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Music / Sentenced

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The Northernmost Killersnote 

You thought you'd just put your
head into the Noose,
and let it all go...
and so you did,
Oh yeah, you did!

Sentenced, hailing near the city of Oulu in northern Finland, was one of the most influential bands of the Finnish metal scene, paving the way for both Finnish Death Metal and Gothic Metal.

Founded in 1988 by lead guitarist Miika Tenkula originally under the name of Deformity, Sentenced had some line-up changes before settling on Sami Lopakka on rhythm guitar, Vesa Ranta on drums and Taneli Jarva on bass, with Tenkula on the vocals. The band released their debut album Shadows of the Past in 1991, which was a typical death metal album of the age that went mostly unnoticed.note  Two years later they released their sophomore album North from Here in which Jarva took over the singing. Musically it was far more technical, melodic and folky and ended up being one of the earliest examples of Melodic Death Metal. The album caught the attention of Century Media Records who quickly released it worldwide, and in 1995 the band had a breakthrough with the third album Amok. However the following year Jarva quit due to personal issues.

In late 1996 Sentenced released Down, with Ville Laihiala becoming the new singer and Sami Kukkohovi becoming the new bassist.note  Down saw Sentenced transition to more melodic Gothic Metal, primarily due to Laihiala's cleaner vocals. The following album Frozen dropped pretty much all death metal influences, and the band continued along this line on the next three albums Crimson, The Cold White Light and The Funeral Album.

The Funeral Album, as the title implied, ended up being Sentenced's last, with the band playing its final concert on the 1st of October, 2005 in their hometown of Oulu at sold-out Club Teatria. This concert ended up being released the following year as the live album Buried Alive. Any hope that Sentenced might one day rise from its grave was crushed in 2009 when Miika Tenkula, who was the main songwriter, died of a heart attack.

Members (final line-up in bold):

  • Tuure Heikkilä drums (19881989)
  • Taneli Jarva bass (19911996), vocals (1992-1996)
  • Sami Kukkohovi bass (19972005)
  • Lari Kylmänen bass (19881991)
  • Ville Laihiala vocals (19962005)
  • Sami Lopakka rythm guitar (19892005)
  • Vesa Ranta drums (19892005)
  • Miika Tenkula lead guitar, keyboards (19882005), vocals (19881992)


  • 1991 - Shadows of the Past
  • 1993 - North from Here
  • 1993 - The Trooper (EP)
  • 1995 - Amok
  • 1995 - Love & Death (EP)
  • 1996 - Down
  • 1998 - Frozen
  • 2000 - Crimson
  • 2002 - The Cold White Light
  • 2005 - The Funeral Album
  • 2006 - Buried Alive (Live)

Troping me, Troping you, Troping all we have!

  • Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: Sometimes Ville's pronunciation slips up, such as in the first verse of "Farewell", where he sings "I drag myself, through the BLUUD and mud!".
  • The Ace: Miika Tenkula wrote most of the songs, played lead guitar, keyboards, sang on the first album and played bass on Down. The man was very talented.
  • Album Intro Track: "Intro - The Gate" on Down, "Kaamos" on Frozen and "Konevitsan Kirkonkellot" on The Cold White Light.
  • Back for the Finale: During the final concert at Club Teatria Taneli came to the stage to sing five songs from North from Here and Amok.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Aikaa Multaa Muistot" translates to roughly "memories are buried with time", and it's a pun on the Finnish phrase "aika kultaa muistot" ("memories grow sweeter with time").
  • Black Comedy: Used frequently. According to Sami Lopakka "there's always something comical about a man killing himself".
  • Blood Knight: The Narrator of "My Sky is Darker than Thine" is a warrior that wishes to challenge everyone, even the gods, in battle in order to achieve immortality.
  • Book Ends: The Cold White Light opens with the calls of cranes, and ends with them flocking away in panic.
  • Break Up Song: "Killing Me, Killing You" is about a relationship that's slowly decaying and being drowned by external factors.
  • Cover Version: The Trooper on the titular EP, White Wedding on the Love & Death EP and Creep, I Wanna Be Somebody, Digging The Grave and House of the Rising Sun on the bonus version of Frozen.
  • Death Seeker: "May Today Become The Day" is about a soldier who charges into battle vigorously hoping to die, with his suicidal attitude being mistaken for bravery.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The narrator in "Cross My Heart and Hope To Die" enters this after the death of his loved one.
  • Disturbed Doves: "No One There" closes out The Cold White Light ominously with the sound of a flock of eurasian cranes panickingly taking off, in a Call-Back to their sounds in the Album Intro Track "Konevitsan Kirkonkellot".
  • Downer Ending: Being that a large chunk of Sentenced's songs are about suicide, this is naturally commonplace.
  • Driven to Suicide: "Farewell", "Noose", "Excuse Me While I Kill Myself" and "Bleed" all end in this. As do "No One There", "Cross My Heart and Hope to Die"... in fact, at least half of Sentenced's songs are about suicide in some level.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Referenced in "Noose":
    I'll drink the booze to depress myself
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Shadows of the Past is far more raw, brutal, and less melodic than the rest of Sentenced's discography. Also, it's the only one with Miika on the vocals.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: "Crumbling Down (Give Up Hope)" is set during the final moments of an apocalypse of undetermined magnitude.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: "Konevitsan Kirkonkellot" is essentially this to "Cross My Heart and Hope to Die".
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: The beginning of "End of the Road" has gloomy churchbells chiming in the background, signaling the end of the album and the band.
  • Genre Shift: Went through this in the mid-to-late '90s. Amok was standard, slightly gothic Melodic Death Metal, Down was primarily Gothic Metal with some death metal elements, and Frozen was full-on gothic metal.
  • Gothic Metal: Starting with Down.
  • Grand Finale: The Funeral Album. It was intended from start to finish to be the definite ending of Sentenced's career and even closes out with a song called "End of the Road".
  • Grief Song: Several, including "Cross My Heart and Hope to Die".
  • Heavy Mithril: There are several songs about The Kalevala on North from Here, as well as a song "Beyond the Wall of Sleep".
  • Immortality Immorality: "The Suicider" is about an immortal/undead man who now only finds pleasure in killing other people, feeling reborn every time he kills someone.
  • Instrumental: "Mourn", the haunting closer of Frozen and "The Golden Stream of Lapland", surprisingly upbeat closer of Amok.
  • Longest Song Goes Last: "My Slowing Heart" on Crimsonnote  and "No One There" on The Cold White Light.
  • The Lost Lenore: "Cross My Heart and Hope to Die"
    Love, your death, Ripped my heart right out and since you went away
    Life's had nothing more to give
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Practically embodies of this trope. The music is very upbeat, catchy and joyful yet the lyrics are almost always about suicide. 'Excuse me while I kill myself' for example is about blowing your brains out, yet the song is quite catchy.
  • Melodic Death Metal: One of the trope makers of the genre with North from Here.
  • Metal Scream: Ville in "Noose" opens with a low-pitched one.
  • New Sound Album: Down in which the band moved from their death metal sound to a more melodic gothic metal.
  • Murder Ballad: "The Suicider", being a song about an immortal killer.
  • Ode to Intoxication: "0132" is an instrumental track meant to evoke the joyous elation of getting drunk with Koskenkorva Viina, its title being the trade code for the brand of the liquor itself.
  • Precision F-Strike: Used to great effect in "Excuse Me While I Kill Myself":
    "How do you do? Have yourself a pleasant afternoon!"
    Well, Fuck you too! "Good night" is the one I choose for you!
  • Power Ballad: "Killing Me, Killing You" on Crimson and "We Are But Falling Leaves" on The Funeral Album. This being Sentenced, they're a bit on the more depressive side.
  • Resurrection Revenge: The narrator of "Vengeance is Mine" was caught by surprise and killed by a group of people, only to rise from his grave and reap vengeance upon them.
  • Sampling: "Golden Streams of Lapland" uses the iconic "world of shit" line from Full Metal Jacket.
  • Shout-Out: "My Sky Is Darker Than Thine" has this line:
    Now I know... It was written in the stars that I am the Wrathchild!
  • Take That!: "Everfrost" on The Funeral Album is aimed at the Moral Guardians who accused the band of having far-right views thanks to some lines on their song "Routasydän" ("Frost Heart") they made for the Oulu hockey team.
  • Take That, Audience!: In Buried Alive Ville takes quite a few friendly jabs at the audience.
Good evening, tight-asses, shit-bellies, friends and foes! Welcome... to the funeral!
It's time to play the last song. So get the fuck out of here! FAREWELL!
  • Together in Death: "Noose" and "Cross My Heart and Hope to Die" end in this.
  • Villain Song: "The Suicider" is from the point-of-view of a villain.


Video Example(s):


Crowd sings "The Suicider"

At their last concert ever, Sentenced gets the audience to sing "The Suicider" with them one last time.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / AudienceParticipationSong

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