Sentenced was a doom doom metal /gothic metal band that played death metal in their early years.
Sentenced started in 1988 as Deformity and changed their name to Sentenced in 1989, after a few line-up changes. The original line-up consisted of Miika Tenkula (lead guitar and vocals), Sami Lopakka (guitar), Vesa Ranta (drums), and Lari Kylmänen (bass). They recorded two demo tapes: When Death Joins Us... in 1990 and Rotting Ways to Misery in 1991. The band actually got their very first record deal (With the French France label Thrash Records) after their first demo.
In 1991, bassist Taneli Jarva, second cousin of Tenkula, joined the band, replacing Kylmänen just as the band was about to record their debut album, Shadows of the Past Shadows of the Past (album) . At that time, their musical style was fast, typical European death metal. In Spring 1992, they recorded a three-song promotional tape, Journey to Pohjola, and as a result got a deal with the Finnish Spinefarm Records.
The second album, North from Here, was released in the spring of 1993, and later that year The Trooper EP The Trooper (EP) . Jarva had assumed lead vocal duties using a different style than Tenkula's. It was North From Here that earned the band the attention of German Germany record label Century Media Records, and in 1994 Sentenced left Spinefarm in order to head toward a wider market with a new multi-album contract under Century Media.
In 1995, Sentenced released their 'break through' album, Amok Amok (Sentenced album) , which is considered by many to be their best work. Compared to earlier releases, the music had slowed down somewhat, acquiring a more melodic structure. The track "Nepenthe" was complemented with a music video and the band took to tour Europe in two full-length tours supporting Samael Samael (band) and Tiamat Tiamat (band) .
In autumn, the band released the Love & Death EP. Music-wise, it kept a fairly similar concept as Amok, as the songs had been written around the same time. Sentenced had achieved success in Doom Doom metal /death death metal markets, but Jarva left the band because of musical differences. After his departure, Ville Laihiala (of Breed fame) joined the band in 1996, just weeks before the band was due to head to Germany to record their fourth album Down Down (Sentenced album) with producer, Waldemar Sorychta. Once again, the music became more melodic with a significant NWOBHM influence. During this time, bassist, Sami Kukkohovi also joined the band, but only as a session member on gigs. Later, in spring 1997 he was granted a permanent slot in the line-up.
Sentenced's fifth full-length album, Frozen Frozen (album) , was also recorded at the Woodhouse Studios, and released in 1998, its style is similar to Down Down (Sentenced album) . Laihiala and Kukkohovi had become initiated into the band, so they participated in the composition process. In 1999, a special edition of Frozen was released, containing a re-colored (gold) cover and rearranged track running order, with four cover songs included.
The next Sentenced album to be released was Crimson Crimson (Sentenced album) in 2000. The single "Killing Me, Killing You" demonstrated the band's turn towards melodic metal. Two years later, they released The Cold White Light, the band was seen in a slightly different light, the lyrics displaying some self-irony and even a rare positive edge.
In 2003, they released a CD-single along with songs by other bands on a four-track compilation EP that was dedicated to Oulun Kärpät, the ice hockey team of the band's hometown. Routasydän remains the only song Sentenced sung in Finnish and cannot be found elsewhere. The song caused something of a stir in Finland, as several politicians reviewed the lyrics and purported them to contain Nazi Nazism overtones, which the band has steadfastly refuted.
In early 2005, the band announced that their following release, The Funeral Album, would be their last. They performed farewell gigs during the spring and summer and ended with a final show on October 1 2005 in their hometown of Oulu, Finland. The concert film Buried Alive, directed by Mika Ronkainen, filmed at the funeral gig, premiered at Oulu Music Video Festival September 9, 2006.
Sentenced have been awarded Platin in the band's native Finland for their posthumous live DVD Buried Alive. The trophy was handed out to the band's former members at the Century Media 20th anniversary party at the Tavastia club in Helsinki on August 14th, 2008 where Poisonblack and labelmates Norther and Kivimetsän Druidi played exclusive gigs to properly celebrate this special event.
Guitarist and founding member Miika Tenkula died on February 19, 2009. On 26 June, 2009 it was announced by his family that Miika died from an attack caused by a genetic heart condition that he had for many years previous to the break-up. He is buried in the Kirkkosaari cemetery in his hometown Muhos, Finland.
On November 13, 2009 Sentenced released a box set of 16 CDs and 2 DVDs chronicling their entire career in a coffin-shaped box. The box-set also included rare and previously unreleased tracks.
* Ville Laihiala – vocals (1996–2005)
* Miika Tenkula – guitar (1989–2005) (deceased)
* Sami Lopakka – guitar (1989–2005)
* Sami Kukkohovi – bass Bass guitar (1996–2005)
* Vesa Ranta – drums Drum kit (1989–2005)
* Taneli Jarva – bass and vocals (1991–1996)
* Lari Kylmänen – bass (1989–1991)
* Tuure Heikkilä – drums (1989)
* Mika Luttinen – vocals (1992)
* Marco Sneck – keyboards
* Niko Karppinen – bass (live) (1995–1996)
* Tarmo Kanerva – drums (summer 1999)
* Vorphalack – Backup vocals (1996)
* Shadows of the Past Shadows of the Past (album) (1991)
* North from Here (1993)
* Amok Amok (Sentenced album) (1995)
* Down Down (Sentenced album) (1996)
* Frozen Frozen (album) (1998)
* Crimson Crimson (Sentenced album) (2000)
* The Cold White Light (2002)
* The Funeral Album The Funeral Album (Sentenced album) (2005)
* The Trooper The Trooper (EP) (1993)
* Love & Death (1995)
* Buried Alive Buried Alive (Sentenced album) (2 discs, 2006)
* Buried Alive Buried Alive (Sentenced album) (2 discs, 2006)
* "Killing Me Killing You" (1999)
* "No One There" (2002)
* "Routasydän" (2003)
* "Ever-Frost" (2005)
* "The Glow of 1000 Suns/Amok Run" (2008)
* Story: A Recollection (1997)
* Manifesto of Sentenced (2009)
* When Death Joins Us... (1990)
* Rotting Ways to Misery (1991)
* Journey to Pohjola (1992)
* Amok Runs (1994)
* Cronology of Death (1991)
* promo split MCD (2005)
* "The Coffin" (2009)* Crimson (2007)
* Down (2007)
* Frozen (2007)
* North From Here (2008)
* Shadows Of The Past (2008)* "Nepenthe" (1994)
* "Noose" (1997), directed by Sökö Kaukoranta
* "The Suicider" (1998)
* "Killing Me Killing You" (1999), directed by Pasi Pauni
* "No One There" (2002), directed by Pete Veijalainen
* "Ever-Frost" (2005), directed by Mika Ronkainen
* "Despair-Ridden Hearts" (2006), directed by Mika Ronkainen
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