The Cold White Light
is the newest record from Finland
's "Northern Most Killers" Sentenced
. This is perhaps their best and most mature work, a dark journey into death, despair, and the light that can still exist even in the darkest moments. This is unlike their last record 2000's Crimson
, which lacked any light at all. On this record Sentenced even poke fun at their suicide metal image, while becoming even better songwriters than before.
The record begins with the plaintive cries of Wild Loons, and then heavy metal riffs. This is the intro "Konevitsan Kirkonkellot" which leads directly into the first full song, which also happens to be one of my favorites, "Cross My Heart and Hope to die". This is perhaps the darkest song on here lyrically, as it begins with "Since your death everything has felt so meaningless and vain, that I've lost the will to live." It's a dark way to start the record, but it has one of the catchiest chorus's on the record. Altogether it is a perfect way to begin this record, catchy, heavy and very dark all at once.
"Brief is the Light" is another dark song at first, but it is not what you think from the first lines about hearing death bells tolling. Instead they take it to another level, that you should know that life is brief and you should enjoy it to the fullest. This sentiment is repeated often on this record, and may be surprising to hear from the creaters of records like Down and Frozen. However this is why this record is so much more mature, it talks about life as well as death.
"Neverlasting" is a fast hectic song, which fits the lyrics, which are about the kind of people who live restlessly. It is a kind of moralistic song, but Sentenced pull it off well as they don't preach. It is also a very nice song to listen to, yet another classic from a record that never gets bad.
"Aika Multaa Muistot (Everything is Nothing)" is another one of my favorites, however it is a dark song, seemingly about the kind of hardened old man that was in their video for "Killing me Killing you". A great song which fits in with the record in a perfect way as the next song is the fast and very well written "Excuse me While I Kill Myself" which finds Sentenced making fun of themselves in a very dark way. This is perhaps the only song I have heard which perfectly captures a kind of Finnish black humor. It also has some great riffs and really is a great song.
Next is "Blood And Tears" which is probably my favorite Sentenced song I have heard. It is so perfectly done, every second is absolutely right, I love this song. This would have been the perfect single off of here.
"You Are the One" is a love song, and a very good one at that, another one of my favorites off of here. It's another song that states light over darkness, this time through love, rather than the realization of death (as on "Brief is the Light").
"Guilt and Regret" is a very interesting song, with a great chorus and a very fascinating lyrical bent. A very interesting song for sure.
"The Luxury of a Grave" reminds me of songs off of Down, however there is a twisted sense of humor on here, as you can tell by the title. This is another one of those songs where Sentenced are making fun of their previous image.
"No One There" ends this record on a dark note, as it seems to be about a man at the end, out in the cold, alone. It's a perfect way to end the record, even though it dispenses with any light that had been talked about before. This is a black depressive song, and the ending is one of the scariest things I have ever heard, even after hearing it many many times it still creeps me out, you have to hear it to understand.
Over-all this is Sentenced's masterpiece, a dark record that's full of life, not only the black parts of life, but the light spots as well. Sentenced certainly won't be writing happy hippie songs, but they have widened a bit in their outlook.
This record seems to have been chiseled out of pure ice, it really feels like winter, from the perfect booklet artwork, to the very sound of the production, this is perhaps the coldest sounding record I own. But there's something so beautiful and so perfect about it that I can't stop listening to it. I can't recommend this enough. Buy it buy it buy it.