning glove from a bygone era."
"Neon Noir" tour 2023/2024:
Dec. 31 - Helldone Festival, Helsinki (Tavastia Club)
Mar. 13 - Auckland, New Zealand (The Powerstation)
Mar. 15 - Melbourne, Australia (Northcote Theatre)
Mar. 16 - Sydney, Australia (Metro)
Mar. 17 - Brisbane, Australia (Tivoli)
With special guest EIVØR and support from ZETRA:
Apr. 04 - Athens, Greece (Fuzz Club)
Apr. 05 - Thessaloniki, Greece (Principal Club Theater)
Apr. 06 - Sofia, Bulgaria (Joy Station)
Apr. 08 - Bucharest, Romania (Sala Palatului)
Apr. 09 - Belgrade, Serbia (Dom Omladine)
Apr. 11 - Ljubljana, Slovenia (Cvetlicarna)
Apr. 12 - Bratislava, Slovakia (MMC)
Apr. 13 - Katowice, Poland (MCK)
Apr. 15 - Vilnius, Lithuania (Compensa)
Apr. 16 - Riga, Latvia (Palladium)
Apr. 17 - Tallinn, Estonia (Helitehas)
Apr. 19 - Oulu, Finland (Tullisali)
Apr. 20 - Seinäjoki, Finland (Rytmikorjaamo)
Apr. 21 - Jyväskylä, Finland (Lutakko)
Apr. 23 - Tampere, Finland (Pakkahuone)
Apr. 24 - Turku, Finland (Logomo)
Apr. 25 - Turku-Stockholm, Finland (M/S Viking Grace)
Apr. 26 - Gothenburg, Sweden (Pustervik)
Apr. 28 - Oslo, Norway (Rockefeller)
Apr. 29 - Stockholm, Sweden (Berns)
Apr. 30 - Copenhagen, Denmark (Amager Bio)
May 02 - Bremen, Germany (Aladin)
May 03 - Leipzig, Germany (Haus Auensee)
May 04 - Wiesbaden, Germany (Schlachthof)
May 05 - Brussels, Belgium (A.B.)
May 07 - Tilburg, The Netherlands (013)
May 10 - London, UK (Royal Albert Hall)
Tickets for the "Neon Noir" 2024 tour go on general sale on Friday, September 15.
Valo played his first solo concert in the U.S. under the VV banner on March 31 at TLA (Theatre For The Living Arts) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Joining Ville on stage as part of his backing band are Mikko Virta on guitar, Risto Rikala on drums, Sampo Sundström on guitar and Juho Vehmanen on bass.
VV's debut album, "Neon Noir", was made available on January 13 via Heartagram Records, distributed by UMG/Spinefarm.
In April 2022, Valo released the first single from "Neon Noir", a song called "Loveletting", which marked his first new music in over two years, following the release of the three-track "Gothica Fennica Vol. 1" EP, also released under the VV banner, in March 2020.
Like "Neon Noir", "Gothica Fennica Vol. 1" bore a strong musical resemblance to HIM and featured the tracks "Salute The Sanguine", "Run Away From The Sun" and "Saturnine Saturnalia".
HIM completed a farewell tour in 2017, closing the final chapter on the band's 26-year career.
Formed in 1991 by Valo, guitarist Mikko "Linde" Lindström and bassist Mikko "Migé" Paananen, HIM offered the world a new take on the metal genre, which became known as "love metal" (also the title of their fourth album).