s 5th full length, a dark depressing afair, less suicide themed, but no less black and depressive. Many accuse it of being their sell-out record, but I have to disagree, there's little on here in the way of really catchy songs, instead there's more atmosphere
, yet no matter how dark and heavy it gets it always has a sense of melody. Maybe that's what everyone is hearing.
The record starts off with "Bleed In My Arms", which sets the mood immediately. The song is all darkness, all about death, and all about melody. Somehow it hits in a perfect way, where the melody makes the song somehow heavier. The song even features some classic Sentenced guitar sounds.
"Home In Despair" seconds the record up with another catchy and dark song. "Again the sky is falling, down on me, Once more a world has crumbled, down and over me, Yet in some twisted way, I enjoy my misery" fewer words sum up all of Sentenced's music. Great song.
Next we have "Fragile" which begins with some quiet guitars and then a military beat. From there we find singer Ville sing in a quietly depressed tone, as if the world were too heavy on his shoulders. "Sometimes it feels it would be better for you all, if I ceased to exist or were never born at all", goes the dark chorus. This song has some great chords, some great sounds.
"No More Beating as One" is about the death of love, in a very violent manner. A kind of murder suicide, not quite a nice subject, but it's presented with a great song, going from a quiet acoustic guitar intro to a loud and heavy chorus and palm muted chorus. The verses sound a bit like fellow Finns H.I.M., but Sentenced have been around some 3 or 4 years longer than H.I.M. (now something like 12 or 13 years), so that can be excused. A dark dark song.
"Broken" reminds me slightly of Alice In Chains during the verse, but then in the chorus and pre-chorus it sounds like pure Sentenced. Another great song on a record that has so far not let us down one bit.
"Killing Me Killing You" is not only the single off of this record, but the absolute classic on here as well. Everything from the quiet and slightly Middle Eastern piano intro to the loud crunchy chorus is perfect and every second is catchy, yet it never looses its dark and heavy vibe. Sentenced prove themselves to be masters at the creation of great melodies throughout this record, and this is perhaps one of the best melodies they've come up with. A classic track.
"Dead Moon Rising" is a creepy song, with a strong sense of dementia running throughout. It makes one very uneasy, as it sounds like the thoughts of a convicted man, waiting for a ghost to take his soul away. Another great song.
"The River" is another dark and melodic song, a bit quieter than others, as it doesn't use any real distortion. I love the melody, it's so evocative of the dark thoughts of a man in deep depression.
"One More Day" opens with another one of their quiet riffs before moving into a epic sounding section. This then ends and the real song begins at about the minute mark. This song feels like a bunch of little pieces put together, and although I like the verse and the chorus very much, they stop the energy of the song for the Type O Negative like pre-chorus, and as good as the rest of the song is, this odd progression is annoying and simply gets in the way. It's still listenable, but for the first time so far there's a song that is not well done all the way through. Despite this the chorus is wonderful, so it's worth listening to.
"With Bitterness and Joy" is the second to last song, and now the band is back to a well done song all the way through. I like this song very much, maybe not as much as some of the earlier songs, but it's still a good song, with a nice chorus.
"My Slowing Heart" ends the record on a heavy note. Sentenced don't leave us sentimental, just depressed. Again the melody is very interesting using some Middle Eastern sounding notes. On this we can again hear that they were once, along time ago a death metal band, though that would sell the song short. However I don't think they saved the best for last like they would on their newest The Cold White Light, the ending here is a little underwhelming at first, but somehow it gets better as it goes through, I guess it gets a bit more epic. Not the best ending, but still a very good song.
Over all I don't think that this is all about suicide, at times it is, as in the last song, but for the most part it's about the death of love, ending in the death of everyone and everything, or at least that's how it seems to me. It was the end of an era for the band, who have changed their sound considerably on the newest record, where they become a little more mature in many ways. On this it sounds like the culmination of a dark period in a persons life. Yet there is a light in the music, you just have to search for it. No there is no dark humor (as on songs off of The Cold White Light), at least as far as I can tell, but it is a great album, just don't listen if you are already suicidal.