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Sentenced - The Funeral Album (CD)

Sentenced
The Funeral Album
by Panagiotis Koutsompogeras at 17 April 2005, 6:39 PM

Sentenced is definitely my favourite (and I bet one of your favourites too) Finnish bands! I can still remember when a friend of mine introduced me to them with their top Heavy Metal moment ever, the extraordinary Amok (1994) and the chills I felt down my spine back then. Since that very moment many rivers of time have flown into the sea of immortality and the winds of Lord Time brought significant changes to their musical approach and style. The saddest thing from all these is that Sentenced have finally and unfortunately found their way towards their musical grave. To cut a long way short, this is it man! This is Sentenced's final album!
There will be no reunion, no comeback and stuff  like what's been going on around the musical scene nowadays. This announcement really dipped my heart into the sea of sadness (all hail to Adrian Smith!) but since it's Sentenced's decision, everyone must pay respect to the black claded priests of depressive Metal.
From the first notes a more Rock attitude is evident here! Many layers of guitars, heavy riffing - dating back to their Down (1996)days. More guitar solos - which might even remind you scenes from their Amok album are found here and the two guitarists seem to have reinvented themselves! A more Rock production is also encountered here. The production has been performed by Hiili Hiilesmaa (too many vowels!) who has also worked with H.I.M., Moonspell and many more. There are some musical phrases in the song Ever - Frost which will remind you of the Exorcist. Where Waters Fall Frozen is a fast one-minute Metal frantic moment and is also very cool. Ville's voice also sounds very mature here! It's like he knows that he would sing for the last time with Sentenced and he transfers this feeling to us!
Someone must also refer to their Down track Keep My Grave Open where Ville states that certain things won't die that easily! Let's hope that the same thing will happen with Sentenced! The lack of strength which someone might have noticed in their previous albums is absent here. This implies a whole change in their songwriting attitude. Someone might have also tried to see an overall artistic similarity between this album and Carcass's Swansong. The addition of harmonica and choir of children really add to the album's intensity and prove the special character Sentenced had always demonstrated. A summary of the post-Down era of Sentenced is found here. Heavy Rock riffing, strong melodies, heart bleeding lyrics, all of these packed in the veils of melancholy. Lyrical themes centre around death (what a surprise!), loss, love, unity, disappointment and revenge but only to start with.
The cover is designed by drummer Vesa Ranta and focuses on the band's final step. Death and Funeral. Therefore it is strictly simple and bears sadness in it. We must also emphasize on some lyrics in the extra cool song Drain Me which say No Remorse, No Repent . This must be one of James Hetfield's favourite new Metal songs (not nu-Metal), and proves the effect of the legendary and underestimated Metallica and their contribution to the worldwide musical scene and universal civilization, the infernal Kill 'Em All album!  Ha, Ha, Ho!
Top tracks here include (and tears start falling from my eyes): May Today Become The Day, Ever - Frost, We Are But Falling Leaves, Vengeance Is Mine, Drain Me and End Of The Road.
It is really unfair though for the integrity of the whole album to only focus on the aforementioned highlights. Instead of pinpointing on certain independent songs we must consider The Funeral Album as a final statement, a massive suicide of five leading them to their musical graves! We won't have the chance to listen to any brand new songs from them (please bring my anti - depression pills!). The release date has been set for the 30th of May, 2005.
My last wish is that the future Metal and Hard Rock fans will understand the legacy Sentenced leave (especially with their Amok and Down albums) behind and I hope they seek more deeply into the band's music and lyrics so that they find out that through dark times and depression come the rivers of light and internal serenity at last! No one can listen to this album and not shed at least one tear! Well, the pure content of the album goes for a 4/5 plus a 0.5/5 for their total contribution to Heavy Metal's atmospheric part and their beautiful moments they have given and the answers they have provided us with! Remember my friend what Lovecraft said, … Not dead which eternal lies, yet with stranger aeons even death may die!!!

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
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 - Vocals
Sami Lopakka - Guitars
Mika Tenkula - Guitars
Sami Kukkohovi - Bass
Vesa Ranta - Drums
Record Label: Century Media Records
     


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