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Some excellent songs yet something was missing... - 80%

morbert, August 5th, 2008

The biggest problem with Sentenced is very simple. The drum production. A lot of these songs had been played a while live and I also got some of them on a live vhs from those days. When Sentenced finally came out the production really damaged the the dynamics of those songs. And dynamics were something very important to the Acrostichon sound.

Songs like “Shelter” and especially “Snapshot” represented the faster and more aggressive side of Acrostichon. “Snapshot” even had some typical thrash metal riffing emphasizing the speed. The songs “Forgotten” and “Victims” are the best songs here. Both around 5 minues and filled with changes in pace and key. They were typical Acrostichon compositions but the variation of the vocals this time were a slight step forward.

Now two other new songs (“Murder” and “Monsters”) were also recorded but ended up on their earlier “Forgotten” EP. One wonders why did not make the album since they would easily have been two of the better songs! (“Murder” balancing between Snapshot and Shelter and “Monsters” being a very ‘happy’ and catchy death metal tune paying tribute to horror movies). If someone ever decides to re-release this album, do include these songs as bonus tracks.

As said there is a slight progress on this album. Corine’s vocals aren’t always just deep and low anymore (don't worry, she doesn't really 'sing'). This really does wonders on some songs and makes their sound even more varied. Secondly guitarist Richard Schouten had been replaced by Michel Meeuwissen who played slightly thrashier than his predecessor.

But in the end it is really the dated digital drum production that is killing the metal attitude of this album. The drums are triggered and the samples are far from adequate. One wonders if drummer Serge agreed to this since normally he is such a briliant live musician (as he shows these days with for instance the crossover band Milkman).

“Sentenced” is pretty good but could have been so much better!