Release DetailsLABEL Nuclear Blast
RELEASED ON 4/4/2006
One Man Army And The Undead Quartet
21st Century Killing Machine
posted on 3/2006 By:
Miss The Crown? No…do you really miss The Crown? If so, you're going to love this. Johan Lindstrand has the answer to your prayers. Nuclear Blast Records is poised to unleash the new effort of The Crown front man and I have to admit I don’t see this stripped down no nonsense album disappointing many fans of the genre.
Not quite as thrash obsessed as Lindstrand's earlier work, One man Army and the Undead Quartet still leans heavily on the tried and true thrash death formula to construct their groove ridden variation of the genre - oftentimes blending sounds more like the laid back thrash of The Haunted without all the Gothenburg overtones.
The powerful production at Bohus studio creates an undeniably menacing air across the album. Marek Dobrowolski’s drum sound is an absolutely tremendous rumbling “like 1-ton boulders tumbling down a ragged hill,” as Matt Brown w/MetalReview put it. I generally prefer a more driving feel from the rhythm section, but Dobrowolski knows exactly what he’s doing by reserving the more aggressive beats for when they’re truly called for and allowing for a more death ‘n’ roll sound ala Entombed the rest of the time. Guitarist Mikael Lagerblad lays down flowing thrash leads with a slight Metallica feel while bass player Robert Axelsson and guitarist Pekka Kiviaho lay down the crunchy-mid chugging passages that make OMA&UQ what they are.
“Killing Machine” kicks off the album to a poor start of ordinary proportions, but they stop pulling punches and go straight to business by the time “Devil on the Red Carpet” rolls around. “Hell is for Heroes” and “When Hatred Comes Alive” are slightly slower than the rest of the material while the former plods along unimpressively but the latter still packs a carefully induced rising intensity to keep things going. “So Grim So True So Real” brings back the pummeling rhythm section and the infectious groove while the rock ‘n’ roll vibe of “Behind the Church” adds an interesting dimension to the music showing these guys have more than one ace up their sleeves rather than the hyper conventionalism of some of the earlier material
“No Apparent Motive” is by far one of the more impressive moments of the album for me with some sensible doses of melody interjected over catchy, infuriated mid paced death metal blending everything the band stands for into one act of proficiency. During most of the album, especially “Branded by Iron” and “Public Enemy no.1” I kept catching myself bobbing my head to the music, transfixed to the captivating performance of OMA&UQ.
By the time “Bulldozer Frenzy” chugs its way out of the speakers you really have to wonder why OMA&UQ waited this long to unleash something so fast and vicious on the listener. After 21st Century Killing Machine is over you lay bloody and broken on your floor wondering what the fuck steamrolled over you. The only problem I have is that I can’t shake that feeling that somewhere, someone I’ve already listened to do the same thing only better. Hey, at the very least it’s not The Crown pt.2.
Despite the occasional typical moment, Lindstrand has released a solid enjoyable album that stands up to his previous work. When I first started listening to the album I held a fairly jaded opinion and wasn’t that fully impressed but by the time I started to write this review 21st Killing Machine had spread through my system like a cancer, worming its infectious tentacles through my being. Don’t let a somewhat skeptical opinion of the album stand in the way of checking out OMA&UQ if this sounds remotely in the vein of something that would be up your alley; it just takes a while to completely work its magic. Albeit some will find this album to come across as overly one dimensional because of the occasionally disappointing predictability, 21st Killing Machine is a solid slab of adequate death thrash that’d go fine next to any of your other albums.
Register to post comments.