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Finnish "Love metal" pioneer HIM to leave the limelight

The Finnish group HIM was founded in 1991 and has since become one of the world's most widely lauded cult bands. HIM's swansong performance will be in London in December.

HIM-yhtye kuvattuna maaliskuussa 2013.
HIM is one of Finland's best-known musical exports. Image: Markku Ulander / Lehtikuva

Finnish rock group HIM has announced that it will be retiring from its 26-year music career. The band broke the news on its Facebook page (siirryt toiseen palveluun) on Monday.

Established in 1991, the group that invented the term "love metal" for its second album will begin a farewell tour in Spain in June. The series of at least 35 performances will span some 14 countries and end in London in December.

There is a chance to see the group for the last time in its home country, Finland, at the Tuska and Miljoonarock metal festivals. The group's social media update said that concert schedules for the USA and Finland will see changes later in the year.

HIM – short for "His Infernal Majesty" – has been personified by its founder and lead singer Ville Valo since the group's inception. Valo also invented the band's signature symbol, the heartagram.

"We completed the pattern, solved the puzzle and turned the key. Thank you," Valo said in the Facebook post.

Known for international bestsellers such as "Join Me in Death", "Wicked Game" and "When Love and Death Embrace", HIM has sold upwards of 10 million records worldwide.

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