Sentenced
Shadows of the Past


3.5
great

Review

by CaptainDooRight USER (93 Reviews)
March 28th, 2012 | 19 replies


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist


Sentenced began as a death metal band in 1989 and gradually evolved into a gothic/doom death metal band later in their career. After disbanding in 2005, Sentenced must have been satisfied with years of fruitful activity. While this Finish group went through many bassist’, which has always been pretty common with death metal bands, they’ve always laid out consistent albums one after the other. Sentenced never created an “over-the-top” amazing album before but each LP release contains something new and exciting in their catalogue. Spawning Sentenced’ well known status was the release of their first LP entitled “Shadows of the Past” which is known as one of their best albums, holding solid death metal with a exquisite bass heavy production and plenty of grooves to enjoyable aspects to go around.

“Shadows of the Past” brings to mind many notable death metal acts such as Death, Carcass, and even a bit of Dismember. Many of the solos and melody lines are very reminiscent of Chuck Schuldiner’s playing style, while many other riffing patterns bring to memory early grind formulas such as the ones death/grind band Carcass is known for. “Suffocated Beginning of Life” is a perfect example of these blended attributes as well as being a track that really brings out the audible bass as if you were listening to Scream Bloody Gore by Death. This same track is my favorite off “Shadows of the Past” due to the level of sexy classic riffs blended so well, inducing a Chuckgasm. Vocalist/bassist Taneli Jarva actually holds very similar characteristics to a blend of early Death and Obituary, yet his vocalist approach is more low toned which fits nicely over the already bass heavy production.

While the guitars and drums are very solid, they take the groovy less aggressive approach, rather than the more techy-brutal sides of death metal. Tracks like “When the Moment of Death Arrives” and “Disengagement” tend focus on a few set musical patterns that go through various motions of double bass to blast beats as the guitars favor changing tempos in an unforced-flowing kind of way. Some listeners may appreciate this or find it off putting if their looking for more up-tempo’d aggressive death formulas, but even the band Death didn’t focus on immense technicality[even though they were], yet they were very successful as a band. This less of an aggressive style should not be deterrence because Sentenced use the groovy passages to add a sense of catchiness that will draw the listener to focus on different compositional takes.

“Shadows of the Past” offers a solid run of death metal from beginning to end, with excellent compositions; but is nothing groundbreaking at the same time. It is, however, very much recommended for those who are looking for solid laid back old school death metal, with occasional moments of up tempo. Sentenced’ discography is solid and this album should spur the listener to check out the rest of their discography as Sentenced is anything but one-dimensional.



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user ratings (37)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2012


19450 Comments


album is pretty sweet, theres better finnish death though

Digging: Fluxion - Vibrant Forms II

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2012


8470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't want to rag on you man, but this really needs a proofread. Too many spelling mistakes and typos are to be found here, you can do better than this. Also, you're using semicolons the wrong way, just sayin'.



As for the band, in a rather amusing fashion, the only album of theirs I have is the goth metal outing The Cold White Light, but hey, at least I like that one a fair bit haha.

Digging: Unearth - Watchers of Rule

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2012


8470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

do you rec' I just use comas instead?
In this review, yes, replace the two semicolons with regular commas.

NocteDominum
March 28th 2012


7193 Comments


Thought about picking this up, still not completely satisfied that I should.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2012


19450 Comments


its pretty good

and idk, i havent heard of a new demilich album

Eclecticist
March 28th 2012


3863 Comments


I think this is the lowest rating that you have ever given a death metal album in one of your reviews.

Eclecticist
March 28th 2012


3863 Comments


That's a shame man because it's always good to have that one hard-ass that rips an album a new one to give prospective listeners some insight.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2012


8470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

gotcha, k wanted to confirm, guess it was a rumor going around
They were/are supposed to release a compilation album that has a few (read: I don't know exactly how many) new songs on it.

Willie
Moderator
March 28th 2012


16194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've never heard this album, but North From Here is awesome. It's like the raw blueprint for what melodeath would eventually become.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2012


8470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've never heard this album, but North From Here is awesome.
Getting that now. I'm not sure if you have actually recommended it personally to me before, but I've definitely seen you namedrop it as one of the better melodeath pieces out there, yet for some reason I have not acquired it in the past.

Willie
Moderator
March 28th 2012


16194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's hard to call it one of the better melodeath albums without it getting a little help from nostalgia, but it is definitely one of the originators. Heartwork is one of the better melodeath albums out there.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2012


16700 Comments


Heard most of Sentenced's work but have not heard this one.

Ticondaroga
March 28th 2012


231 Comments


north from here gave me an early bodom vibe

Willie
Moderator
March 28th 2012


16194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Minus the keyboards, thin vocals, power metal vibe and the fact that North From Here came out four years before Bodom's debut; right? Other than that... yeah, lots of similarities ;)

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2012


6557 Comments


Good review in the sense that the music is well described, but you should proofread more and especially shorten the length of some sentences.

Other than that, there is a lot of Asphyx on this one as well.

Not that Asphyx is an influence for Sentenced (both bands started the same period, give or take) but the interplay between slow - almost doom - parts and fast paced rhythms somehow reminded me of the aforementioned Dutch doom/death act.

I remember reading in the local press about the first two Sentenced albums being just decent death metal albums because the band was being promoted as a melodic goth metal one.

However, this is not true, debut from Sentenced is nearly awesome, between a 3.5-4.0 for me and I'm not all too deep into early '90s death metal.

May review this in time to come.

Digging: Devil's Train - II

Ticondaroga
March 29th 2012


231 Comments


Well I guess there isn't any keyboards, and the vocals are more black metal-esque on bodom's part I
just said it reminded me of bodom. I didn't mean they were two peas in a pod.

PiedradeLuna
June 21st 2014


231 Comments


Captain, checking out this album now.

Pretty good riffs! Music is pretty straightforward Finnish death, would have loved if they could have infused some melody while retaining this basic sound. Overall, pretty good debut though

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2014


8470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Look up their demos When Death Join Us and Rotting Ways To Misery if you want some melody mixed in there. They should both be up on youtube for previewing.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2014


8470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

m/ indeed, these guys were good at everything they decided to do. Not sensational, but definitely rock solid.



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