Sentenced North From Here: the album that exploded melodic metal

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Back in the chaotic early 1990s, most death metal bands were racing to catch up with albums like Morbid Angel Blessed Are the Sick and Deicide Legion. Bands increasingly experimented with complex rhythms and riffs but eschewed the radio-friendly sound of the last generations of metal, including the melodic harmonized guitar attack of Iron Maiden.

Enter Sentenced. Like At the Gates before them, this Finnish band decided to work with melody in addition to complex riffs, and to do so began to work with lead-picked single-string melodies. After their first album of Swedish-inspired primal death metal called Shadows of the Past, Sentenced improved musically and artistically and took the leap into melodic metal. At this point, almost no bands would touch this style as it seemed an anachronism held over from the 1980s where death metal was forging ahead with chromatic riffs and difficult tempi.

Sentenced took the Slayer approach to songwriting with verse-chorus songs interrupted by transitional riffs for emphasis wrapped around a lyrical concept and added to it the Iron Maiden style harmonized guitars producing a melodic effect. Following a lead from At the Gates, the band also allowed melodies to evolve over the course of a song, creating an immersion in similar sound in which slight textural and phrasal changes could take on greater effect. Along with other bands like Unanimated and Cemetary, Sentenced forged a different path which succeeded because it kept the alienated and dark sound of death metal.

Just a few years later, this sound would explode as bands like Dissection mixed more of the NWOBHM melody and even more abrasive death metal and black metal technique into the mix. After that, clone bands like Dark Tranquillity and In Flames took this style further toward radio metal, but for a few years, this small group of melodic death metal bands revealed the potential of this style. North From Here much like its iconic cover transports the listener to a consciousness beyond the everyday in which union with the empty cosmos and the potential of transcendence of the everyday propels the mind through not only darkness but into a sense of magical light which rediscovers life as a visionary journey. Without losing any of the intensity of their earlier album, Sentenced layered emotion on top of aggression and produced a lasting and unsurpassed testament to the power of this genre.

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Sentenced – North from Here

On the 93rd (number of the Thelemic Law) anniversary of the independence of Finland from the Russian Empire, let the northern lights flash their yearning flames beckoning the souls of the fallen warriors of the Civil War. While it may seem to some as a sacrilege to play anything but the Romantic sylvan mystery plays of Sibelius, the true heir of Wagner and one of Finland’s national composers, the early death metal symphonies of Oulu’s Sentenced epitomize a great deal of the same thundering natural melancholy. Following the youthful, reaping, Dismember-esque debut album Shadows of the Past, the musical theory of Jarva, Lopakka and Tenkula turned like the Roman mythical Janus statue two ways at once: towards the pure riffcraft of Iron Maiden and the ethereal, streaming melody of Nordic black metal. Much like At the Gates had captured nearly protestant-religious passion and sadness in Sweden, Sentenced managed to concoct music which was worshipful, raging, realistic (even pessimistic) and imaginative all at once, in defiance of the taciturn apathy characteristic (like alcohol) of the working class of northern Finland. In Sentenced, the pent-up rage of skeptical and prematurely cynical young men was transformed into elaborate poetic reflection.

Power metal riffs in a death metal production would later experience a horrible mangled mutilation death in Children of Bodom’s excessive rock stage theatrics, but the sharp minds of Sentenced treated their source material with such profound affection that heavy metal, thrash, death metal and black metal weave into each other as interminable patterns of tangled paths amidst hypercosmos – a Northern Finnish shaman’s spell. The careful production recalls the most biting moments of Kreator while the technical skills of the guitarists are on par with the hallowed “prog” moments of Atheist and Death. The songs hardly suffer from any useless repetition (the anthemic verse-chorus structure of “Awaiting the Winter Frost” serves a specific purpose in exclaiming the satirical “heavy metal victory” over the forces of light, while it is deliberately obscured whether the narrator is a man, a beast or a spirit). That North from Here was never Sentenced’s most popular or esteemed moment is a total wrongness, as Amok followed on the footsteps of this work adequately, but only that. One of the strongest candidates for the best Death Metal album in the history of Finland, the bewitching maledictions of North from Here, from “Capture of Fire” to “Beyond the Wall of Sleep” (and practically any piece since there is no filler), achieved the aims of “Gothenburg” much more effectively and impudently than the horde’s western neighbours.

-Devamitra-

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The Musician’s Guide to SJW Values

Metal, like punk, once a lawless wild west where no attitude or ideology was unwelcome or too extreme.  But after hipsters unifed the masses of 90’s counter cultures into one mainstream culture, a far left ideology was adopted by and heavily policed within nearly every sub/counter cultural music genre (metal included).  Despite this being the exact opposite of what metal has been about for many decades, the desperation to fit in has left many of the aging neckbeard social outcast fake metalheads to adopt this heinous bastardization of music’s most honest genre and collectively enforce these new mainstream social rules.  And just like in the mainstream culture of today, breaking any of these rules (or having broken them in the past before these social norms were instituted) is designated with a swift lifetime band from showing yourself in public in the U.S.

Lately, a lot of metal bands have  been getting in trouble for doing things that progressive liberal culture finds unacceptable.  Many bands have been confused by the rules, as progressive liberal logic is absolutely nonsensical,  and therefore musicians struggle with the details behind this new social paradigm.  Having fought the left in our culture war for several years now and being often confronted with these nutcases, I determined it would be in the best interest of metal’s very badass musicians understand what crimes and behaviors are okay.  Please find below, a very thoroughly researched look into the disturbed mind of Social Justice Warriors:

Chart 1: Individual’s Morality

Crime/Behavior                                                                                  Acceptable?

MURDER                                                                                                      YES

ASSAULT (MALE VICTIM)                                                                      YES

ASSAULT (FEMALE VICTIM)                                                                 NO (Unless you’re signed to Profound Lore)

THEFT                                                                                                           YES

BESTIALITY                                                                                                 YES

PEDOPHILIA                                                                                               NO (Unless you write for MetalSucks)

GRAVE ROBBERY                                                                                      YES

SAYING MEAN THINGS ABOUT MEN                                                 YES

SAYING MEAN THINGS ABOUT WOMEN                                         NO (Unless you write for MetalSucks)

SAYING MEAN THINGS ABOUT WHITES                                          YES

SAYING MEAN THINGS ABOUT ANY OTHER RACE                     NO (Unless you’re signed to Profound Lore)

SAYING MEAN THINGS ABOUT CHRISTIANS                                 YES

SAYING MEAN THINGS ABOUT ANY OTHER RELIGION             NO

SAYING MEAN THINGS ABOUT LGTBTQ                                          NO

 

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/smr/ SADISTIC METAL REVIEWS: YOUR FRIENDS ARE DEAD EDITION

You know your nation has reached peak sadism when kids are using the shooting deaths of their classmates to catapult themselves into celebrity stardom.  That means the time has come for frequent, merciless, rapid fire sadistic metal reviews.

BUCKLE UP, BECAUSE THE RIDE NEVER ENDS

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Punished Decapitated Freed from Jail

Tortured deathcore idols Decapitated have been freed from prison and await trial for the alleged kidnapping and rape of a female attendee of one of their concerts. Denied by the liberal metal scene they have heroically slaved their lives on the road to please, the group had already faced unfathomable torment a decade ago when a tour bus crash saw a former member killed and another with crippling retardation.  Although his metal condition is fortunately not as severe as that of Decapitated’s fans, the bands suffering remains unrelenting nonetheless. (more…)

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Gorefest – Mindloss (1991)

Before lapsing into embryonic death ’n’ roll on their second LP False (1992), Gorefest were among the earliest Dutch proponents of solid bread-and-butter death metal with a sense of melodic contour joining the many rhythm riffs into coherent songs which reach a point of focus in their cycles, forcing re-interpretation of its parts. The early style more or less complete on their demo recordings was brought to a fuller and more refined form on the 1991 debut album Mindloss.

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Interview: Chupacabra

chupacabra
Article by Corey M.

Chupacabra’s music comes from the heart – that is, the part of the individual that is between the mind and the gut. Working without an established template, the songwriter finds and applies sounds in a unique organization specifically to reflect a profoundly idiosyncratic perspective on existence. This is a risky move: Most musicians are content to operate within an established paradigm, adapting to the constraints and handicaps offered by the genre that produces music with which they most closely identify. To abandon paradigm altogether and strike out on one’s own, neither with nor against the current but out of the river itself, is quite bold. But for Chupacabra, it is completely natural. Take a listen to this musical example of what Jung called “individuation”; the process that unifies the unconscious and the conscious, completing a powerful circuit through which ancient genetic memory is filtered and refined by real-time intelligent planning and analysis.

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Sadistic Metal Reviews — September 1, 2016

fecal_butterfly

Humans are by nature delusional. They overestimate their importance and demand that reality fit their simple expectations. And yet, they are very good at mastering known skills, so they are highly proficient, but void of purpose. This hollowness is the left side of the metal Bell Curve, and to separate it from the good stuff, we have Sadistic Metal Reviews!

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