ONE MAN ARMY AND THE UNDEAD QUARTET – 21st Century Killing Machine


Nuclear Blast
Release Date: January 13, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Some bands just have it – that touch of luck/ability to be at the right place at the right time to earn them a record deal with Nuclear Blast AND a 40 gig tour with Children of Bodom less than a year and a half since the band was first created. This was the case with One Man Army (And the Undead Quartet), the new project of The Crown singer Johan Lindstrand. Of course, it helps to have such a CV, but still the music should be really good to justify such a career. The question you probably would ask, then, is whether or not the album really is that good?

The answer is both yes and no. The music can be described as a mix of In Flames, Metallica, Testament, and At the Gates, maybe, with very “Swedish” growling vocals. It’s far from as brutal as The Crown, but then again it has far bigger commercial potential. With that said, this is in no way a “commercial” album, so to speak, the production is “Metal” enough to make the Hardcore following happy, and the songs are probably too riffy to appeal to most of the mainstream following.

There is also plenty of Kirk Hammett-influenced soloing to be found, courtesy of guitarists Mikael Lagerblad and Pekka Kiviaho (of Persuader fame) – and although relatively seldom is the case with Hammett’s own solos, these are well played. That goes for the overall musicianship – solid and well played, although never overly excessive. Besides Lindstrand, Lagerblad, and Kiviaho, the band consists of Marek Dobrowski on drums and Robert Axelsson on bass.

The songs are unfortunately a bit too much up and down to make the album a true smasher. The opener, “Killing Machine,” has some very good stuff going – the intro riffing is catchy indeed and Lindstrand sounds good – still the track never really “takes off” and the intro is far too lengthy. “Devil on the Red Carpet” is far better – more structured and to the point and the groove is amazing. “Public Enemy No. 1” and “No Apparent Motive” continue the good trend before “Hell Is for Heroes,” which, despite some good tendencies, is a step down. This pretty much sums up the album – a bit to uneven and it lacks the little spark and the final touch to make it the killer disc it certainly could have been. The band should probably take a bit more time the next go around, because the potential is certainly there. Also, the band could definitely be worth checking out on the ongoing tour – the material could very well kick ass in a live setting.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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