Poisonblack Escapexstacy

So Sentenced-like is Escapexstacy that it might take a few seconds to grasp the fact that Sentenced's vocal phenomenon, Ville Laihiala, has stepped away from the mic to show what he can do with a guitar. Featuring Charon singer J.P. Leppäluoto on vocals, Janne Kukkonen on bass, and session musicians on drums and keys, Poisonblack is like a more earnest version of Laihiala's "other" band. Old fans may have mixed feelings about Escapexstacy, ranging from concern at Laihiala's dedication to another project to confusion about why the album departs so little from his other work. Some may even prefer this collection of heavy, gloomy rock to Sentenced's latest offering, falling under the powerful bittersweet spell of tracks like "Exiter." Whatever the response, Poisonblack's well-crafted songs and professional, dramatic flair demonstrate that Laihiala is an accomplished musician and composer in his own right. (Century Media)