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Review of the Album "Down" by Finnish Heavy Metal Band Sentenced

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

The album's cover has a leaf on top of a sword that is pointed downwards. Even though the lyrical themes on the album are of a somber mood, the musical skill is still there.

The album's cover has a leaf on top of a sword that is pointed downwards. Even though the lyrical themes on the album are of a somber mood, the musical skill is still there.

Some Information About Sentenced and the Album "Down"

Sentenced were a group of guys from Finland that played very creative heavy metal in the years 1989 until 2005 when they announced their disbandment. Their 1996 album called Down is the only one that I had heard from these guys as of the first writing of the review and it deserves a review because it is better than other heavy metal albums of the year. Yes, it beats Metallica’s rock style album Load easily and people know how much I enjoy Metallica but Sentenced should be given credit for their Gothic rock style on this album. They were not quite like Gandalf but they were exciting enough.

About the Song "Noose" and its Importance

The intro is just a short, atmospheric track with weird sounds before the Gothic metal guitar sound starts. "Noose" the first song I ever heard from Sentenced is a catchy song about what can happen to a person that gets depressed enough to lose their motivation to live. Sometimes, some people feel that the noose is around their neck and it is only a matter of time before they expire. Guitarist Miika Tenkula lost his life because of a heart condition in 2009. The band brings up the subject for thought because so many people end their lives around the world when they feel that there is so much pain in their lives that they are not able to overcome. There is a music video for this song that shows the band members walk into a big concert hall. There is also a young ballerina that keeps on dancing around the hall. Vocalist Ville Laihiala would eventually go on to form his own band Poisonblack after Sentenced disbanded. The beginning riff is catchy and crunchy as Ville yells “yeah!”

Official Music Video for the Song "Noose"

Down: Review Part 2 Including the Songs Shadegrown & Bleed

The song Shadegrown is like a mixture of Amorphis and Dark Tranquillity. One drawback if there is any to this album is that Ville’s voice sounds low and drawn out but the songs make up for this deficiency just enough. The next song called Bleed is about someone that has burned all the bridges with the people and nothing but hate is left in his heart. My guess is that the band wanted to bring awareness to the hatred and division that exists in this world. But we should not be surprised by Finnish bands because lyrical themes from the bands of this country focus on melancholy, sorrow, sadness and all the other emotions associated with darkness. The song called Crumbling Down (Give Up Hope) is another song predicting the end of the world as everything goes down. There are also some female chanting vocals in this song. Are we past the point of no return? Or is there hope for mankind? In 2017, there certainly is hope if we can look back at Sentenced and realize their skill and talent.

Down: Songs 7 Through 11 and Conclusion

The next song called "Sun Won’t Shine" starts out like Amorphis would begin their later albums (2007 and beyond). However, this song is about someone that was energized when his lover was with him or by his side. However, when she was not by his side, he felt like he was walking like a dead man, almost like he was dead on the inside of his soul. Ode to the End starts with some bass guitar play before the guitars and Ville’s voice starts to come in. This one sounds a bit like Aegis era Theatre of Tragedy in the guitar playing. The song discusses the pain and sorrow of human life on Earth. The song’s message is simple yet profound. It is suggesting that we should accept death with open arms because if we do that, we will be at peace. The song Warrior of Life (Reaper Redeemer) is about a brave warrior that will put up a good battle because he has spent years proving his strength, skill, and courage.

The Song Called Sun Won't Shine

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Final Thoughts About the Album Down

Overall, the album Down is a good album for 1996 and for Sentenced. However, the lyrics are too negative for too long and the music seems too one-dimensional. And Ville Laihiala is not a vocalist like Pasi Koskinen. In spite of those factors, Down is still a good album from this Finnish band that broke up in 2005.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2017 Ara Vahanian

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