"Buried Alive"

(Century Media)

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RATING: 9/10

I don't know about you, but I'm still bummed at the demise of the mighty SENTENCED. It is hard to believe that the band started way back in 1989 and turned from a more traditional death metal act into the melodic, rocking, and suicide-obsessed juggernaut that they became, particularly on later albums like "Crimson", the absolutely stunning "The Cold White Light", and the band's farewell release, "The Funeral Album". Those new to the institution of SENTENCED would do well to begin the listening experience with "Buried Alive", a 2-DVD/2-CD (the 2-CD and 2-DVD versions may be purchased separately as well). The subject of this review is the DVD, one that includes 25 songs (not counting intro and outro) recorded live during SENTENCED's last show on October 1, 2005 at Club Teatria in Oulu, Finland. It is exactly what you would expect from the band and there is not a damn thing to complain about here.

There is little need to go into nauseating detail about song selection, as most of the favorites are included, such as "Dead Moon Rising", "Neverlasting", "Nepenthe", the combined "The Suicider/Excuse me while I Kill Myself", "Brief is the Light", and "May Today Become the Day". The performance is virtually flawless, as the band is surrounded by a stage setting that includes frosted trees, pyrotechnics, and an ambience made even more frigid by falling snowflakes. The sound is great, the playing is great, the songs are great… What would you expect? Former singer Taneli Jarva even takes over lead vocals for one five-song segment ("The War Ain't Over!", "Nepenthe", "Northern Lights", "The Way I Wanna Go", and "Dance on the Graves (Lil' Siztah)".

Disc 2 contains a lengthy segment called "Home Soil Funeral Procession", which begins with the SENTENCED clan carrying a casket through city streets and across fields, and ultimately having their photographs taken in it (among more pertinent segments of course). Two interviews with guitarist Sami Lopakka (who does most of the talking) and vocalist Ville Laihiala, and with Jarva separately are included, both of which are relatively informative. The remainder consists of pretty typical "extras" material, including the band's six videos.

The DVD in particular is a mandatory purchase for SENTENCED fans. The show is simply phenomenal, and the bonus material is not too shabby either. Bow down and buy.


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