Released: 2006, Nuclear Blast Records
2006 is shaping up to the comeback year for ex-members of The Crown. Guitarist Marko Tervonen has released his Angel Blake album and now (actually back in January) former Crown vocalist Johan Lindstrand is making his return with his new band, One Man Army & the Undead Quartet. After getting a quick start in 2005 with their WHEN HATRED COMES TO LIFE EP, the band felt it was time to unleash their full fury with a full length.
After a few listens to the album, it is obvious that Lindstrand is not straying to far from his roots as 21st CENTURY KILLING MACHINE is a clear extension of his previous band. A little less speed and a little more melody perhaps, but you can definitely hear where Lindstrand is coming from on this disc: it’s full of the death/thrash we came to expect from the Swedish juggernauts. “Killing Machine” opens with an infectious riff, perhaps one of the best of the year, before Lindstrand’s familiar shredded vocals tear the song wide open. It carries on like this for almost 50 minutes, but unfortunately the band’s riff machine runs out of steam ¾ of the way through. Too bad, ‘cause there is some really great material here, and lead guitarist Mikael Lagerblad proves himself to be an excellent, talented find.
When the smoke clears, 21st CENTURY KILLING MACHINE is a fairly safe move for Lindstrand to make – to me it shows that he doesn’t care about what anyone thinks, he’s going to play the music he wants. More power to him, I say, as this is an entertaining album overall. Hopefully the next time out the band will come up with a few more great songs to match the obvious talent on hand.