Sentenced - The Funeral Album review
|Album:||The Funeral Album|
|Release date:||May 2005|
01. May Today Become The Day
03. We Are But Falling Leaves
04. Her Last 5 Minutes
05. Where Waters Fall Frozen
06. Despair-Ridden Hearts
07. Vengeance Is Mine
08. A Long Way To Nowhere
09. Consider Us Dead
10. Lower The Flags
11. Drain Me
13. End Of The Road
I remember reading a quote from former Sentenced front-man, Ville Laihiala, a few years ago saying: "As a person I am Finnish to the teeth: Low self-esteem, dark sense of humour and a very small penis."
Now penises aside, that quote pretty much perfectly sums up the picture I have formulated of the band in my mind. I've always had this fascination with Sentenced, the paradox within their music and the incredible way in which a single listen through an album can completely fuck up a perfectly good cup of coffee, but at the same time have you singing along with a smile on your face. I was saddened when I learned of their disbanding in 2005, when I found myself living in a cold and icy Europe for the first time, missing the dreadful heat of Cape Town where your skin melts into your car's leather seats on a congested highway.
In retrospect, The Funeral Album, grew on me when I managed to poke fun at the poor situation I found myself in in Europe, in the company of these depressing Finns - like two old depressive farts in a bar laughing at each other's misfortune because they have completely given up hope and laughter is all that is left.
The Funeral Album strikes with the same perfect balance between the dramatic and sorrowful vocals and lyrics and the conversely uplifting and beautifully elegant guitar melodies of The Cold White Light of 2002 I had fallen in love with. In general the album fluctuates between mid-tempo and slower ballad-like songs with the somewhat groovy anthem "Vengeance is Mine" being one of the stand-out songs with its over-the-top lyrics beautifully disguised as an incredibly catchy chorus sung in Laihiala's raspy "ive smoked too much Stuyvesant for one day" voice, choir-like backing vocals sung by what seems to be children, giving the song a surreal and almost tongue-in-the-cheek feel. Following song "Consider Us Dead", one of my personal favourites, opens with a beautiful melodic passage, with a shifting in pace throughout the song taking you on an emotional ride between its mid-paced acoustic chorus passages and slower, almost stuttering verses.
However, these are the slower, more passionate songs that this album shines with. Throughout the album, especially near the end of it, you get the distinct feeling that the band is bidding us farewell and goodbye for the last time. The piano and guitar interlude to "Lower the Flags" sets the mood for the final goodbye as the journey once again picks up the pace with beautiful pitch changes bringing the piano into the background as the song fades out with a chorus.
The pinnacle of the album is in a suitable manner reached with "End of the Road", which for me is possibly one of the best songs the band has written. The slowest song on the album with deep and dominating vocals laying down the final thoughts of the band ending in a lengthy and beautiful instrumental passage laying the band to rest in an epic and resounding fashion.
The ever-ambiguous music of Sentenced has persevered until the very end, and concluded in a wonderful career. This is a band whose music I could listen to regardless of the mood I was in. Whatever mood I was in The Funeral Album sure managed to change it either way, and there lies the beauty of this album.
|Then the time has come, a time that I hoped never would come, Sentenced's last album, the end of a band that means so much for so many, including me.
Because with the release of "The Funeral Album", one of the largest, if not the largest, "Suicide Metal" band is committing mass-suicide right in front of our eyes.
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| Muhannad Saleh
| Muhannad Saleh
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