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Extensive Definition

Sentenced was a melodic death metal band formed in 1989, in the town of Oulu, Finland. They disbanded in 2005.


Sentenced's predecessor:Deformity, started in 1988, but in 1989 as the band's line-up changed, the name changed to Sentenced. The original line-up consisted of Miika Tenkula (lead guitar & vocals), Sami Lopakka (guitar), Vesa Ranta (drums) and Lari Kylmänen (bass). They recorded two demo tapes: When Death Joins Us... in 1990 and Rotting Ways to Misery in 1991. The band actually got their very first record deal (with the infamous French label Thrash Records) already with their first demo.
In 1991 bassist Taneli Jarva joined the band, replacing Kylmänen just as the band was about to record their debut album Shadows of the Past. At that time, their musical style was fast, typical European melodic death metal. In springtime 1992 they recorded a new three-song promotional tape Journey to Pohjola to flirt around labels. As a result, they got themselves a deal with the Finnish Spinefarm Records.
The second album North from Here (and later during the ongoing year, The Trooper EP) saw the light of the day in spring 1993. Jarva had assumed lead vocal duties using a different style than Tenkula's. It was North From Here that earned the band the attention of German record label Century Media Records, and in 1994 Sentenced left Spinefarm in order to head toward a wider market with a new multi-album contract under Century Media's wing.
It was in 1995 that the band made their real breakthrough with Amok, considered the best of their albums by most fans and critics. Compared with their earlier work, the music had slowed down somewhat, acquiring a more melodic structure. The track "Nepenthe" was complemented with a music video and the band took to tour Europe in two full-length tours supporting Samael and Tiamat right as Amok was released.
In autumn, the band released the Love & Death MCD. Music-wise, it kept a fairly similar concept as Amok, as the songs had been written around the same time. Sentenced had achieved success in Doom/death markets, however Jarva soon left the band because of musical differences and lack of interest in music. This surprised many fans and for some years Jarva stayed completely out of music business until later resurfacing with his new band, The Black League.)
Following this, Jarva's baritone was replaced by the much more softer and cleaner grunts of new vocalist Ville Laihiala (of Breed fame) in 1996, the decision finalized just three weeks before the band was due to head toward Germany. The destination was Woodhouse Studios, and the cause: to record their fourth album Down with producer Waldemar Sorychta. Once again, the music became more melodic with a significant NWOBHM-influences which granted the band many new possibilities for musical growth. During this time, bassist Sami Kukkohovi also joined the band, but only as a session member on gigs. Later, in spring 1997 he was granted a permanent slot in the line-up.
Sentenced's fifth full-length album Frozen (1998) was also recorded at the Woodhouse Studios and it continued on the same path as Down, adding depth wherever necessary. Laihiala and Kukkohovi had become initiated into the band, so they participated in the composition process, resulting in the next album: Frozen. In 1999 a special edition of Frozen was released, containing a recolored (gold) cover and rearranged track running order, with four cover songs included. Some fans scorned, stating that they now had to buy the album again, because of this new release coming well after the "regular" one, and without prior warning.
The next Sentenced album to be released was Crimson in 2000. As the single "Killing Me, Killing You" showcased, the band's sound had once again taken a turn for the lighter direction. Two years after the release of The Cold White Light, the band was seen in a slightly different light, the lyrics displaying some self-irony and even an extremely rare positive edge.
After The Cold White Light, they released a CD-single. Released in 2003 along with songs by other bands on a four track compilation single that was dedicated to Oulun Kärpät, the ice hockey team of the band's hometown, Routasydän remains the only song Sentenced sung in Finnish, and cannot be found elsewhere. The song caused something of a stir in Finland, as several politicians reviewed the lyrics and purported them to contain Nazi overtones, which the band has steadfastly refuted.
In early 2005, the band announced that their following release The Funeral Album would be their last. It was also stated that there would be no reunions. They performed few farewell gigs during the spring and summer and ended with a final gig on October 1st 2005 in their hometown Oulu, Finland. The concert film Buried Alive, directed by Mika Ronkainen, filmed at the funeral gig was premiered at Oulu Music Video Festival September 9th, 2006. This has come the dissolution of Sentenced's 16 year career.


Final line-up

Previous members

Session members

Special guests


Studio albums


Live album

  • Buried Alive (2 discs, 2006)


  • Buried Alive (2 discs, 2006)



Split albums


  • Crimson (2007)
  • Down (2007)
  • Frozen (2007)
  • North From Here (2008)
  • Shadows Of The Past'' (2008)


sentenced in Czech: Sentenced
sentenced in Danish: Sentenced
sentenced in German: Sentenced
sentenced in Spanish: Sentenced
sentenced in French: Sentenced
sentenced in Italian: Sentenced
sentenced in Dutch: Sentenced
sentenced in Japanese: センテンスト
sentenced in Norwegian: Sentenced
sentenced in Polish: Sentenced
sentenced in Portuguese: Sentenced
sentenced in Crimean Tatar: Sentenced
sentenced in Russian: Sentenced
sentenced in Finnish: Sentenced
sentenced in Swedish: Sentenced
sentenced in Turkish: Sentenced
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