1. Who is the band? What is their history? What motivates them?
“The year was 2006. The effects of Global Warming had made January feel eerily mild. Yet despite mild temperatures, winter depression had still sunk into the minds of those who are so often tortured by inner turmoil and the defeat of life’s unbalancing challenges.” (http://www.sententia-music.com/Sententia/Sententias_World.html, 2009).
“During this time, one artist became inspired to share her views and observations of such a human condition. It was at this time when Dede Booth founded the Boston rock band, Sententia. Her vision, to create a unique blend of music accessible to any listener of rock whether it is progressive or alternative. Through this music, she would exploit the suffering to search for inner peace and would challenge the questions so many of us wish to find an answer to: "What drives us to our actions?" "Where is the line that we will inevitably cross and when will it happen?" "Do we have what it takes to regain our humanity and live within a balance of our minds and reality?" (http://www.sententia-music.com/Sententia/Sententias_World.html, 2009)
“Now two years later, Sententia is back with their first full length record. Despite band member changes, Dede has stayed dedicated to Sententia's purpose to create a gothic music that digs deep into our subconscious. This debut record, "The Center in the Sand", conceptualizes the struggle to find balance. Through 11 tracks, a person journeys through the depths of complete chaos having to choose between life and death once realizing that either realm can be both pleasing and displeasing at times.
Through moments of addiction, self-indulgence, broken relationships, and even a look into their own self-documented eulogy, the person is consumed in searching for the perfect balance; that center within a microscopic grain of sand that is impossible to find. Their finding or lack thereof, leads to so much frustration and fear, until it is learned that the center is unattainable. The closest we will ever get is by accepting what is right in front of us. We are too afraid to grab onto what we have, but it is only during this 'in the moment' vision when we can truly find some sort of balance. Does the character discover this or have they been swallowed up by their own demise? Listening to the album will only answer that question.”(http://www.sententia-music.com/Sententia/Sententias_World.html, 2009).
2. What message are they delivering through their lyrics and music?
You really have to get into the mood for this music. I tried it many times, but it never clicked for me. Not something I can listen to everyday. But if you’re kicked back and relaxed and ready to just go with it, maybe it will work for you. What I hear are vocals that sound similar in sound to the Cranberries, though much more subdued and without the power and angst.
The lyrics are much darker and the music more subdued than a Cranberries album, but not bad, just not my cup of morning coffee.
The opening song What You Decide was probably the best for me. There are more interesting guitar sounds and the newness of the vocals was a surprise. After a while though, the songs started sounded the same to me. The subdued vocals are cool for one or two songs, but after a while it begins to drag on in my opinion.
3. Does this music improve, change, or add to the genre? What does the listener receive from listening to the music?
The vocals are original in sound and the band plays well, but after listening to the whole album it gets hard to distinguish one song from the next.
4. Does it have longevity? Is it something a fan will like to play again and again?
Not for me, but I am sure the fans of the band from the Boston area are behind them 100%.
Rating: 4/10 Good music and vocals, but an EP would have been enough for me.
Reviewed by Prof on November 8th, 2009