|Classic Review: Sentenced - North From Here|
|North From Here|
Label: Century Media
Year released: 2001
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: March 2, 2006
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
for:North From Here
On their sophomore release, Sentenced took on the world of metal head on and tried something unique at the time and remarkably influential. It did of course earn them the title of "The Northernmost Killers"! They have been devoid of any such respect or authority since too long to remember, but when this band was firing on all cylinders, no other band of its time came within miles from Sentenced.
Vocalist Taneli Jarva's malicious and spiteful vocals added a different feel to the already honoured death metal growl of Mika Tenkula. Jarva's piercing shrieks took Sentenced's sound from very good death metal, to something totally else. It would of course become the mainstay of the later black metal explosion. Spitting out furious venom from all instruments including the voice, Sentenced managed to create a hateful and rage-filled master-work of cold art with big nods to the Scandinavian black metal camp. If one were to randomly listen to some parts off of this record now, without knowledge of who the band is, it can easily be concluded that these guys are wearing plenty of make-up and are shrieking about Satan in the mid-nineties.
My biggest gripe here however, is when the band starts experimenting with melody. There are a lot of instances where they get very melodic and quite frankly, the band did not develop a knack for good melodies until later on in their careers when they mellowed out. But as a whole, "North From Here" is an enraged, hate-filled, often chaotic guitar monster. The raging and inhuman drumming aside, solo enthusiasts are also in for a treat here. There are not too many "traditional" riffs on this record; more tremolos actually. But the band emphasizes the essence of solos far more than traditional riffs.
This Century Media reissue also comes with the entire "The Trooper" EP – which I am not too fond of. The Maiden cover (although slightly funny) has been butchered pretty badly and the rest of the EP is just okay I suppose. But since that is just an added "benefit" of reissued albums, I will not be docking any points off the rating from "North From Here." For those interested in checking out the sound of Sentenced when they actually cast an imposing shadow on their competitors, "North From Here" and their debut "Shadows Of The Past" should completely change your perspective on this band. In their heyday, they were visionaries with more balls than most metal bands out there. Give it a shot.
"North From Here" was originally released in 1993
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