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Sentenced
The Funeral Album
July 2005
Released: 2005, Century Media Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen

So, this is it; the end of the road for the Northernmost Killers themselves, Sentenced. The band has already made an unambiguous yet brave, public statement that there won´t be any Sentenced re-union after another re-union after possibly one more re-union after the one more final, ultimate re-union of all Sentenced´s re-unions, so I guess THE FUNERAL ALBUM is, as the title clearly should suggest already, that VERY last final album from them then. So we´d better accept it as a stone-carved fact, right dear folks?



As for the songs on THE FUNERAL ALBUM then, well, even without comparing it to any other of their past albums, this is thoroughly a very enjoyable and rewarding Sentenced album, having lots of those elements many have always loved in their sound, so it´s obviously safe to say many won´t consider Sentenced´s last album as any sort of a letdown album, I suppose. In fact, I think this is undoubtedly one of their best albums they have ever written, shining and bursting out its own melancholic and sorrowful beauty everywhere like any of their other, 4 previous albums have successfully managed to do. It gotta be said that Sentenecd haven´t lost their ´golden touch´ at any point while making songs for their very last effort. The band truly sounds damn good and convincing, yet again being able to create something on THE FUNERAL ALBUM of which the fans of the band will remember Sentenced for after the band has got their name carved on the tombstone and been laid down into its dark and silent grave for good. Songs like an ultra-catchy “Ever-Frost” could be one of those songs that people will remember for years after Sentenced´s funeral, yet “We Are but Falling Leaves” could be another Sentenced song that will be remembered due to its overall very well-recognizable Sentenced´ish, melancholic vibe in it, but also such funeral hymns as an absolutely beautiful and sensitive “Her Last 5 Minutes”, a somewhat catchy, ballad type of “Despair-Ridden Hearts” as well as a very well-moving, nearly danceable “Vengeance is Mine” are quite masterpieces in their own category if a certain amount of sheer catchiness and a fair load of other ´penetrates-pleasingly-into-your-mind´ ingredients could be used some sort of indicators for them in here. “Where Waters Fall Frozen” surely causes some confusion amongst those Sentenced –fans who are only aware of the Ville Laihiala –era Sentenced whereas “End of the Road” ends the last chapter for these masters of melancholy and sorrow in a somewhat perfect way, obviously being the only possible choice to end the whole successfully gone Sentenced –saga.



It could put it millions of other ways to all of you and say how good album THE FUNERAL ALBUM is indeed, but I think I still might not be able to do any justice for anyone by doing so. Therefore the only thing I can only do, is to suggest you to do a favor for yourself and beg you to go on your knees in front of Sentenced´s grave, letting THE FUNERAL ALBUM making you convinced that Sentenced was truly something; something extraordinary and truly special that probably cannot be repeated or cloned by no band ever again. So bye for good and rest well Sentenced...
Track Listing

01. May Today Become the Day
02. Ever-frost
03. We Are but Falling Leaves
04. Her Last 5 Minutes
05. Where Waters Fall Frozen
06. Despair-Ridden Hearts
07. Vengeance Is Mine
08. A Long Way to Nowhere
09. Consider Us Dead
10. Lower the Flags
11. Drain Me
12. Karu
13. End of the Road

Lineup

Ville Laihiala – Vocals
Sami Lopakka – Guitars
Miika Tenkula - Guitars
Sami Kukkohovi - Bass
Vesa Ranta - Drums

Concert Reviews

Next review: » Sentenced - The Funeral Album
Previous review: » Sentenced - The Cold White Light

Sentenced
The Funeral Album
August 2005
Released: 2005, Century Media Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

As Sentenced follows up their last studio album THE COLD WHITE LIGHT from 2002, this Finnish act have decided to lay the band to rest and that this is going to be their last album ever.



The band recorded this album in their home country in two studios, Tonebox and Finnvox Studios, it was mastered in Finnvox Studio by Mika Jussila and the producer of the album was Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, Moonspell, Apocalyptica, and Theatre of Tragedy). Hiili has also produced some of the band’s previous albums like CRIMSON and THE COLD WHITE LIGHT. Hiili manages to create the perfect sound for Sentenced. You can almost hear from what country they come from because they have the typical Finnish melancholy sound in their music. The production sounds dark, mysterious, sad, aggressive, and all at once and it sounds just like Sentenced should.



The band has featured 13 tracks on THE FUNERAL ALBUM and the guitar player Sami says this about the music “Overall there’s perhaps more depth in the lyrics and music then ever before”. I haven’t heard all of their albums but I can absolutely agree with Sami from what I have heard of them before. The material is strong all the way through and amongst the 13 tracks they have put in a totally instrumental song called “Where waters fall frozen” which reminds a lot of what they sounded like at the beginning of their career. The track is a fast death metal tune clocking in at less than one minute.



The ballads on the album are represented by “We are but falling leaves” which is a very sad and dark up tempo ballad that has hit potential, I think. Other songs worth mentioning are “May today become the day”, “Ever – Frost”, “Vengeance is mine” and “Consider us dead” – all heavy gothic rock tracks influenced by metal. The main focus is on Ville’s vocals and beneath him lies thick layers of solid guitar play. “Her last 5 minutes” and “Despair ridden hearts” are a few other sad gothic rock’n’roll tracks, gothic can’t be much darker than this and I think many of the other bands in this genre would like to able to write such brilliant material as this.



This album is one of the best gothic albums I’ve heard and I can assure you all that Sentenced closes when they are at their absolute top because this is a show off in how great goth should sound. Even the cover looks gothic and fits the band perfectly. It was made by the drummer Vesa Ranta, who usually does the covers. The band is will do a handful of shows during the summer before the final funeral.



May Sentenced rest in peace...
Track Listing

May today become the day
Ever – frost
We are but falling leaves
Her last 5 minutes
Where waters fall frozen
Despair ridden hearts
Vengeance is mine
A long way to nowhere
Consider us dead
Lower the flags
Drain me
Karu
End of the road

Lineup

Ville Laihiala – lead vocals
Sami Lopakka – guitar
Miika Tenkula – guitar
Sami Kukkohovi – bass
Vesa Ranta – drums

Concert Reviews

Next review: » Sentenced - The Funeral Album
Previous review: » Sentenced - The Cold White Light

Sentenced
The Funeral Album
September 2005
Released: 2005, Century Media
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: MetalGeorge

I can imagine in my mind’s eye the teardrops hitting the keyboard as I type this; my final review of a Sentenced album. The era of Sentenced is over, and I still can’t quite believe it. By far one of the most influential Finnish bands, and one of my absolute favorites, the emptiness they are leaving in their wake will be extremely hard to fill.



Believe it or not, what makes me even more disappointed is that THE FUNERAL ALBUM seems to me to be somewhat of a sour note to go out on. It isn’t that the album is BAD per se; it’s just after the melancholic majesty which was THE COLD WHITE LIGHT, this album seems more to be a “Sentenced by numbers” effort in comparison, similar to the band’s CRIMSON release.



It only when THE FUNERAL ALBUM reaches the half-way point where the paradigm begins to shift. Whereas the first half contains songs which are good (“Ever-Frost”), but slow-moving, the album’s latter half begins with a 56 second Death Metal blaster in the vein of the classic NORTH FROM HERE lp (a little gift for the diehard fans), and then doesn’t look back.



Tracks like “Vengeance is Mine”, “Lower the Flags”, “Consider Us Dead”, and the fantastically filthy “Drain Me” (in my opinion, one of the band’s best songs EVER), all end the record in rapid fire succession, succeeding in salvaging what could have been a ho-hum swansong.



So here we are, my final words on what will be the death of an absolutely amazing band. I guess all I can offer is a heartfelt THANK YOU to the boys for gracing us with so much suicide over the years. My heart is heavy, but I wish them nothing but the best...I’m sure we’ll be hearing something or other from them soon!



Rest in Pieces, Sentenced.
Track Listing

1. May Today Become the Day
2. Ever-Frost
3. We Are But Falling Leaves
4. Her Last Five Minutes
5. Where Waters Fall Frozen
6. Despair-Ridden Hearts
7. Vengeance is Mine
8. A Long Way to Nowhere
9. Consider Us Dead
10. Lower the Flags
11. Drain Me
12. Karu
13. End of the Road

Lineup

Ville Laihala-vocals
Sami Lopakka-guitars
Miika Tenkula-guitar
Sami Kukkohovi-bass
Vesa Ranta-drums

Concert Reviews

Previous review: » Sentenced - The Cold White Light





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