SENTENCED 
The Funeral Album (Century Media, 2005)
Credits: Ville Laihiala – vocals.  Miika Tenkula – guitar.  Sami Lopakka – guitar.  Vesa Ranta – drums.  Sami Kukkohov – bass.

Sentenced goes out with a bang, or at least one last slab of ridiculously catchy, old-school heavy metal with amusing lyrics and sometimes disappointingly simplistic guitar playing.  But so what?  There may not be any Petrucci’s in Sentenced, but this is a band that remembers that heavy metal can be fun!  No screaming, no death metal elements remain, but Sentenced somehow found a way to be extremely catchy without playing power metal.  The catchiest, most sing-along songs are May Today Become the Day, Vengeance is Mine, and Drain Me.  I wouldn’t call this music depressing, but Sentenced love the negative lyrics and this is no different.  One of the songs, a short instrumental track, harkens back, for no apparent reason, to the North From Here days and seems out of place on this kind of album.  It may be a quick nod to the past for Sentenced’s swan song.  I love this album.  Basically, if you hated The Cold White Light, this won’t interest you either.  If you’ve enjoyed everything post Down, you’ll love this one too.

Guest Review by, MarK