Sentenced Crimson

A listen to the latest from these confessed Finnish alcoholics, not only won't you believe this is the same band that let loose the metal mayhem of North From Here and Amok, but you'll be struggling to believe that these guys once wrote good songs. Maybe that's dragging Crimson through the dirt a bit more than need be; it's not like any of the 11 songs on offer here are remarkably wretched in their construction. It's the presentation that will rip the heart out of even casual fans of the band. Gone is the bite, the edge, the power and in its place is simplistic, plodding riffing that will hardly appeal to anyone seeking anything similar to the melodic brutality of days gone by. The effectiveness of Sentenced's ever-present grim chord progressions are suffocated out of the picture by an overbearing melodic approach and the huge number of weak keyboard and clean passages that make Crimson more comparable to a bad grunge or cock rock record. (Century Media)