By Colonel Angus

 Hailing from Sweden , this five piece metal band is sort of a super group of sorts.  Current member of Hammerfall Anders Johansson is joined by a number of “ex” members of Cloudscape, Hammerfall, Narnia, and Heed.  More on that later because it doesn’t matter where they came from; all that matters, is the music at hand.  I have to admit that I was expecting more of a power metal disk than the traditional metal that is offered up on "One".  It was a pleasant surprise because, quite honestly, I have gotten a little bored with a lot of the power metal these days.  Much of it sounds the same and I don’t have a lot of time wading through all the music to find a few gems.  Unfortunately it is a fact of life in the music world today.  There are so many releases that it is getting harder and harder to sound unique and offer something new and different.  All of this leads me to Fullforce.  While I like every song on the record, it is hardly earth shattering or new sounding.  It is extremely well played and recorded but based on the players, that is to be expected.  What is missing here is that elusive “X factor”.  It is that piece that makes a band (or album) stand out from the crowd.  Like I mentioned earlier, this is a well crafted album of traditional metal tunes that have just the right mix of melodic hooks and big riffs.  It is just at the end of the day, there needs to be something more that would make metal fans stand up and take notice.

The songs are really melodic and a lot of that can be attributed to the vocals courtesy of Mike Andersson.  He has a great, powerful voice for this kind of metal and, to my ears, the star of this record.  The others are all masters of their craft but Andersson’s vocals are the best part of "One".  Stefan Elmgren and CJ Grimmark do come up with some good riffs but there is nothing to set them apart from other guitarists out there (although I will admit, there are some really good solos on this record).  The rhythm section of Anders Johansson (drums) and Tommy Larsson (bass) is solid like the guitars it is almost workman-like.  Tracks like “Walls Of Secrets” and “Into The Cradle” show a heavier side of One but most of the disk is more on the melodic side.  “Open Your Eyes” is the closest Fullforce get to power metal but even then, the whole song isn’t full on power metal.  They even throw in some Middle Eastern sounds at the beginning of “Oblivion” while the beginning of “Father Spirit” sounds like a slowed down version of “Forsaken” by Dream Theater.  All of this gives me a feeling of having heard this all before.  Although all the tracks from opener “Mythomaniac” to “Into The Cradle” are good, none of them has a “sound” of their own.  Much of this disk sounds familiar.

 SPV has a habit of having some of the best music on their roster.  Fullforce has the potential to be special but "One" just doesn’t quite hit the mark.  These guys are all great musicians and they know how to write a good song.  It’s just that there are no great songs on "One".  If you are looking for some great melodic traditional metal, then you may find this record worthy of your purchase.  As for me, there are many other disks out there that deserve not only my attention but my hard earned cash.  That all being said, I will keep my eyes on Fullforce because the next one might be a winner.  They certainly have the talent to come up with something better than "One".