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Sentenced - Amok - 90%

tcgjarhead, August 14th, 2012

This is my first foray into post Shadows of Past Sentenced material. I saw on Metal Archives that the band was playing melodic death metal so I figured I'd give one of the albums a shot to see whether I liked what the band had put out or not. After the first few seconds it became very clear that the band played something that bordered on melodeath but more so took what people accuse In Flames of doing, playing Iron Maiden but with harsh vocals, to the next level.

This is almost like listening to early Iron Maiden but with a bit more of a classic rock and even 80s rock influence thrown in for good measure. And its pulled off very successfully I have to say. The music itself is extremely melodic and at times has a pretty epic feel to it. I love the bits with the harmonized guitars which along with some of the riffing is probably what in large part calls to mind Iron Maiden.

Taneli Jarva's vocals are on a high register like a lot of the Gothenburg bands, which is neither good nor bad, it just is. He does here and there do something that is like a half growl/half scream to change things up. Simplicity is the key on Amok. Whether it be the riffs, drumming, song structures, ect ect, it is all simplistic. But this is one of those cases where it was probably for the best and in the end run helped the album become more enjoyable. It of course probably doesn't hurt that the style that the band chose to emulate is far more easily consumed than their earlier output.

I thoroughly enjoy Amok, both as someone who enjoys early Iron Maiden, and melodic death metal. I don't think its a stretch that both of those camps would enjoy what Sentenced produced with this album. Its got great production too and holds up quite well going on 17 years later. Amok is an album that I can see myself jamming to years from now due to its re-playability.

Originally reviewed @