Miika Tenkula, former lead guitarist and main songwriter of the acclaimed Finnish band SENTENCED, was found dead at his home earlier today (Thursday, February 19). He was 34 years old.
Nalle Österman (GANDALF, LULLACRY, CHAOSBREED) tells BLABBERMOUTH.NET, "It's true, confirmed personally by [former SENTENCED] drummer Vesa Ranta.
"The fact remains that Miika had a serious drinking problem for many years which escalated after SENTENCED was buried. They don't call it King Alcohol for nothing...
"The metal scene in Finland mourns now for one of the most talented metal guitarists to ever emerge from [the country]."
The official cause of Miika's death has not yet been released.
SENTENCED's posthumous DVD, "Buried Alive", was certified platinum last year in the band's native Finland. The disc topped the official Finnish chart upon its release in late 2006.
The former members of SENTENCED were presented with the platinum award for "Buried Alive" on August 14, 2008 at Century Media Records' 20th-anniversary party at the Tavastia club in Helsinki where ex-SENTENCED singer Ville Laihiala's new band, POISONBLACK, and labelmates NORTHER and KIVIMETSÄN DRUIDI performed.
An e-card for "Buried Alive" DVD, which captures the Finnish band's final performance in their hometown of Oulu, Finland on October 1, 2005, can be accessed at this location. The e-card features a full mock-up of the DVD menu and a taste of "Buried Alive", including one full live song as well as snippets from all chapters.
Directed by Mika Ronkainen of Klaffi Productions, the two-disc set features the entire concert, including a special guest appearance by former SENTENCED vocalist Taneli Jarva.
SENTENCED's last-ever studio CD, aptly titled "The Funeral Album", entered the Finnish national chart at position No. 1 back in June 2005. The follow-up to 2002's "The Cold White Light" was recorded primarily at Finnvox and Tonebox studios (both in Finland), and mixed and mastered at Finnvox. Producing the effort was Hiili Hiilesmaa, who also worked with SENTENCED on the group's previous two albums, 2000's "Crimson" and "The Cold White Light".
SENTENCED performing "May Today Become The Day" (taken from "Buried Alive"):