Taking into consideration this is the new project of former THE CROWN vocalist Johan Lindstrand, one should not have a tough time in determining what ONE MAN ARMY likely sound like. Well throw your preconceived and trite notions out the window, as this Swedish five-piece combine old Swedish Death Metal with strands of contemporary suicidal Black Metal, tying the two seamlessly together with a dash of Nu-Metal sampling and breakdowns.
I must be kidding right?
Fuck no; these guys are angrier than ever and ready to split skulls in style. The production is thin and fuzzy providing a new vitality fueling Lindstrand to greater, intangible heights. Guitarists Mikael Lagerblad and Pekka Kiviaho are spitting riffs at blinding speed one minute and sustaining notes for indefinite periods of time the next, only to cascade the whole composition into a HATEBREED-esque break which has the fists pumping furiously. The effect is pure excruciating and misanthropic, only injected with an inarticulate punch of beat and rhythm off-set by the hip-hop elements in conjunction with the bleak rawness. The sheer result is mind-boggling and creates a spastic journey of arrogant head-banging and epic weeping.
Actually, these guys just sound like THE CROWN, well…sort of. The tempo ranges from slightly slower than “Possessed 13” to slow crunchy passages containing a bit of thick groove and flirting with elements of Doom. The overall sound is much more Death Metal than Lindstrand’s previous outfit and the production is also far more clinical and sterile. Comparisons to DECAPITATED with a bit of melody injection are not altogether far off. Lindstrand’s vocal approach also is a bit deeper and has adapted to the slight change in direction quite well.
The watered down Thrash elements are still there, overshadowed by the increased romanticizing of Modern Death Metal. Ultimately, if you are a fan of both the latest CROWN outputs and Poland’s current extreme scene this will satisfy you. I, however, find this whole approach to be a bit stale and lack punch. The band seems repressed and lacking any sense of conviction or integrity. I find it hard to believe anyone is desperately searching for “21st Century Killing Machine” when there is such an abundance of quality out there which certainly outweighs the lifetime of an average mortal. (Online May 7, 2006)