Wow, that break really paid off!!! After a very disappointing commercial product they chose to name “Crimson” the band took a break to recharge their batteries, which I think they needed badly. Almost two years away from the scene 2002 saw the comeback of a band that was totally up for it all over again, it’s a fully renewed and fresh band we’re witnessing on “The Cold White Light”.
“Crimson”, to me, was an album best forgotten as it didn’t have much to offer but on “The Cold White Light” the songs are much better, the arrangements are more creative and structured and the melodies are more appealing, simply a much better that lives up to the bands standards. The album is interesting and varied all the way (of course you can recognise the band, but they’ve taken the next step in sound production) which was another problem with “Crimson” because it never hooked me up, boring from day one.
Anyway, each song has an identity of its own but if you must put a label on the bands sound, the brand would read something like “Atmospheric, Melodic, Modern Rock/Metal with less gothic touches”. To start the album there’s “Konevitsan Kirkonkellot”, a Finnish traditional piece with doomy elements such as church bells and sounds of nature, in this case a bird (I think). “Cross My Heart And Hope To Die” soon follows and is the first real song, a typical SENTENCED song with dark atmospheres, melodic guitars and Ville’s sad sad vocals. You can hear right away that his voice (and song writing skills) have evolved since “Down”.
There are some slow and calm songs like the doomy and melancholic “Aika Multaa Muistot”, the two northern ballads “No One There” and “You Are The One” (don’t let the boy band title scare you), and the hangover tune “Guilt And Regret” which has some lovely acoustic guitar playing.
Miika Tenkula has found that creative spark again and has written some fantastic solos and melodies, just listen to the song “Neverlasting” (the song actually features some ass-slapping). “The Cold White Light” also has some good up-tempo Metallic songs; there’s “Excuse Me While I Kill Myself”, “Blood & Tears”, the already mentioned “Neverlasting” and the traditional Grave Rock tune “The Luxury Of A Grave” (graves and SENTENCED are a package obviously).
Keyboards are still used as support for the entrancing atmosphere but also have some electronic beeping used rather sparingly, this seems to be a good enriching element for the songs as they get that extra sadness thus hitting you with more depth.
Lyricwise the band still dwells in the “sorrow, loss and black humour” category, but a positive message does come forth in the song “Brief Is The Light”, where there’s a line that goes “Hear these words I say, make the most out of your day…” pretty uplifting and inspiring stuff.
“The Cold White Light” is an album packed with brilliant songs and a professional sound, it has all the qualities you heard on “Down” and “Frozen”, so if you liked those you should have no problems in liking this album as well. If Jesper Strömblad of IN FLAMES thinks they’re “one of the best bands EVER”, then there’s another good reason to buy it hehe. (Online June 3, 2004)