“Buried Alive” (DVD) by Sentenced

Artist: Sentenced
Title: “Buried Alive”
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: 1/23/2007
Genre: Gothic Metal
Rating: 4/5

May I please ask all of you to take your seats so we may commence. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with a great amount of sadness and despair that I speak to you from the heart about our gathering here on this sad day October 1, 2005. Today we come together as fans and friends to offer some well-deserved tributes to the band Sentenced. The group has tragically and not too quietly ended their life in the same manner in which they lived it – on the concert stage among their most ardent and supportive fans. Yes, this DVD release that bears the same name as the CD concert issue gives the viewers the final live performance of the band Sentenced – ever! The group decided to call it a career with their last release “The Funeral Album” which was a powerful Gothic Metal CD issued in early 2005. Their musical “suicide note” came after sixteen years as a group and essentially at the mass decision that all that they could do in this band, had been done. Filmed in their native Finland, at the club Teatria, there are hours of material with the concert and the heaping amount of bonus features for the viewer to enjoy. The concert segment on DVD1 features the full final performance which runs just over two hours. It is very dramatically shot and it includes a strong selection from “The Funeral Album” along with the rest of the bands back catalog. Their singer Ville Laihiala is showcased very prominently and it was during his tenure that the group changed in style from their original sound of Melodic Death Metal to a more brooding Gothic Metal.

The original sound was delivered in excellence with the help of their original front man Taneli Jarva; fans of the group from these early years will enjoy the fact that Jarva returns to the stage with the band during this show and performs five numbers from the time that he was a member of the group. His was a darker and rougher voice, which is more along the lines of the growlers in today’s Black Metal scene. As far as their Gothic Metal sound went, it would be a sound that would inspire the likes of bands like HIM and The Rasmus. Laihiala has since gone on to focus his efforts with the band Poisonblack now that Sentenced has “passed on”. It is a solid show but at some points the singing sounds a little strained. I did not take this as a bad thing as every band has their own live style and this still was kicking as far as a performance video was concerned. Outside of favorites from “The Funeral Album” I also particularly enjoyed “The Suicider/Excuse Me While I Kill Myself” and “Cross My Heart And Hope To Die”. Readers who are new to the band even at this late stage should be aware that most of their songs dealt with the aspects of Death and ending ones life. They were not suggesting that listeners do this of course.

The bonus inclusions give you all of the bands videos on the second DVD along with interviews that while in Finnish, do come with sub-titles for the rest of the world to enjoy (well, the English speaking ones at least). The included videos are: Nepenthe, Noose, Killing Me Killing You, No One There, Ever Frost, and Despair Ridden Hearts. There is a cryptic segment which finds the band walking through the town with a casket as they take their funeral procession march. It leads the viewer into a behind the scenes look at the video for “Ever Frost” (included in full on that section). With all this material to enjoy it is hard to find yourself not coming to some sense of sadness as a band that gave the world some really interesting Metal chooses to close the book on their existence in such a dramatic fashion. Their impact was definitely felt in this aspect of the Metal genre and as they pan across the attending concert fans you can see that many are in tears as the bombastic finale occurs. This is a must-have DVD for ones collection as there are not many chances to watch the last show of a band over and over in the privacy of your own home. Bands end and reunite all the time so we can only hope that this was the right decision for them at this time. For now I can only say: “May they Rest in Peace.”

Sentenced Was: Ville Laihiala (vocals), Miika Tenkula (guitar), Sami Lopakka (guitar), Sami Kukkohovi (bass) and Vesa Ranta (drums).

Track Listing:
1. Funeral Intro & Credits
2. Where Waters Fall Frozen
3. May Today Become The Day
4. Neverlasting
5. Bleed
6. The Rain Comes Falling Down
7. Ever-Frost
8. Sun Wont Shine
9. Dead Moon Rising
10. Despair Ridden Hearts
11. Broken
12. The Suicider/Excuse Me While I Kill Myself
13. The War Aint Over
14. Nepenthe
15. Northern Lights
16. The Way I Wanna Go
17. Dance On The Graves (Lil Siztah)
18. Noose
19. Aika Multaa Muisot (Everything Is Nothing)
20. Farewell
21. No One There
22. Drown Together
23. Cross My Heart And Hope To Die
24. Brief Is The Light
25. Vengeance Is Mine
26. End Of The Road
27. Funeral Outro

Official Website: www.sentenced.org

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