Sentenced - Love & Death
Century Media
Melodic Death Metal
5 songs (21'18")
Release year: 1995
Sentenced, Century Media
Reviewed by Alex
Archive review

I was very tired and definitely not in the mood for hearing and analyzing new music. Instead, I wanted something familiar and comforting, something not very mellow, but not driving nails into my head either. Basically, I was in a mood for Sentenced. I know exactly the moments when I absolutely crave that band. Yet, perhaps, their latter final days felt a little too soft for my state of mind, and I went straight for the transformational Amok album, where they made a perfect bridge of leaving behind chaotic early death metal, yet did not plunge into overly melodic suicidal rock yet. And then I realized that while many may know about Amok, those who did not get the Amok re-issue along with Love & Death EP perhaps do not even realize that there was another piece of music the Finns produced right after Amok. Love & Death was that final dot, the last release with Taneli Jarva, after which Sentenced shifted much closer to mainstream and became a known commodity. Consider then Love & Death their swan song to death metal, while also trying to open the newer gothic gates.

And that is exactly how the EP presents itself. The opener The Way I Wanna Go is a piece left off of Amok for unknown reason, guitars grappling with the choice whether to go clean or dirty, the riffs just absolutely restless in their creativity, melodies delicious, lyrics very much suicidal, with Jarva roaring his now a little cleaner gruff vocals all over the piece. Obsession is a chuggier, slower song, stuck in the cold swamps of Northern Finland, while Dreamlands has sprinkling of synthesizers, unknown heretofore to carry so much weight in the Sentenced output. The closer title track is where Sentenced was going to go to next on Down, this is their saying goodbye to Jarva, who was going to resurface next with The Black League, the song itself a precursor to cuts like Noose from Down, Ville Laihiala’s voice much more fitting to the new gothic territory. The cover of Billy Idol’s White Wedding may feel cheesy and out of place at first, but then if you get accustomed to the punk chords being more downtuned and heftier, it makes a ton of sense, and for some people I know it made a highlight on the EP.

Seeing that we do not have Amok reviewed on MetalReviews I probably should have picked an archive of that outstanding album, but figured it would be more illuminating for both Sentenced fans and neutral bystanders if Love & Death review will serve as a sort of 1-for-2 reminder of a must hear music which just celebrated its 20 year old anniversary.

Killing Songs :
The Way I Wanna Go, Love & Death, White Wedding
Alex quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Sentenced that we have reviewed:
Sentenced - The Funeral Album reviewed by Chris and quoted 96 / 100
Sentenced - Frozen reviewed by Alex and quoted 97 / 100
Sentenced - The Cold White Light reviewed by Jack and quoted 80 / 100
Sentenced - Crimson reviewed by Chris and quoted 80 / 100
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