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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”