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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

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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 Funeral Album





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