Originally written by Tim Pigeon
I was deeply disappointed when I first heard that Sentenced had decided to retire from the game. They have been a favorite of mine for years, and the primary reason why I tell people that the best rock comes from Finland. Of course they had a metal past, and North From Here remains an influential melodic death metal work to this day, but it’s hard to argue that their last five studio albums have been anything other than hard rock. The “gothic” tag is typically applied to them, but it doesn’t fit Sentenced nearly as well as it does countrymen like HIM and Entwine. Whatever you want to call them, they have had a long and successful run. The band decided to close the door on Sentenced with a hometown gig in Oulu, and that gig was recorded for this release.
Buried Alive is a double-disc recording stuffed full of 26 tracks, so much more complete than the 30-minute set that I saw on their only US tour. Every album is represented except for the death metal debut Shadows from the Past. Furthermore, the song selection is well-chosen, not only covering the hits, but other gems that don’t get as much attention (“Sun Won’t Shine”, “Rain Comes Falling Down”, “Dead Moon Rising”). The only omissions that I, as a Monday-morning quarterback, would have liked to hear are “Blood and Tears” (off of TCWL), “Drain Me” (The Funeral Album), or “Capture of Fire” (North From Here).
The recording quality is stellar for a live album, from a technical standpoint. The instruments are recorded so cleanly that it plays like a studio release, which is both a blessing and a curse. Unlike some live albums with sound quality that only a fanboy could love, any new listener can play Buried Aliveand get the full effect of the songs. However, some of that live energy is lost. Crowd noise is kept to a minimum, even during the sing-along parts. I’ll give the band the benefit of the doubt and assume that the crowd really did know the choruses; it’s just hard to tell.
Ville’s voice holds up well throughout the whole recording, and he sounds more sober than when I saw Sentenced, but we can’t be completely sure of that! Ex-vocalist Taneli Jarva (The Black League) was gracious enough to drop by and sing five of the heavy tracks from his era with the band.
Buried Alive is a solid compilation spanning the entire career of The Northernmost Killers. Recommended for old-time fans and neophytes alike.
Funeral Intro: Adagio
Where Waters Fall Frozen
May today become the Day
The Rain Comes Falling Down
Sun Won’t Shine
Dead Moon Rising
The Suicider / Excuse Me While I Kill Myself
The War Ain’t Over
The Way I Wanna Go
Dance on the Graves
Aika Multaa Muistot [Everything is Nothing] Farewell
No One There
Cross My Heart and Hope to Die
Brief is the Light
Vengeance is Mine
End of the Road