Miika Tenkula, lead guitarist and main songwriter of Sentenced, passed away last week at the age of 34. Evidently, he had had problems with drinking. His bandmates put together a poignant memorial photo gallery - see above. Many didn't like the band's evolution from death metal to gothic metal, but I didn't mind. Tenkula conjured up some gorgeous clean tones and memorable songs toward the end of his career. Still, he left perhaps his greatest mark on Shadows of the Past (Thrash, 1991). It was Sentenced's first record, and the only one to feature his vocals. His death growl was fierce, with shades of John Tardy. As "Rotting Ways to Misery" shows, he also had considerable six-string skills, even as a teenager. I would say something about the roar of youth, except that he passed while still too young. RIP Miika, and thank you for the music.

Rotting Ways to Misery