Released: 2005, Century Media
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.