HIM is a rock group from Finland formed in 1991 by vocalist Ville Hermanni Valo, guitarist Mikko Viljami "Linde" Lindström, and bassist Mikko Henrik Julius Paananen. After many lineup changes and a pause from 1991 to 1995 caused by the member's military services, the band now consists of the three founding members plus keyboardist Janne Johannes "Burton" Puurtinen and drummer Mika Kristian "Gas" Karppinen. HIM's widely-debated musical style is often referred to as "love metal" by Valo and by the group's fans.
After gaining popularity in Europe with the success of early albums such as 1999's Razorblade Romance, HIM became more well-known in the United States when professional skateboarder Bam Margera began using the band's heartagram logo and promoting them on his MTV series Viva La Bam.
The band started out covering artists such as Type O Negative, KISS, Danzig, Black Sabbath and Depeche Mode. The name HIM originally stood for "His Infernal Majesty", but was changed to HIM for several reasons; mainly (aside from the fact that the Finnish people found pronouncing the name difficult) that the band had no connection with the occult. This, and the heartagram logo, has later on caused a huge misconception, being that the band has Satanic affiliations.
HIM is also widely recognizable by the heartagram logo. It consists of a heart and a pentagram, which symbolizes the contrast between life and death or love and hate or even love and death together. Valo has said that "the heartagram stands for HIM as a band, as an entity, and for 'love metal' in general," and claims the band is a "love metal band". Despite conceptions perpetuated by their logo, Ville Valo has stated that HIM is not a Satanic band.