Sentenced - _The Cold White Light_
(Century Media, 2002)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
Sentenced are quite a unique band for me, their rocking riffs an unlikely success given my musical taste. It is the band's attitude, as shown by their trademark suicidal lyrics (often somewhat pedestrian in their expression, yet somehow very appropriate to the music), that has always helped that success, not to mention the fact that they're damn good at what they do: creating unpretentiously enjoyable music. Each of the last three Sentenced albums had two or three stand-out tracks for me, the rest enjoyable enough except for the odd track or two in each disc. _Down_ had its "Noose", _Frozen_ its "Dead Leaves" and "The Rain Comes Falling Down", and _Crimson_ its "Bleed in My Arms" and "Broken". Similarly, _The Cold White Light_ has "Cross My Heart and Hope to Die" and the simple but infectious "Excuse Me While I Kill Myself", plus a collection of very competent tracks and the lame pseudo-romantic "You Are the One". For those past three albums, Sentenced had been steadily growing into the Finnish Bolt Thrower, such was their reliability in keeping whoever liked the first disc happy with the other two -- unless the person in question wanted significant changes in the band's sound. _The Cold White Light_ sees Sentenced essentially continuing on the same path they've taken since singer Ville Laihala joined the band for _Down_; some of it is arguably more accessible than usual for the band, but they've always had a tendency for that once in a while. _The Cold White Light_ is overall somewhat softer and not as thoroughly rocking as, say, _Frozen_, but it still clearly remains Sentenced. It is a very enjoyable disc with plenty of attitude, much like its predecessors -- although on the other hand it also suffers from its severe lack of progression, which is reflected in my rating above. Anyone seeking innovation and change should look elsewhere, but those who just need more of the same old Sentenced are unlikely to be disappointed by _The Cold White Light_ -- it isn't the best Sentenced disc so far, but it is still quite satisfactory. And if you can, try to grab the nice digibook version available, as the photographic artwork is worth it.
(article published 7/3/2002)
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