SENTENCED: "The Cold White Light"     www.sentenced.org     www.centurymedia.com 
review by Gryphon_spirit
After 2 years Sentenced again, finally! The Cold White Light is the title of the new studio album , so much looked forward to come. So, let's proceed with order, telling first that this CD has surprised me very much. If someone expected a comeback of the old angry and rough side of Sentenced of (Bleed, I'll throw the first rock, Noose and Burn...) maybe will be disappointed, and it could be a mistake. This album will surely divide the opinion of the fans. But no fear: Sentenced remain Sentenced, this album shows the same powerful guitar riffs, the same intensity, the same sorrowful feelings of despair that have always distinguished this band (see Mourn for example, whose atmosphere could be a predecessor of The White Light). 

The first time I listened to these songs I had the impression to be sorrounded by the darkness of long and frozen nights, mysterious lights were dancing in my mind, while at the same time, the bloom of the sound made me a little bit disconcerted though mesmerized. But at a second hearing one can understand that The Cold White Light it's not only the natural Crimson's successor. It has the same gloomy atmosphere of even previous releases , only proposed in a more mature and gentle way. On the whole it can seem different from the rest of the discography, but only cause it represents really a step forward as far it concerns the confidence and the maturity in playing every instrument involved. Sentenced are more magic now, more sorrowful, but the power of their guitars and drums comes out with unchanged aggression. Like a lion full of sadness they enchant the listener with a wide spectrum of emotions, always ready to claw, to give their powerful heavy scratch. Only a superficial listening could lead to the conclusion that Sentenced have chosen a more lovely commercial way, on the contrary we can see that all typical Sentenced-schemes are here, pulsing from a rousing anthem to a ballad, among piano scores, heavy chords and acoustic guitars. One can recognize the typical style of the past releases without finding any copy of the previous songs. Sentenced don't copy themselves and this is what I consider faithful evolution. Sentenced remain at their high level without decreasing in their "value". Giant like they are, they perform their songs supplying gloomy atmosphere, giving more attention to fine details, throwing us in a magic world of despair, fear, love, hope, all sorrounded by a sound- wall built by good electronic synthetizers which literally fill up the background. 

So, is everything so wonderful?... well not, actually melodies, through different from previous ones, are not the most original and I think that some notes here and there can remind to HIM themselves. But ,on the whole, these are really little things if compared to the greatness of all work done!! These songs surely find a better impact when you listen to them at night, especially when the day has gifted you with a sorrow more, when depression wraps you up but you don't want to give up. It will be very interesting to see how this new stuff can sound live and how the band will perform them on the stage. The Cold White Light gives its enchantment off the more you listen to it. Everytime the CD has finished (I've listened to it a lot in these hours without getting bored) I had the impression that a force has come and gone without "breaking" anything, having simply left a tormenting wish to experience it again. Least but not last, the guitar duo Tenkula- Lopakka is becoming more and more technical,working together very well, and Laihiala's voice remains strong enough to provide again a touch of angriness to the songs (style "Killing me, Killing you" in the "Crimson" CD)

Here we go with the tracks:
1) KONEVITSAN KIRKENKELLOT 1:40 - all who don't speak Finnish have nothing to fear: it's an instrumental track, committed to background electronics, creates an atmosphere of mystery and it is characterized by the cries of loons, you have really the impression to hear something that can be similar to sinister calls in the cold wind, but it could be also the call of some strange beings, or the crying of a soul, then the acousting guitar strikes up accompanied after few seconds by a gloomy orchestration. You are in the cold white light now...
2) CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO DIE 4:07 - a great guitar work is introducing the song that could become the hammer of the whole CD, a catchy and melancholic melody in mid tempo open its way among powerful riffs and pregevoli solos. 
3) BRIEF IS THE LIGHT 4:24 A good song,somehow it reminds me very much the older Sentenced schemes enriched to very valuable guitars with and good lead guitar solos. 
4) NEVERLASTING 3:34 One of the speedest song which shows an overload of sounds, that though possessing a faultless technique, are making up a melody somehow related with external influences. Btw, let's not forget that this album was put on tape by HIM producer Hiili Hiilesma....
5) AIKA MULTAA MUISTOT (EVERYTHING IS NOTHING) 4:34 For me personally the brilliant masterpiece of the album (and also for Lovedeath77 I've seen, like our Italian knowing visitors will read ) . If  heared with scientifical mind, this track has nothing revolutionary, but the synthesis among ballad, melody, and a touch of heavy guitars who are entering  placing themselves in foreground, together with a well structured lead guitar, makes this song excellent. I think, it will be the one who will hit more the listener from the very first moment, and one of the most played tracks as well. Beginning with a sweet  accompaniment this songs becomes stronger in crescendo till heavier guitars burst and its 4:34 mins length pass in an instant. I've chosen this song for my flash presentation of the album.
6) EXCUSE ME WHILE I KILL MYSELF 3:48 A very ricorrent theme in the Sentenced philosophy. One of the best tracks, again the basilar Sentenced schemes are shown. Powered by sharp drums this song offers many tempo changings. With a catchy but not simple melody and a rough and resolute construction should be one of the tracks more welcomed by old fans. 
7) BLOOD & TEARS 4:14 A song where Sentenced try to put together a rather foreseen melody with some interesting changings in tempo and some guitar pickings. Rather speed. Finding this track  good or not is, at my opinion, only a question of personal taste.
8)YOU ARE THE ONE 4:30 I can bet that many of you could find this song the more commercial among all. Indeed the melody is very easy. 
9)GUILT AND REGRET 3:45 This song is enriched by a good piano and some very nostalgic guitar,it shows in many moments a very deep  sorrow. Not heavy. It needs more than a hearing in order to be understood. I don't like it so much, nevertheless has valuable notes of misery.
10) THE LUXURY OF A GRAVE 4:41 Another cool track, where typical Sentenced style is emerging the most, aggressive and melodic at the same time, could be the symbol of this new CD; also vocals are angry enough. With some rough edge knocked off, it is giving us a taste of older Sentenced. Some notes coming from lead guitar are simply wonderful.
11) NO ONE THERE 6:14 Another perfect mix between melancholy and power heaviness. . Another hit. Lyrics underline the usual feelings of sorrow and depression. If Sami Lopakka explains that Sentenced make this music paradoxically to escape from negative ideas, this song should be a monument to this point of view. Intense, bittersweet, with a  nostalgic aura. The song vanishes into the same gloomy atmosphere seen in the intro. The same sinister cries of  loons are becoming stronger and stronger, they increase in volume,they come closer to the listeners, they multiply like a flock of mads harpies. The whole thing stops suddenly and brutally on the threshold to physical pain, and it lasts only few seconds. Very impressive.

I wouldn't say that The Cold White Light is a masterpiece, but it is a very beautiful album, not monotonous, heavy enough, well produced and well recorded, that must be tasted every time you listen to it...do you want more? ;)

dalia di giacomo              

review by Salvo "Lovedeath" Russo
Stavo con grande attesa aspettando il ritorno dei Sentenced dopo quel tanto discusso ma assolutamente stupendo "Crimson". Questo cd uscirā tra un mese circa, ma questa promo-copia ci dā la possibilitā di potervi consigliare con giusto anticipo.
 Appena dō il via al lettore vengo letteralmente travolto dalla strumentale notturna "Konevitsan Kirkonkellot"  che č assolutamente stupenda ...gotica  qaunto mai, per intenderci mi ha ricordato l'atmosfera di Bloody Kisses dei Type O negative , ma con le chitarre davvero potenti, che sostengono un malinconio arpeggio in un surreale paesaggio tipico della fredda Finlandia. Un brano simile alla stupenda "Burn" ovvero era Frozen.
La successiva "Cross my heart and hope to die" lascia fraintendere  il sound rispetto all'album precedente, ma questa canzone č davvero bella , caratterizata da una melodia triste e malinconica avvolta in una song davvero potente.
 Nella successiva "Blood & tears" il discorso non cambia molto , anche se il brano inzia molto soft per poi esplodere con nel refrain. 
Si continua a premere sull'acceleratore con "You are the one" con Ville che sfodera una timbrica davvero potente e rabbiosa, supportato dai cori e da una band e da una ritmica incalzante. 
La song N.5 č per il sottoscritto un vero gioellino "Aika Multaa Muistot". E' una gothic-song tipica dei Sentenced, caratterizzata da una malinconia e una tristezza unica. Il brano inzia sussurrato con un arpeggio tristissimo e poi esplode con rabbia. 
La successiva "Brief is the light" non fa certo gridare al miracolo,  mentre sottolineo l'intensa "Neverlasting" col refrain stile HIM e con la voce di Leihalo sempre protagonista.
 Non sono il massimo "Guilt and regret" e "The luxury of a grave" ma la chiusura del cd č affidata ad una davvero intensa "No one there" che non a caso č il primo singolo dell'album e che uscirā a fine aprile.
Un bel lavoro questo"The cold white Light" anche se non tutte le song sono all'altezza. Ma quel che di buono ne vale pienamente il prezzo del cd.

Salvo Russo   

Niederrohrdorf - Switzerland Impressum