One Man Army & The Undead Quartet – The Dark Epic

After almost three years in torpor, Swedes One Man Army & The Undead Quartet emerge with a new album that sees them going back to the more feral and full-frontal assault of their early works. It’s a formula that has proven to be very successful for them in the past, but on their fourth full-length starts to suffer from the “been there done that” syndrome. That’s not to say that “The Dark Epic” is a dull record, it’s far from that, the band’s brand of groovy and thunderous Swedish death-metal continues to be hard-hitting and testosterone-charged as evidenced on songs like “Stitch”, “Inside the Head of God” and “Devil’s Harlot”. Yet, there are moments here that emanate a feeling of déjà vu and somewhat kills a bit the momentum and impact of the whole album.
Part of the reason for “The Dark Epic” sounding fiercer than “Grim Tales” may reside in the departure of long-time guitarist Mikael Lagerblad, who was promptly replaced by new axe-man Jonas Blom. While Laberblad favours a more catchy songwriting with plenty of melodic licks and fat hooks, Blom brings a somewhat more feral and savage approach to the songs. It’s not a major departure though, new songs still possess some catchy melodies, but the key words now are definitely pound and destroy.
While this new album "The Dark Epic" may not reach the heights achieved on “Grim Tales”, it still offers us some of the band’s best features, with lots of aggressive guitars, hard-hitting rhythms and screaming vocals. (6.5/10)

David Alexandre

For fans of: The Crown, At the Gates, Carnal Forge, Darkane