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The Funeral Album
(Century Media Records)

Well, what do you have? Actually, I never got into the styles Sentenced have turned into after their amazing "North From Here". So, I was very sceptic when I decided to write about this swansong. I suspected the album would be... if not boring, at least Metal with a rockish attitude I don't like. I was sure the sound would be great, and that's a sure thing to notice when the opener 'May Today Become The Day'. The sound is really good. It's very clear, and thinking of all the music I've heard throughout the years, I can't really think of bands that sound more or less exactly the same as Sentenced. Now, that's a sign of quality and identity. That I personally don't like this warm melancholic sound too much, shouldn't be a reason to avoid a purchase. The songs are catchy, and the album as a whole is surprisingly varied. I expected 13 tracks of plain Metalrock, where each track ended up sounding more or less the same. But, as I heard the album, and the album grew a bit on me, I managed to differ the tracks rather easily. Of course, the Sentenced riffing is always there, but some melody-lines take away the focus on the exact riffing. The single 'Ever-Frost' is cool, and has a melody that sticks to your mind. No wonder they choose this as a single. This is Rock'n'Metal of a high class. One thing that strikes me when I listen to the beginning of 'We Are But Falling Leaves' is that the vocals are not strong. He doesn't sing with power, and he barely manages to hold the tunes. However, at the same time Ville's vocal is warm and has an identity of its own. He gives the music a personality, and it feels like it couldn't have been any other kind of voice for Sentenced's funeral music. The melody line towards the end of this track is really sad... I imagine a band that sits around the table, drinking the last beer and nod in respect to each other, saying "... well done, lads..." (though obviously in Finnish). And they leave the building when 'End Of The Road' sets in and it's time to depart. Personally speaking, despite the qualities of "The Funeral Album", I don't bother too much. Sentenced have never done anything for me after their brilliant "North From Here". But one thing shall they get credit for, they leave while they are on top, since "The Funeral Album" is strong as a whole and has a lot of music qualities. If I listen to the album 20 times the coming week, I may even start to like it. One point extra added for the tribute they show to "North From Here" in the short instrumental 'Where Waters Fall Frozen'.

Roy Kristensen

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