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XOn, XOff, and Goodnight - 80%

autothrall, August 28th, 2014
Written based on this version: 1995, CD, Century Media Records (Digipak)

The Love & Death EP was a bittersweet moment for me, since it represented the end of Taneli Jarva's tenure in Sentenced and thus my intense interest in the band. Not because of Jarva alone, but because once they picked up their new vocalist they took the tunes a little too far into the accessible/Gothic metal range, which would not be a problem if they excelled in that area, but they really did not after a spell...Down is probably the most solid of that era and there was a scarcity to the quality beyond that point. But something about hearing Jarva's manly growls and grunts over the band's conversion into melodic, rock & roll infused death metal made Amok a jewel among my collection, an album I still break out on a regular basis, one of my favorite Finnish metal albums in history...Love & Death, if nothing more, is a sorrowful farewell to that unusual chemistry which made the band so special to begin with.

It picks up with a tune that would have felt right at home on the prior album, "The Way I Wanna Go", which I had heard before this released and thus gave me every reason to acquire it. It does take on a little more of a Gothic rock direction with the echoing clean guitars and woeful, cleaner vocals that Jarva would use a lot more in The Black League later, but once it picks up and they start nailing us with those simple, melodic chord progressions he swerves back towards that enormous, imperfect and unforgettable roar. Lots of great riffs in this one, especially the little melodies with the wah wah that reflect the earlier guitar passage, and that glorious bridge where the synthesizers are splayed out behind the core band. "Obsession" is another highlight, way more chuggy rock & roll with a nice, crashing lead/bridge, and "Dreamlands" has an amazing synth intro, but the tune most people are going to make a b-line towards here is the cover of Billy Joel's "White Wedding", which with Taneli singing sounds just as hilarious as you'd expect...I mean they play it pretty close to the belt but it's awesome, I almost want this to be my default version of the song.

Jarva is just that lovable, like a massive teddy bear from a land of cold and suicides, and his weird charm sold me on this band just as much as the fantastic riffing on North from Here and Amok. That said, the EP does feel a little uneven in places, with some of the riffs and baselines feeling a little too polished for his growls. The rhythm guitar occasionally seems too loud or too soft, but it might also be that here the Finns were experimenting more with different guitar tones in conjunction to give it a driving pop feel in places, and a more trad metal aesthetic elsewhere. The final track, "Love & Death" itself, is an amalgamation of what's gone on before it on the EP, but for some reason it doesn't stand out to my memory as much as the rest of the content. At any rate, I've never owned the version that came with The Trooper single attached, but most people these days will luck out and get this for free alongside the Amok reissue, which this material mostly pales in comparison too, but was a worthy enough successor to the extent that I was quite excited to hear what the next full length with Jarva would have sounded like...aaaand got Down and The Black League debut instead, which were hardly rock-bottom but just not as good. Love & Death: Goth-tempered, enjoyable heavy metal.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com

Love and death are two wonderful things - 90%

CoffinText, April 29th, 2009

“Can you see this Hell I feel inside?
A tragedy in a human mind.”



Sentenced are a band that have struck me from the heart ever since I first laid ears on their music. And you know what? Their second and last EP, Love & Death, is a perfect example of the kind of music that basically, well…keeps me alive. It provides sight into a band that existed in an era when Metal was on its hands & knees in terms of both popularity and survival. On a vague note, Sentenced just did their thing and didn’t give a shit about what was going on around them. Not only were their Death Metal elements from the past were completely shed away at this point within their career, but their style as a whole seemed to have completely vanished in its own existence, yet reborn, while still on the verge of dying. But, to be reborn, you first have to die, and that’s what Sentenced is all about.

The progressiveness from the past two releases, The Trooper and Amok, seems to thrive all over this release. If Amok didn’t push away long time fans since the beginning, then this EP would sure have. In fact, some clean sung vocal passages from Jarva can be established in the first and best track on the record, “The Way I Wanna Go“; a significantly straight forward rocker with a chorus that will get nailed to the back of your skull! I’m not kidding you. The song-writing on this track is extraordinarily powerful, but the simplicity of it is just charismatic. The next song, “Obsession“, sounds like a left over track from the Amok sessions. It’s another straight forward number that’s lesser than the opening tune, but above the average tune. “Dreamlands” also shouldn’t be without mention either. It’s got “melancholy” written all over it, and hence its title, a “dreamy” feel.

But up next, we’ve got one of my all time favorite song covers! It’s none other than a surprising version of Billy Idol’s “White Wedding, in which even in its original form is a great song. I can’t necessarily say that Sentenced have perfected it, but it’s kind of like their Iron Maiden cover; they just add their own touch to it for a pleasant listen. The EPs title cut, “Love & Death”, finishes things off on a brilliant note. It’s remenicint of “The Way I Wanna Go” with its catchy yet woeful chorus and its basic overall structure. It’s safe to say that these are two of Sentenced’s all time best songs, and are both perfect reasons for hunting down this EP alone. But, luckily for modern times, its been reissued on CD together with Amok.

There are many fans who claim that this EP marked the true death of Sentenced. Well, if they’re not into later stuff, it’s their loss. They’re the ones missing out. In fact, as stated above, this EP did mark a certain death for the band, as it was their last release with Jarva Taneli on vocals, but it also marked a rebirth for them, which wouldn’t fully come into play until the next release, Down.


“When the bow breaks the cradle will fall.
I am in shape for the game, but for life?... no more”

last good one from Sentenced - 94%

Inexora, June 16th, 2006

To me personally this is the last listenable Sentenced release. As some of you may know Taneli Jarva left the band shortly after this release so to me since that day Sentenced is dead.
But anyways, this MCD is just brilliant. Perfect curtain closing for Taneli Jarva's career in Sentenced. I'll review these songs one by one:

1. The Way I Wanna Go

Pretty aggressive song. Nice guitarplaying as always from Tenkula. The riffs are same kind of riffs that you hear from some hard rock bands. Nicely heavy song

2. Obsession

Probably one of the heaviest songs Sentenced has ever done. This is what the last Sentenced records should sound like.

3. Dreamlands
This is in my opinion the best Sentenced song ever. The atmosphere that this song creates is just amazing. The guitar solo is awesome. Slower start which quickly transforms into very melodic and beautiful tapping. Just incredible song. And the lyrics are pretty good too...

4. White Wedding
This one is Billy Idol cover (I bet you all knew that :) ). It's an OK piece but I would have rather wanted to hear some of their own songs instead of this one. This cover is -like I said- nice but it gives a feeling of a album filler, a song that just had to be recorded because they wanted their MCD to be just a little longer. Not a bad song, but unnecessary one...

5. Love&Death
The ending song. Very beautiful and atmospherecally sad song. Definetely one of the best songs I've ever heard from Sentenced. It's a sort of grand finale - type of song.

This album is in all of it's glory one of the best Sentenced releases ever. If you liked Amok I'm pretty sure you will love this one.
Without the Billy Idol-cover this would have been perfect MCD.
Buy this one!!!

Good Melo-death EP - 85%

fear_the_riffer, August 9th, 2004

The first Sentenced album I bought was Amok, as much as I liked it, I like this even more! Although this EP has only five tracks, they are all great.

The album starts with The Way I Wanna Go. It's fast, aggressive, and has soaring leads. I'm not an expert in melo-death, but this is definitely good shit!
The album keeps getting better and maintains a good balance between melody and aggression until it reaches what might be considered the disappointment of the album, White Wedding. Yes, this is a Billy Idol cover which is not bad, but doesn't fit in this album since the original song doesn't have a solo or any melody. The title track Love and Death is similar to The Way I Wanna Go but a bit slower. It's a good mixture of melody, heavy chunk, and growling vocals.

This might be one of the best Melodic Death albums because I enjoyed it and I'm not even a fan of the genre. It's also good if you are trying melo-death for the first time.Oh and if you find the Amok/Love and Death compilation be sure to get it!