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Sentenced | Cold White Light | review | metal | Lollipop


The Cold White Light (Century Media)
by Martin Popoff

For some reason, Sentenced seems to rile the cockles of the morbid metal heart, folks siding with or against the new singer versus the old, the harsh semi-death churn of old versus the elegant, melodic Enter Gothman of new, or more accurately, everybody liking the characteristics of the mid-years and approximately 64.5% of those on board for the here and now. Last record Crimson was lambasted for auto-pilot drift, and this one's receiving critical mood swings to the yays and nays. But man, if you are all inclined toward the band's dreamy Finnish sentiments, there are choruses on here for miles, notable those fist-pumping "Cross My Heart and Hope To Die," "Brief is the Light," "Blood & Tears" and showstopper "Excuse Me While I Kill Myself," each a powerful anthem exhibiting the band's morose sense of humor, each crouching for the verse and then tugging the blood muscle through a shower of sad, loud guitars for the choral pay-off.

Guitarist Sami Lopakka figures the album is the most versatile of the band's career, and he may be right, given the swing in volume levels and arrangements. There's also a dirty vibe regardless of these levels, a rowdy bottom end with thrashy drum tones and a general hoodlum heaviness that pushes the band back to a sort of garagey underground. I can easily see how The Cold White Light isn't going to change minds stuck in Down, but all I can say is that I've ended up playing it dozens of times, fervently craving, seeking and finding the recurring peaks and valleys money parts on this record that are missing on so many others.
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