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Tragenda Webzine 5+ / 6Englishread »
Detritus Rock/Metal e-zineEnglishread »
Metal Will Never Die 10 / 10Italianread »
Metal District 10 / 10Germanread »
Evil Rocks HardGermanread »
Walls Of Fire Metal Mag. 10 / 10Germanread »
Metal-Rules.com 4.7 / 5Englishread »
Gryphonmetal Englishread »
SoneraPlaza Kaista4 / 5Finnishread »
Heavy Metal Mania - The Greek Metal Webzine9 / 10Englishread »
Metal Abyss 9,5 / 10Englishread »
Blabbermouth.net 8 / 10Englishread »
MetalManiacs.it Web Zine 10 / 10Englishread »
MetalManiacs.it Web Zine 9 / 10Italyread »
Urkraft Webzine 9 / 10Englishread »
SFP Magazine 9 / 10Finnishread »


Tragenda Webzine 5+ / 6

Sentenced are finally back with their brand new "The Cold White Light". The first thing to say is that this is a killer album..yes they're driving their music always more on the soft side, prove of this is that sometimes, just a few moments fortunately, Ville Laihala sings like Ville Valo or whatever other finnish gothic "metal" band singer with clean vocals far from the raw and unique vocals on "Down" or "Frozen" and some songs as "You are the One" or "No One There" are full of a commercial appeal that'll put Sentenced, of course, on the top of Finnish charts, but in the same time this album is heavy metal. Fortunately the whole album is full of great songs and most important they manage to be both heavy and commercial balancing perfectly these two sides..in fact they hit perfectly the target to compose catchy songs but not loosing heavy metal attitude. I'm not ashamed to say that I've listened to this album thousand of times yet and it'll be for much time some more. If you like good music surely you'll like it..if you regret early Sentenced from Amok era..well..I think you do not read even a line of this review and you lose something don't listen to this "The Cold White Light".

Strenuus



Detritus Rock/Metal e-zine

The Northernmost Killers have done it once again! Damn! I've been a fan of this band since the DOWN release in '96 and each subsequent album has gotten consistently better. I was a bit nervous waiting for THE COLD WHITE LIGHT because I absolutely loved the bands last release CRIMSON and part of my luck is that bands usually end up changing their sound/approach drastically once I've pledged my soul to their music. Guitarist/songwriter Sami Lopakka scared me even more when after the recording was complete he was having trouble describing the new CD. My worrying was for nothing because this disc is the finest collection of songs the band has released yet and all of the things that have made Sentenced such a strong band the previous three releases is present here. The songwriting is incredibly strong with lyrics that get inside and utterly possess you. The band has finally captured what vocalist Ville Laihiala is really capable of. His voice is filled with the despair, agony and pain that a majority of the lyrics speak to and has provided me with many, many moments of spine tingling chills even now after uncountable listens. I'm not fond of labels but if I have to describe Sentenced I'd say they are a Melancholy, Atmospheric Power Metal band. They may be melancholic, but their music uplifts me and I feel an almost spiritual cleansing after each listen. Anyway, on to the songs. There isn't a filler on this disc. Just a few of the stand outs: "Cross My Heart And Hope To Die" with its haunting, ringing guitars on the verses and the crushing power of the chorus, the beautiful imagery of a relationship in "You Are The One", the full-on power of "Neverlasting" with a ripping guitar solo by Mikka Tenkula and the pissed off "Excuse Me While I Kill Myself". Overall this is nothing short of a melodic masterpiece and I beseech you to check it out. THE COLD WHITE LIGHT has moved into my #1 slot for top releases of 2002 and I don't foresee it moving much the rest of the year, if at all. Buy or die!!!

Steve Shumake



Metal Will Never Die 10 / 10

Per gli ultimi 2 anni non ho fatto altro che aspettare l’uscita di questo album e nel momento in cui è stato tra la mie mani la mia felicità era veramente immensa; dopo l’ascolto non ha potuto fare altro che aumentare per arrivare a livelli quasi inimmaginabili. “The Cold White Light” può essere descritto come l’insieme di tutti gli ultimi 4 lavori dei Sentenced (da “Amok” compreso in poi) con anche dei notevoli passi avanti in varie componenti. Se l’ultimo “Crimson” rimane qualcosa di letteralmente inarrivabile dal punto di vista emotivo/emozionale, questo “The Cold White Light” è la più alta espressione della tecnica e della classe della band Finlandese per quanto riguarda il songwriting, senza disdegnare assolutamente la componente sentimentale da sempre presente sound di Lopakka & soci. Più di un lustro è passato da quando “Amok” è uscito dalla mente di Lopakka, Tenkula e Jarva, ora Taneli non c’è più, ma in pezzi come “Neverlasting” o “The Luxury Of A Grave” è evidente quanto la band non rinneghi assolutamente quei momenti. Anche il transitorio periodo di “Down” è ripreso con classe nei pezzi più veloci; “Frozen” e “Crimson” sono sempre presenti dall’inizio alla fine del disco a dimostrare quanto la ricerca melodica, iniziata dalla band in quel periodo, non abbia mai fine e culmini in capolavori come “Cross My Heart And Hope To Die”. Non sono proprio in grado di non fare un track by track perché le cose da dire su questo disco, e sulle singole tracce, sono talmente tante che una recensione semplice non sarebbe sufficiente per contenerle tutte e sicuramente non lo sarà nemmeno quella che mi appresto a scrivere, quindi ecco a voi gli 11 capolavori:

Konevitsan Kirkonkellot – Meraviglioso intro d’atmosfera ispirato ad una canzone tradizionale Finlandese, il gracchiare degli uccelli è davvero inquietante e sarà ripreso con ancora maggiore successo nel finale.

Cross My Heart And Hope To Die – Già citata nell’introduzione, parte lenta con un bellissimo arpeggio seguito dalla carismatica voce di Ville che recita un “Since your death, everything has felt so meaningless and vain, that I’ve lost the will to live” (o qualcosa di simile, perdonatemi, ma non ho i testi), il riffing di Sami Lopakka è ossessivo e penetrante, il drumming di Vesa Ranta è molto cadenzato a sottolineare la tristezza del pezzo; il chorus è orecchiabile e coinvolgente. Meravigliosa.

Brief Is The Light – Uno dei pezzi più singolari dell’album, un arpeggio fa da base per lo sviluppo di tutta la canzone, Ville è sempre immenso ed interpreta magistralmente dall’inizio alla fine riuscendo a comunicare una tristezza che oserei definire cosmica. Il chorus è quasi entusiastico in netto contrasto con le strofe, purtroppo ancora una volta il testo sarebbe servito per coronare la descrizione. Vi rimando ad Hail To Finland tra qualche giorno, in cui quest’album sarà ampiamente trattato.

Neverlasting – Pezzo “in your face” sulla scia di “The Suicider”, ne riprende il riffing e la linea vocale, Sami Kukkohovi al basso è veramente sopra le righe: in questa song addirittura più importante dello stesso riffing di chitarra. Il chorus è molto particolare, caratterizzato da delle coinvolgenti backing vocals. L’assolo è veramente heavy!

Aika Multaa Muistot [Everything Is Nothing] – La parte del titolo in inglese non è la traduzione di quella in Finlandese che, a quanto ho capito, è un modo di dire di difficile traduzione. Il pezzo inizia lento con un arpeggio e Ville che recita, poi pian piano entrano in gioco batteria e basso, allo scoppio del riffone granitico non si può che esultare ed iniziare ad headbangare, Ville con la sua voce sporca ricorda in parte il James Hetfield degli ultimi tempi, l’assolo è struggente e contribuisce a sottolineare il contrasto tra violenza e melodia: davvero un pezzo unico.

Excuse Me While I Kill Myself – Già il titolo è tutto un programma, comunque non spaventatevi, è il secondo episodio di auto-ironia Finnica: dopo la geniale “The Suicider” in “Frozen”, ecco “Excuse Me While I Kill Myself”. Musicalmente siamo di fronte ad un pezzo heavy e veloce con un ottimo riffing e un bellissimo assolo, liricamente siamo a livelli mai visti prima con il chorus “I KILL MYSELF, I BLOW MY BRAINS ONTO THE WALL, SEE YOU IN HELL, I WILL NOT TAKE THIS ANYMORE”. Geniale.

Blood & Tears – Forse il pezzo meno particolare del disco (e questo non vuole dire meno bello!). Introdotto da una struggente parte di chitarra solista è poi il basso ad accompagnare Ville nella strofa, anche il chorus è davvero notevole. Sicuramente una delle più tristi del lotto.

You Are The One – La lovesong dell’album, mancava in “Crimson” e “You Are The One” è qui a continuare la serie di “Sun Won’t Shine” e “Drown Together”. Dal punto di vista personale l’avrei voluta qualche tempo fa, ora non è la stessa cosa, ma non posso fare a meno di constatarne la bellezza e la sua romantica epicità. Ville la canta con il cuore, il finale è da pelle d’oca, il “You Are The One, My Loooooooovvve, My Looooooovvve” non può non emozionare una persona dotata di cuore…davvero incredibile…

Guilt And Regret – Altro pezzo particolarissimo. E’ il piano che ci introduce alla strofa magistralmente interpretata da Ville, il chorus è davvero triste, dalle parole che si riescono a percepire sembra che parli dei genitori di chi ha scritto il testo (molto probabilmente Sami Lopakka) ed esprime grande rancore nei loro confronti; la parte centrale accompagnata dalle poche note del piano seguita da una parte di chitarra acustica è davvero incredibile. Ennesima manifestazione di pura genialità.

The Luxury Of A Grave – Grande pezzo! Intro elettronico accompagnato da un riff frammentato, l’elettronica poi scompare per far posto alla chitarra solista; i due chitarristi si superano letteralmente andando a firmare i riff e i soli migliori della loro carriera, il bridge è meraviglioso come anche il chorus. Ville è perfettamente a suo agio sia nelle parti incazzate che nelle parti melodiche. Ma le sentite le chitarre??!! Una delle fast-song migliori di sempre.

No One There – E’ il singolo apripista qui proposto in versione integrale. Certamente il pezzo più easy del lotto, ma sicuramente di grande effetto e di grande coinvolgimento, anche in questo frangente cercano di evidenziare un contrasto tra tristezza e spensieratezza con delle strofe molto tristi caratterizzate da una cupissima voce di Ville, il chorus già è meno cupo e il break che si respira verso la fine è quasi un grido, quasi una liberazione, quel “It Frezzes my heart, my disperate heart, it freezes my heart” è strano, quasi “spensierato”. Il finale riprende l’intro del disco con il gracchiare degli uccelli che si vanno a disperdere lascia l’ascoltare con quella tristezza, quella inquietudine e quella incertezza che sempre accompagnano la vita di ognuno di noi.

Se siete giunti fino a questo punto, penso che riuscirete a leggere anche queste righe finali. Mi è rimasto da citare il meraviglioso artwork curato dal drummer della band Vesa Ranta che, non sarà Niklas Sundin (autore dell’incredibile artwork di “Crimson”), ma è riuscito a cogliere a pieno l’essenza del sound di questo disco. Infine, ancora non ho parlato della produzione, ma mi sembra forse scontato, dato che non credo di ricordare nessun album dei Sentenced prodotto male. Riguardo alla valutazione ero convinto fino a qualche minuto fa di dare un 9 1/2, più per motivi personali che per altro, perché in questo momento avrei preferito un “Crimson” e per quella “You Are The One” che tanto avrei voluto un po’ di tempo fa, ma che ora proprio non ci voleva, poi pensando bene alle molteplici qualità di questo capolavoro non posso esimermi dal conferire il mio primo 10 ad uno studio album. Grazie Sentenced, grazie davvero.

Luca "Sentenced" Di Maio



Metal District 10 / 10

Seit die Promo hier eingetroffen ist sie eigentlich in Dauerrotation auf Platz 1 in meiner Playlist... Die Rede ist von der neuen Göttergabe der Finnen von SENTENCED.

Packende, erdrückende melancholische Melodien, nochmals gesteigerter Gesang von Ville Laihiala und die unglaubliche Gabe eine von vorne bis hinten ohne Durchhänger gestaltete Platte zu erschaffen zeichnen das Quintett aus. Hier stimmt einfach alles. Jeder Song, egal ob es eine sehr ruhige, ergreifende Ballade wie "Guilt And Regret" ist oder eher rockige Nummern wie der Opener "Cross My Heart And Hope To Die" oder das nicht minder geile "Excuse Me While I Kill Myself", einfach jeder Track weiß von Grund auf zu begeistern. Die Gitarren-Arbeit ist vorbildlich, richtungsweisend, geht nicht mehr aus den Gehörgängen und erschafft einfach eine unerreichte Atmosphäre von der andere Bands nur träumen können. Die Melodien sind auf ihre simple Art einfach ergreifend und man kann nicht anders als sich einem tiefen Rausch der Gefühle hinzugeben.

Songs wie "Brief Is The Light", "Neverlasting" oder "The Luxury Of A Grave" scheinen einfach nicht von dieser Welt zu sein. SENTENCED haben mit "The Cold White Light" sicherlich eines ihrer besten Alben überhaupt abgeliefert, hier stimmt einfach alles! Volle Punktzahl und die schulterzuckende Frage wie man sowas noch mal toppen will. Ganz stark!

pw



Evil Rocks Hard

Kalte und dunkle Ebenen und Wälder in Finnland; Sehnsucht nach Licht an vielen langen Tagen ohne Sonnenstrahlen, der einsame und verzweifelte Ruf eines Tieres in der Stille der Nacht... Gedanken, die beim Hören des Intros ,Konevitsan Kirkonkellot' (die ´Kirchenglocken von Konevitsan´ übersetzt) im Kopf herumschwirren und wunderschön bitter in den neuen Silberling der finnischen Düstermetal Götter Sentenced einleiten. Die Frage für mich vor dem ersten Hören der CD war, welche Richtung Sentenced mit ihrem neuen Longplayer einschlagen würden, die sanftere Variante des Vorgängeralbums "Crimson" oder die rauere Gangart der älteren Scheiben wie z.B. "Down" oder "Frozen". Mit dem Opener ,Cross My Heart And Hope To Die' ist diese Frage aber auch schon beantwortet: Sentenced setzen ihren Erfolgsstil von "Crimson" fort und zielen somit auf eine größere Masse Fans ab. Aber in welcher Weise sie es diesmal schaffen, ist phänomenal. Beim ersten Durchhören der CD ist kein einziger schwacher oder nur schwächerer Song zu finden, alle besitzen das Prädikat wertvoll und bittersüß! Wieder kann man sich auf traurige Stunden gefasst machen mit Songs wie ,Brief Is The Light' (anfangs langsam und zurückhaltend, dann explosionsartiger Refrain), dem härtesten und schnellsten Stück der CD ,Neverlasting' (mit schönen Background Vocals im Refrain und interessantem Ende mit auf-den-Hintern-klatschen-Sound...) oder dem wunderschön ironisch betitelten ,Excuse Me While I Kill Myself'. Die Songs sind unglaublich eingängig und sofort beim zweiten Durchlauf der CD wiederzuerkennen, insbesondere das balladeske durch Klaviersound begleitete ,Guilt And Regret' und das impulsive und mit schwarzem Humor gefüllte ,The Luxury Of A Grave'. Genauso wie die CD begonnen hat, endet auch das Album mit einem Ausflug in die finnische Wildnis und dem Rufen von Vögeln. Diese Geräusche aber werden jäh beendet durch einen schrecklichen Sound, der die CD abschließt und den Hörer anscheinend wieder in die Realität zurückführen soll. Einziger Kritikpunkt eines TOP-Albums ist mit gespielten 46 Minuten nur die Länge der CD, die durchaus hätte länger sein können. Trotzdem kann ich mit Freude behaupten, dass "The Cold White Light" eines der besten Alben des Jahres und einfach ins Repertoire eines jeden Metal Fans gehört!!!

thomas



Walls Of Fire Metal Mag. 10 / 10

Zwei Jahre haben sich Sentenced in ihrem Grab verkrochen, um an dem Nachfolger zum 2000er Album „Crimson“ zu werkeln. Zwei Jahre haben sie sich Zeit genommen, um an ihrem Sound zu basteln, neue Ideen auszutüfteln und wieder massig Zynismus anzustauen. Zwei Jahre können aber für wartende Fans eine lange Zeit sein, doch das Warten hat sich defintiv gelohnt. „The Cold White Light“, so der Titel der neuen Sammlung an augenzwinkernden Suizid-Soundtracks, ist ein beeindruckendes Album geworden. Die Finnen haben den schon nahezu positiven Weg, den sie auf dem nicht gerade überall auf offene Ohren gestossenen Vorgänger beschritten haben, wieder verlassen. Im Jahre 2002 regiert bei Sentenced wieder die Kraft, und so siedelt sich das Album in Reichweite ihrer Klassiker „Down“ und „Frozen“ an. Die ruhigen, sehr melodischen Parts von „Crimson“ findet man eigentlich nur noch in der melancholischen, aber dennoch kraftvollen Halbballade „Aika Multaa Muitot (Everything Is Nothing)“ vor. Ansonsten sind Sentenced wieder eindeutig härter geworden, rockenn tierisch ab und die Texte strotzen nur so vor Zynismus und lechzen danach von ignoranten Köpfen wieder falsch aufgefasst zu werden. Also alles beim gewohnten Bild also geblieben. Ville Laihiala sinniert mit seiner charismatischen Stimme über Selbstmord, das Gitarrenduo Miika Tenkula / Sami Lopakka schüttelt sich wunderbare Melodien und dynamische Riffs aus den Handgelenken und Sami Kukkohovi und Vesa Ranta sorgen für eine sehr druckvolle Rhythmsection. Letzterer hat im Übrigen das Coverartwork der Scheibe entworfen. Diese musikalische Brillianz wurde von Starproduzent Hiili Hiilesmaa, der schon die ersten beiden HIM Alben und „Crimson“ veredelte, in einen glasklaren Sound gekleidet. Doch dies sind nur die äußeren Umstände, die Fundamente für das beste Sentenced Album aller Zeiten, das durch endgeile Songs, pechschwarze Texte und Hits en masse charakterisiert wird! Was die Band an grandiosen Songs komponiert hat, ist mehr als beeindruckend. Allen voran die prädestinierte Kultnummer und Klassiker in spe „Excuse While I Kill Myself“ wird für Heavy Rotation in den heimischen Musikanlagen depressiver Musikfreunde sorgen. Aber auch typische Sentenced Rock Nummern wie der Opener „Cross My Heart And Hope To Die“ oder Powersongs wie „Brief Is The Light“, “Blood And Tears” oder “The Luxury Of A Grave” sorgen für Begeisterungsstürme. „The Cold White Light“ ist das perfekte Sentenced Album, das all ihre berühmt-berüchtigten Trademarks vereint. Wer dieses Album verpasst, verpasst ein ganz großes Werk und einer der heißesten Anwärter auf das Album des Jahres. Einfach nur geil...

Autor: [Jens]



Metal-Rules.com 4.7 / 5

After a bit disappointing and monotonous CRIMSON album, Sentenced have recorded an album of which each song could be described by one word: Catchy. The thing is that THE COLD WHITE LIGHT reeks of a noble catchiness and freshness; like the whole band could have risen from a verge of dusty grave of boredom and tediousness and been injected a totally new life into by a large dose of brand-new inspirations – and these ´inspirations´ as I call them, have nicely been resulted in here, Sentenced´s best work to date of Ville Laihiala -era, on a superb THE COLD WHITE LIGHT album. Don´t know how much their over 2 year long break from the metal scene has to do with all of this, but obviously something remarkable has truly happened inside the band ´coz now, as each of us is surely capable of sensing, overall the whole atmosphere of this new opus is so much more relaxed, light and not pushed at all. As funny and strange as it may sound to some of you, but while you are listening to some certain songs off T.C.W.L., you may catch yourself singing along with the songs out of this very-easy-for-ears album and getting even overly sentimental by accident without even knowing. It happened to me many, unregistered times while I was enjoying every bit of it and bet it will be happening to me many more times all over again. The whole album is simply just so irresistible with its extremely melodic, extremely mellow, extremely catchy and beautifully extreme melo-metal/rock songs (gee, the word ´extreme´ kicks my nuts!!) that could only be equally competitive with the guys´ past two albums namely “Down” and “Frozen”. I cannot put my finger precisely on either of these two Sentenced albums and say this or that reminds me of ´this and that´, but certainly a hint of two can be thrown to those two albums´ direction as far some particular song arrangements on THE COLD WHITE LIGHT are concerned.

It´s even hard for me to pick up my absolutely favorite tunes off the album this time ´coz I may like one song for quite some time – and then change it after a while and start digging another song and think it´s my absolute n:o 1 favorite song over the rest of the stuff on offer here. Like at the very moment it´s “Excuse Me While I Kill Myself” with its trademark-like Sentenced –melodies and choruses and a sarcastic use of their own Sentencedesque humor that is only typical to them in their lyrics as a matter of speaking. Last week I remembered humming the chorus for “No One There”; a week before that, it was either a marvelous, heart-tearing opener “Cross My Heart and Hope to Die” or “Blood & Tears” which indeed has been done in a true Sentenced –fashion again – being sinfully catchy with a great chorus part and all that.

The 1st single off the album was a song called “No One There”, but in the name of all honesty, I could have been any other song on THE COLD WHITE LIGHT as well for having that status as a single song. Namely each song has its own special tendency to stand out on its own and the wholeness therefore is pretty much ear-tickling and unbeatable in many ways in my opinion. I´m especially glad that the guys have been wise enough this time around without lengthening the playing time of the album by thrusting in a couple of extra fillers in order to make it look more like ´a full-length´ album. They have chosen to stick with all the necessary stand-out tracks – i.e. ´the Ace-stuff´, rather than recorded everything out of the T.C.W.L. –sessions for this excellent album. Therefore, 10 songs (+ an intro) in 45 minutes is such a splendid package of smoothly rockin´ metal songs that leaves you in a state of good mood and spirit afterwards. It´s almost a slaying, addictive experience ´coz one shot of this seems to be far away for being enough for me. Luckily a ´play´ -button is always near by my fingers. Anyway, I´m just hoping we don´t have to wait for another 2 years for getting next album out from these Northern maestros even if as the fact still remains the same quality still reigns over quantity, so maybe I´m just complaining in vain. For me THE COLD WHITE LIGHT is without a doubt that very best album Sentenced have managed to do thus far having Ville as their luminary vocalist and frontman. Just get this! You certainly won´t regret it!!

Luxi



Gryphonmetal

After 2 years Sentenced again, finally! The Cold White Light is the title of the new studio album , so much looked forward to come. So, let's proceed with order, telling first that this CD has surprised me very much. If someone expected a comeback of the old angry and rough side of Sentenced of (Bleed, I'll throw the first rock, Noose and Burn...) maybe will be disappointed, and it could be a mistake. This album will surely divide the opinion of the fans. But no fear: Sentenced remain Sentenced, this album shows the same powerful guitar riffs, the same intensity, the same sorrowful feelings of despair that have always distinguished this band (see Mourn for example, whose atmosphere could be a predecessor of The White Light).

The first time I listened to these songs I had the impression to be sorrounded by the darkness of long and frozen nights, mysterious lights were dancing in my mind, while at the same time, the bloom of the sound made me a little bit disconcerted though mesmerized. But at a second hearing one can understand that The Cold White Light it's not only the natural Crimson's successor. It has the same gloomy atmosphere of even previous releases , only proposed in a more mature and gentle way. On the whole it can seem different from the rest of the discography, but only cause it represents really a step forward as far it concerns the confidence and the maturity in playing every instrument involved. Sentenced are more magic now, more sorrowful, but the power of their guitars and drums comes out with unchanged aggression. Like a lion full of sadness they enchant the listener with a wide spectrum of emotions, always ready to claw, to give their powerful heavy scratch. Only a superficial listening could lead to the conclusion that Sentenced have chosen a more lovely commercial way, on the contrary we can see that all typical Sentenced-schemes are here, pulsing from a rousing anthem to a ballad, among piano scores, heavy chords and acoustic guitars. One can recognize the typical style of the past releases without finding any copy of the previous songs. Sentenced don't copy themselves and this is what I consider faithful evolution. Sentenced remain at their high level without decreasing in their "value". Giant like they are, they perform their songs supplying gloomy atmosphere, giving more attention to fine details, throwing us in a magic world of despair, fear, love, hope, all sorrounded by a sound- wall built by good electronic synthetizers which literally fill up the background.

So, is everything so wonderful?... well not, actually melodies, through different from previous ones, are not the most original and I think that some notes here and there can remind to HIM themselves. But ,on the whole, these are really little things if compared to the greatness of all work done!! These songs surely find a better impact when you listen to them at night, especially when the day has gifted you with a sorrow more, when depression wraps you up but you don't want to give up. It will be very interesting to see how this new stuff can sound live and how the band will perform them on the stage. The Cold White Light gives its enchantment off the more you listen to it. Everytime the CD has finished (I've listened to it a lot in these hours without getting bored) I had the impression that a force has come and gone without "breaking" anything, having simply left a tormenting wish to experience it again. Least but not last, the guitar duo Tenkula- Lopakka is becoming more and more technical,working together very well, and Laihiala's voice remains strong enough to provide again a touch of angriness to the songs (style "Killing me, Killing you" in the "Crimson" CD)

Gryphon_spirit



SoneraPlaza Kaista | 4 / 5

Pitkän linjan metallibändi Sentenced on julkaissut tauolta palatessaan uransa parhaan albumin. 'Cold White Light' ei välttämättä sisällä Sentencedin historian makeinta yksittäistä biisiä, mutta tuore pitkäsoitto on musiikillisesti tasavahvin, sovituksellisesti kekseliäin ja soundipoliittisesti tanakin Senari-julkaisu tähän mennessä. Lisäksi vokalisti Ville Laihiala on löytänyt komeaan ääneensä aivan uusia ulottuvuuksia.

Aivan uutta tyyliäkin on mukana; Sentenced ei ole koskaan aikaisemmin ollut näin pop eikä näin gootti. "Vanhojen" fanien ei kuitenkaan kannata huolestua, sillä uudet tuulet ovat vain mausteita.

Pitkin kevättä liikkuneet "poppihuhut" ovat täyttä p****a, sillä bändi on edelleen täysin oma itsensä. Sitä paitsi mikä poppiporukka antaisi biisin nimeksi 'Cross My Heart And Hope To Die' tai 'Excuse Me While I Kill Myself'? Mutta siltikin esimerkiksi 'You Are The One' on kappale, jonka tyyppistä tunnelmointia ei Sentencedilta ole aikaisemmin kuultu. Jos CMX sanoi 'Aura'-levynsä jälkeen, että "nyt on viimeisetkin keesit tippuneet kyydistä" niin 'You Are The Onen' myötä Sentencedin kelkasta tippuvat ainakin ne, joiden mielestä Exhorder ja Malevolent Creation ovat maailman parhaita metallibändejä... No, ehkä nämä ihmiset eivät ole Sentencedistä pitäneetkään sitten 'Shadows Of The Past' -ensilevyn.

'Cold White Light' -albumilla on myös keskinkertaisempia Sentenced-veisuja, mutta huippuhetket ovat taas omaa luokkaansa; 'Brief Is The Lightin' tunnelma on käsinkosketeltava, 'Neverlastingin' kitaramelodia ja stemmalauluja ennenkuulemattomalla tavalla sisältävä kertosäe sekä soundit (basso, kitarat) muodostavat komean kokonaisuuden puhumattakaan 'Blood & Tearsista', joka taitaa olla paketin kirkkain biisi.

Sentenced ei edelleenkään mene sieltä, missä aita on matalin. Kuuntelukertojen myötä komeisiin mittoihin kasvava 'No One There' -sinkkubiisi on sijoitettu pitkäsoiton viimeiseksi esitykseksi...

Timo Isoaho



Heavy Metal Mania - The Greek Metal Webzine | 9 / 10

Sentenced is a band that has never been afraid to experiment with its sound and expand its musical horizons. Through their career they have moved from Black Metal to atmospheric Death Metal to straightforward Heavy Metal with many melancholic elements. All their albums however were quality music and that is why their fans have been supporting them from the beginning to the end. This is the seventh full length album of the band, fourth with Ville Laihiala on vocals. I make a special remark on this because I think his performance is the best so far. It sounds like the songs have been built around his voice and they sound great. The guitar riffs are very hard and powerful, there are nice grooves and of course melodic and quite memorable choruses. The melancholic aura that characterized most of their releases is still here and I am very grateful for that since I always liked the gloom feelings their songs gave me. Last but not least, the production is simply awesome, maybe the best so far as well. All fans of the band will love this album, as I did.



Metal Abyss | 9,5 / 10 (chosen as the best album of May)

Sentenced Rule!!! That was the first thought that came up to my mind when I heard the Sentenced's new album "The Cold White Light" for the very first time. The guys from Finland made the absolute gothic metal album. If someone wants to know what exactly is gothic metal, I recommend getting and "studying" the new album of Sentenced! I couldn't find a better model and a better standard for it, ever!

It's difficult to describe to you the feeling that is running through the entire album, without being accused that I am subjective and one dimensional, ...but this album is simply divine!!! Power, affection, regret, melancholy, pain, "neverlasting" love, and hate, memories of..."blood and tears", all together mixed with incredible melodies, and imaginary guitar riffs, surrounded by the dreamily vocals of Ville Laihiala... Also the production has improved once again, that Sentenced is a great band, as the heavy sound contributes to the high level of this album. The lyrics are as personal as like they are written for every one of you. Something like there's "No one there" in a crowdy and noisy place. ...(Confused now?). You'd better try to "see"(hear) by your self...

Every song of "The Cold White Light" has it's own feeling and it's own magic, that kept me with my ears and my heart wide open... Of course what I received from the new album of Sentenced is personal and unique, but I think that everyone of you, who attend to hear and feel this album, will also get something unique and magic, strong and affecting at the same time. But for the traditional gothic metal fans I only have to say this: As long as you keep your gothic metal heart pure...you won't have problems of getting into Sentenced...and understand their unbelievable music.

After the first hearing of the album, I tried to choose which are the best songs of it. But then I realized that was very difficult to choose which are the best songs on this album. What can we say for hymns like: "Excuse me while I kill my self", "Neverlasting", "Blood And Tears", "Brief is the light"...and more and more...

It's fair to characterize "The Cold White Light" as the best release of May and I think that Sentenced with this album are getting a very strong nomination for being one of the best album of 2002. Gothic metal is here and bands like Sentenced are continuing to prove it!!!

Kyriaki Petraki



Blabbermouth.net | 8 / 10

Listening to the latest effort from Finnish "suicide kings" SENTENCED, it's hard to imagine that this is the same band that nine years ago released one of the more memorable slices of melodic technical death metal in the shape of their North From Here CD. Having since switched direction in favor of a sound that has frequently been compared to that of the “black album”-era METALLICA, SENTENCED have in the process developed a far more commercial sound, which has drawn criticism from some, but which has resulted in a much higher profile for the group in their native land and the rest of Europe.

Seemingly content with their place in the music world, SENTENCED have essentially been churning out the same type of material for much of the time that vocalist Ville Laihiala has been fronting the group, focusing almost exclusively on mid-paced to up-tempo numbers that leave plenty of room for Laihiala to shine without the instrumental efforts of the rest of the band getting in the way.

As in the past, such a simplified approach occasionally results in tracks that, on first listen, are virtually indistinguishable from one another, featuring similar-sounding vocal melodies that require repeated exposure to fully get into. Eventually, however, the hooks find their way into your head and hold on for dear life, making it difficult to walk away without at least appreciating the tuneful quality of songs like opener "Cross My Heart And Hope to Die" and the most immediate song on the offer, "Blood And Tears".

Production-wise (courtesy of Hiili Hiilesmaa), SENTENCED have never fared better, and the musicianship is absolutely top-notch throughout the proceedings, making for a fairly effortless listening experience for anyone but the most ardent of extreme metal fans.

A decidedly traditional-sounding metal act, SENTENCED are certain to continue getting resistance from the American rock mainstream with respect to the band's chances of connecting with a much wider audience than they have thus far managed to reach. Despite this, those of us who appreciate a dose of heavy, no-frills metal delivered with just enough melody and old-school flavor will find it difficult to do much better than The Cold White Light.

Borivoj Krgin



MetalManiacs.it Web Zine | 10 / 10

Sono tornati!!!! Uno dei piu' dotati gruppi Finlandesi, i padrini del cosiddetto Suicidal Metal (cioe' il metal a tematiche suicide, vuoi per via di delusioni amorose, vuoi per una certa malinconia di fondo tipicamente finnica .... Love & Suicidal Metal .... Sentenced,Charon,Entwine,Lullacry,To/Die/For,HIM) hanno sfornato un nuovo album : The Cold White Light. Dopo il successo di Crimson (anche a livello di vendite), con la sua svolta melodica e la sua immediata fruibilita' , molti fan avevano timore di un ulteriore alleggerimento del suono .... ma non e' stato cosi'. TCWL e' un album certamente immediato, ma immediato nell'appagamento che da' all'ascoltatore, nella potenza che esprime, nelle emozioni dirette che suscita .... non e' di certo un album commerciale, e' invece potente, e' violento ma con dolcezza, e' esaltante nonostante la sua "oscurità " di fondo. E non si tratta di una 'ricusazione' di Crimson, ma piuttosto di un'evoluzione, di una rivisitazione di esso alla luce dell'intera carriera dei Sentenced (escluso il periodo Death ovviamente).

Dal punto di vista musicale, TCWL e' un album di granitico heavy metal, molto rockeggiante, ritmato, quasi ballabile , dove le chitarre sono in primo piano e garantiscono un suono pieno e pesante (e assoli piuttosto buoni!) , in stile quasi anni '80 (un po' come hanno fatto i Lullacry) ma con un taglio moderno (siamo comunque lontani da ogni contaminazione, che siano sospetti di nu-metal o addirittura di grunge....), e basso e batteria danno un'ulteriore spinta al tutto.

Ville Laihala poi dimostra di essere un grande cantante, con un' immensa prestazione : diretta, essenziale, emozionante, calda, profonda.... Inoltre canta in maniera differente rispetto a quanto faceva su Crimson, sembra in parte ritornato a Frozen ... e in effetti l'intero album sembra avere molto a che fare con gli album passati (Frozen e Down) anche se ritengo che TCWL sia superiore (magari meno "cattivo" di Down, ma piu' potente e completo come numero di emozioni trasmesse ed espressivita'). Le canzoni sono tutte ottime e, cosa piu' importante, sono tutte 'memorabili' .... danno la carica, sono aggressive,sono trascinanti ... sono Metal!!!!!!!!!! Fra qualche anno saremo ancora qua a discutere sull'oggettiva bellezza di canzoni come Cross My Heart And Hope To Die e di Excuse Me While I Kill Myself , sulla dolcezza di Blood And Tears , Brief Is The Light o You Are The One (stupenda!) , sulla carica che da' Neverlasting. Canzoni brutte e sottotono o filler non ce ne sono !!!!! I piu' critici potranno dire che l'album non e' complesso, che sono pochi accordi, che sono le solite tematiche, che molte idee sono state riprese da lavori precedenti (io invece direi che si tratta di un compendio dello 'stile Sentenced').... ma chi se ne importa , questo album e' puro godimento !!!

DavS



MetalManiacs.it Web Zine | 9 / 10

L'ho già accennato nella presentazione di questo speciale: quest'anno, e ne sono convinto, verrà ricordato quasi esclusivamente per le releases dei dischi di Manowar, Blind guardian, Iron maiden, per il ritorno trionfante dell'Italia grazie a nomi come quello dei Rhapsody, e tante uscite d'immenso valore verranno, ahimè, lasciate nel dimenticatoio dai più. Eccovi invece uno di quei dischi in grado di rivaleggiare coi suddetti nomi in alto nelle polls di fine anno: Sentenced. Li avevamo visti esplodere con il duo "Down" - "Frozen", li avevamo visti nuovamente all'opera con una valida ma sin troppo ruffiana uscita come "Crimson": ebbene si, se avete amato un po'tutte le sfaccettature stilistiche assunte da questa formazione dall'uscita di "Amok" in poi, se avete apprezzato i Sentenced aggressivi di "Down" come quelli orecchiabilissimi, masticabili, coinvolgenti che avevano guadagnato gloria tramite pezzi come "Noose" o "The suicider", eccovi una valida ragione per confermarli in vetta alle vostre classifiche preferenziali. "The cold white light" si propone, infatti, come una definitiva prova del valore immenso della band di Ville Laihala & co. , grazie a momenti dall'irresistibile pathos, nei quali oscurità ed intense quanto "facili" melodie vengono a mescolarsi per dar luce ad un qualcosa di realmente unico. Avete temuto che la svolta commerciale degli HIM potesse ripetersi anche con loro? Eccovi la smentita: i Sentenced, dall'alto del loro ormai affermato nome, non si sono gettati a capofitto nel music business come fatto senza troppi ripensamenti dai succitati HIM o dai più giovani To die for, ed hanno proposto qua una sorta di riassunto della seconda metà della loro carriera, correlato da pezzi destinati a rimanere nei best of a venire. Non c'è spazio per cali di tensione, e songs come il singolo "No one there", oscura, offuscata da atmosfere degne del nome che l'ha composta, oppure le coinvolgenti "Cross my heart and hope to die" / "You are the one" entrano di diritto fra le migliori song mai composte da Ville (peraltro nettamente maturato rispetto agli ultimi lavori) & co. In poche parole, acquistate!

Dark Mayhem



Urkraft Webzine | 9 / 10

I did indeed award Sentenced's last album "Crimson" with a remarkable 9/10 rating but looking back I would like to lower the grade to a 6 or a 7 at the most. What first seemed so immideate and catchy proved to wear off quickly. Still I hold some tracks very highly (Fragile, Home In Despair, Broken etc) but as a whole the album suffered from a lack of compassion/passion I feel. Now don't get me wrong here; a "bad" Sentenced album is still better than most albums coming out these days and "Crimson" exceeds many similar bands releases by far. Well anyway, now the Finns return with a brand new album and this time I think it's safe for me to mark it with a high rating. "The Cold White Light" sees a return to a darker (not heavier though) sound. The sound which drew me to the band in the first place some eight years ago. It is a natural development of the sound heard on "Crimson" but with a rougher edge and it's clear that the Northernmost Killers enjoyed (!!!) themselves once again while recording. The album holds several of those oh so important hit-songs that will guarantee a further increase in popularity for my favourite Finns. "Cross My Heart And Hope To Die", "No One There", "Brief Is The Light" are all potential hit singles that even could appeal to the general music listening public, although they might get scared off by the crunching heavy guitarwork of Mr Lopakka and Mr Tenkula. Gotta love those twin-guitars! Well to finish off I can only advice all of you melody lovers to check out this album. Sentenced has once again convinced me that they in fact are the kings of melodic and passionate metal! Thank you!

Stefan Lejon



SFP Magazine | 9 / 10

Odottelin uutta Sentencedin levyä toiveikkain, mutta ristiriitaisin fiiliksin – viime levyä Crimsonia ennätin hehkuttaa, vaikka tuntui koko ajan, että ”jokin mättää”... ja niin kävikin, että levyä ei jaksanut pitkään kuunnella, sillä siihen ei ikinä päässyt edes kunnolla sisään. Viime kerrasta viisastuneena olen nyt kuunnellut ”The Cold White Light”-levyä lukemattomia kertoja, erilaisissa tilanteissa ja fiiliksissä – jotta sen syvin olemus paljastuisi. Jo ensi kuulemalta levystä jäi erilainen olo, kuin Crimsonista – levystä huokuu jotenkin aidompi tunnelma. Levyllä soittaa levännyt ja riehakkaampi Sentenced, toisaalta myös vakavampi ja mietteläämpi. Biisit rokkaavat, herkistelevät, haistattelevat, tunnelmoivat, pelleilevät, taiteilevat, raivoavat, pohdiskelevat... Levy on sekä monipuolinen että moniulotteinen – biisejä on monenlaisia ja biisien sisälläkin tapahtuu toisinaan yllättäviä juttuja (yhdessä mm. soitetaan persettä!).

Levy alkaa todella tummalla ja raskaalla introlla, jota seuraa surumielinen ”Cross my heart and hope to die” – biisissä on hitusen goottihenkeä (a lá HIM, Moonspell, To/Die/For) ja riipaisevan tarttuva kertosäe, joka soi suoraan sieluun... ”Brief is the light” jatkaa hieman reippaammalla sävelkululla (”Down”-henkisine ”yeah, jee”-huudahduksineen) – biisissä vuorottelevat toimivasti hitaampi ja raisumpi osio, ja tunnelma on lämminhenkinen ja miellyttävä. ”Neverlasting”-biisissä on korostetun jyhkeät bassokuviot ja kitara ampaisee välillä vauhtiin kuin raketti - mainion letkeä biisi, jossa ”uutuutena” taustakuoroa Villen tukena sekä sitä pian-jo-kuuluisaa perseen soitantaa! ;-) Parin pirteämmän rallin jälkeen vedetään melankolista linjaa mm. akustisten kitaroiden ja raskassoundisen kertosäkeen voimin – ”Aika multaa muistot” on kauniin alakuloinen ja koskettava biisi. ”Excuse me while I kill myself” on vauhdikas revitys, joka potkii perseelle ”haistakaa vittu”-meininkiä uhkuen – jee, kunnon Senari-huumoria ja hyvän kertosäkeen ansiosta myös levyn ehdoton ”hitti”! Loppulevyltä löytyy lisää rankkaa poljentaa (”Blood and tears” ja ”The luxury of a grave”) sekä rauhallisempaa ja mietteliäämpää osastoa (osin pianolla säestetty ”Guilt and Regret”). Sinkuksi valittu ”No one there” on yllättävän rauhallinen ja jopa mitäänsanomaton biisi – hittihakuisempi valinta olisi ollut esim. ”Cross my heart and hope to die”. Levyn parhaimpiin kuuluu myös ”You are the one”, joka lipuu pehmeästi sydämeen saaden aikaan kutkuttavan rakastuneen olon... Kyllä, kyseessä on sulosointuinen balladi, hirmuisen nätti ja herkkä – mutta olematta silti liian lälly. ”The Cold White Light” on aito ja rehellinen levy – se paljastaa avoimesti pimeän ja valoisan puolensa: herkkyytensä, rankkuutensa, ilonsa ja surunsa. Se on erilainen, kuin kaikki edeltäjänsä, mutta kuulostaa silti vain ja ainoastaan Sentencediltä. Sen vahvuus on kokonaisuudessa, joka ei järky erilaisten biisien painosta sekä tunnelmassa, joka ei kulu kuuntelemalla.

Anne

Rock-E-Zine | 9 / 10

Only a few bands from the fruitful early 90's deathmetal underground have managed to expand on their initial achievements and become something that is both admirable and esthetically satisfying to a wide range of listeners. Finland's Sentenced are one of those bands. With seven releases and almost 10 years under their belts, these guys will give us this very strong new CD on January 17th. REZ recently received the promo and the great "Crimson" establishes the band's infectious and melancholic songwriting right from the start all through the entire album. Starting of with "Bleed In My Arms", immediately the course is set for the rest of this record. It has this powerful, dark feeling and some kind of a tragic touch all through the song. I think this is the main strength of this CD, it's one trip, one feeling all through the 12 compositions. Ville improved his singing even more and guitarist Sami Lopakka's lyrics are once again great. The music and the lyrics really are 'one' this time. The lyrics are pretty personal, as they always are with Sentenced. They're real and down to earth. The main themes on this album are depression, a negative attitude towards life, lost love and self hate. Sami's lyrics are multi levelled and leave some room for personal interpretation by the readers. Tracks like "Fragile", "Killing Me, Killing You" (great vocalmelodies!, JG), "One More Day" or "Dead Moon Rising" show us that Sentenced is a band capable of writing great songs, plain and simple. Also the production has improved (the band used 4 different studios) and of course the heavy sound contributes to the high level of this album. What a nice way to start a new metal year!

Johan Godschalk



Soundi Magazine | 4 / 5

Sentenced äänitti kaksi edellistä levyään Saksassa Woodhouse-studioilla, joiden ominainen soundi antoi leimansa bändin töille. Tällä kertaa yhtye päätti kokeilla muita studioita. Sopivat paikat löytyivät Suomesta ja jälki on vähintään yhtä hyvää kuin Waldemar Sorychtan valvonnan alla. Sentenced on aiempaa melodisempi ja jo sinänsä hienoista biiseistä löytyy paljon enemmän sävyjä ja tasoja kuin yhtyeeltä ehkä osasi odottaakaan, vaikka suunta onkin jo tullut selväksi. Muutamilla edellisillä levyillä yhtyeen kehityskaari kulki jokseenkin suoraviivaisesti, mutta nyt bändi tavoittaa uudenlaisia vivahteita, jotka ovat olleet vaikkapa Frozenilla ja Downilla vasta oraalla. Levy on äänitetty Kemin Tico-Ticossa, joka on tuttu paikka Sentencedille. Tuntuu kuin pohjoinen ulottuvuus korostuisi yhtyeen uutuudella, sillä rajumpaa alakuloa on ilmassa. Oulun pojat ovat kasvaneet ja kehittyneet muusikkoina suuren askeleen. Crimson on erinomainen todiste siitä, miten kypsällä tavalla yhtyettä voi viedä eteenpäin. Vaikka Sentenced -levyjen päälle onkin yleensä lyöty metallileimalla, rokkaavammat ainekset ovat alkaneet ottaa enemmän jalansijaa yhtyeen musiikissa. Eikä se ole ollenkaan huono juttu silloin, kun kokonaisuus on taiten hanskassa.

Marko Säynekoski



RockHard Magazine | 8,5 / 10

Nun sind sie endgültig konvertiert. SENTENCED haben im Jahr 2000 absolut nichts mehr mit der Thrash/Death-Kapelle zu tun, die vor acht Jahren düstere Scheiben wie "Shadows Of The Past" oder "North From Here" veröffentlichte. Das ist zwar irgendwie schade, war aber schon anhand der letzten beiden Longplayer "Down" und "Frozen" abzusehen. Doch auch mit diesen Platten läßt sich "Crimson" nicht mehr vergleichen, denn SENTENCED sind inzwischen eine Spur zahmer geworden, legen deutlich mehr Wert auf ausgefeilte Melodien und fein arrangierte Refrains, gepaart mit fetzigen Gitarrenriffs, und erinnern dabei mehr als einmal an Megadeth zu "Youthanasia"-Zeiten. Das Beste daran ist aber: Dieser neue Sound steht den Finnen ganz hervorragend zu Gesicht. Auf "Crimson" schöpfen die Jungs ihr songschreiberisches Potential vollends aus und haben dadurch echte Ohrwürmer wie ´Home In Despair´, ´Fragile´ oder ´Broken´ erschaffen, die in jeder Metal-Bude ´ne volle Tanzfläche garantieren dürften. Wie überhaupt das gesamte Album wunderbar zwischen metallischer Härte und smoothen Melodien ausbalanciert ist und dabei außerdem von der einmal mehr verbesserten stimmlichen Bandbreite ihres Frontmanns Ville Laihala profitiert. Starkes Teil!

Frank Albrecht
Rumba Magazine | 9 / 10

Tuskin mistään kotimaisesta raskaamman sarjan levystä on vuoden sisällä puhuttu etukäteen ­ HIMin viimesyksyistä debyyttiä lukuun ottamatta ­ yhtä paljon kuin Sentencedin Frozenista. Epäilijöille Sentenced voi oikeutetusti näyttää keskisormea; Frozen on yhtyeen paras albumi ja samalla kuluvan vuoden paras kotimainen metallilevy. Raskasta, mutta välillä suorastaan popahtavaa perusmetallia on kuorrutettu ahdistavilla ja sävykkäillä melodioilla sekä lievällä 80-lukuisella fiiliksellä, johon Ville Laihialan ääni antaa lisäangstisen säväyksen. Eipä ihme, että materiaali on tuonut joidenkin mieleen vanhan Blue Öyster Cultin parhaimmillaan. The Rain Comes Falling Down kaikessa depressiivisyydessään on suorastaan hypnoottinen, Dead Leavesia tai Farewellia kuunnellessa ei voi kuin hämmästellä sovitusten sujuvuutta. Oikeastaanhan Frozen on tunnelmaltaan kuin vanha suomalainen kansantarina, sellainen jossa lopuksi kaikille käy huonosti ja joka alkaa sanoilla "oli synkkä ja myrskyinen yö".

Johanna Kiiski



RockHard Magazine | 9 / 10

Ließen die finnischen, in ihren Lyrics stets mit Selbstmordabsichten kokettierenden Schnapsdrosseln auf ihrem ´96er Opus "Down" noch leicht gotisch bis schwer metallisch die Schwarte krachen, präsentiert sich der Fünfer aus Oulu auf "Frozen" verstärkt von seiner rockigen Seite, ohne dabei entscheidend an Härte, Biß und Drive verloren zu haben. Das verdeutlicht nicht nur der Gesang von Frontröhre Ville Laihila, dessen rauhes Organ eine ganze Ecke differenzierter, gefühlvoller und ausgereifter tönt als noch vor knapp zwei Jahren, sondern auch die noch melodiöseren und melancholischeren Riffs des Klampfen-Duos Miika Tenkula und Sami Lopakka. So klingen Tracks wie das überragende 'For The Love I Bear' (inklusive eines genial-lauten Ville-Burps, der selbst dem Ersten der aktuellen Rülps-Weltrangliste, Schrank Albrecht, alle Ehre macht), die sentimental stimmende Halbballade 'The Rain Comes Falling Down', das flotte 'The Suicider' oder der gefühlvolle Midtempo-Ohrwurm 'Drown Together', um nur vier von neun bärenstarken Songs (plus zwei Instrumentals und ein Intro) zu nennen, noch eine ganze Ecke stimmiger als die zahlreichen Highlights des starken Vorgängers. Aus der todesbleiernen Kaulquappe von anno dazumal ist mittlerweile also ein hübscher Lurch geworden. Oder anders gesagt: SENTENCED sind mit ihrem fünften Album "Frozen", das übrigens erneut von Grip Inc.-Gitarrist & Producer Waldemar Sorychta (u.a. Moonspell, Samael) ansprechend inszeniert wurde, ihren viel zu engen Kinderschuhen endgültig entwachsen. Töfte Scheibe!

Buffo Schnädelbach
RockHard Magazine | 8 / 10

SENTENCED-Fans können aufatmen: Die Finnen-Crew hat zwar einen neuen Shouter an Bord, setzt ansonsten aber auf die bewährten Zutaten, die den letzten Longplayer "Amok" zu einer der besten Scheiben in der Grauzone zwischen Midtempo-Todesblei und groovigem, straighten Heavy Metal machten: einprägsame Gitarrenriffs, eine düstere, mystische Grundatmosphäre und dieser unwiderstehliche Düsenflieger-Drive, wie ihn nur sehr wenige Metal-Combos auf die Reihe bekommen. Zugegeben, ganz so unwiderstehlich wie in der Vergangenheit peitschen SENTENCED ihre Songs nicht mehr nach vorne, und Hits der Marke ´Dance On The Graves´ sucht man auf "Down" ebenfalls vergeblich, aber dafür haben die Skandinavier mit Ville Laihiala einen Sänger aufgegabelt, der seinen Vorgänger Taneli Jarva locker aussticht. Mit seiner vollen, erdigen Stimme und der im Düster-Gewerbe gar nicht so selbstverständlichen Fähigkeit, richtig zu singen, drückt Laihiala den neuen Tracks seinen Stempel auf und macht "Down" zu einem Album, das keinen Anhänger des Finnen-Vierers enttäuschen wird.

Michael Rensen