One Minute Silence – Fragmented Armageddon


On hearing that UK rap metallers One Minute Silence were about to rampage across thoughts and senses again after a seven year hiatus it is fair to say excitement was high and expectations hungry. Just maybe there was also a wonder and fear that the band would have lost their potency through the long break. Listening to new EP Fragmented Armageddon wiped any such concerns away, the release confronting the ear with the power and imaginative attitude sculpted sounds we are used to from the quartet and when played alongside last album, the 2003 released One Lie Fits All, and the likes of the Revolution EP or the single We Bounce, it is like they have never been away. It is an absorbing and inciting confrontation which awakens thoughts and passions and though the release has elements which do leave one a little dissatisfied in the lack of more new material, it is impossible not to  feel even more enthused from its creative tempest.

Since the hold on the band its members have eagerly explored new musical styles within projects set in the likes of folk to electronica and jazz to beat poetry. These are essences which appear to have brought influences and inventive ideas to the new phase of One Minute Silence though their core is still openly rap metal with hardcore/punk grievousness. The band on the evidence of the EP has certainly lost none of its fire in sound and politically inspired narrative neither, lyrically and in attitude but at the same time appear to have stretched into new avenues to express their passions and intrigue the mind and senses. It is hard to make a full declaration of there being new venture to their sound and enterprise and imagination from two songs of course, the planned album to be released next year will confirm if that is so, but it is easy to be assumptive in the strong possibility indicated by Fragmented Armageddon. With original members vocalist Yap, guitarist Massimo Fiocco, bassist Glen Diani linking up with new drummer Martin Davies, One Minute Silence will easily grab attention with their returning release, the collection of new material, re-workings, remixes, and an acoustic track sure to spark up and refresh the greedy appetites which feasted on the band before.

The Freeport Entertainment released EP brings opening track Fruit From The Lie into view through a compelling sonic mist but Fragmented Armageddon EP coveras soon as the recognisable voice and taunt of Diani’s bass and the vocals of Yap encroach the ear everything steps into place musically and emotionally for the passions. As spine-tinglingly distinctive as ever and ripe with that expected sense that band and song are about to leap for the jugular, the track instead takes its time, teasing with chilled atmospheric embraces and melodic dances whilst drums brew up an agitated framework to further captivate and feed on the listeners reactions. Once the explosive heart of the track does erupt air is driven from the lungs and thoughts ignited from the blaze of rapacious energy and provocative lyrical persuasion. The track continues to ebb and flow in intensity and attack but is a continual aggravator of the mind and instigator of unashamed selfishness to hear and feel more from the song, which it delivers with raging invention across its rhythmic barracking and sonically carved melodic fascination.

Second new song Pandemic Schizophrenia opens amidst street unrest and a social emergency call, vocals beginning a raw stance whilst bass and drums spear the scenery with monosyllabic punches. It is a potent warning on the ear with the guitar riling the ambience further as it leads to another contagious bruising laced in a sonic heart driven fire of intensity. Not quite corrosive but defiantly abrasive, the song tantalises and strokes the ear with addictive grooves and predatory imagination whilst the vocals of Yap prowl and incite it all, his delivery at times an acidic torrent of expression which sounds like a mix of John Lydon and Kirk Brandon. Like its predecessor it is a stunning track and ensures the wait for their proposed album is going to be impatient.

The release continues with firstly a reworking of You So Much As Move, a track from the One Lie Fits All album, and two remixes the second of the same song by Fiocco with before it a remix of Fruit From The Lie by Ben Hurd. Though they all feel like fillers to stretch the comeback release they do not hold back on providing satisfaction, the first of the trio a rampant and slightly rabid expanse of atmospheric temptation and carnivorous ravishment. It is shaped with enthralling enterprise and thought, its intent chewing on the senses whilst simultaneously bewitching them into uncaring submission. Though not a fan of remixes here, both tracks do leave a welcome taste in the mouth even if fires are not sparked by their presences, which also applies to the closing acoustic song Early Morning, though again the melodic emotive caress offered leaves sure and undeniable pleasure.

     Fragmented Armageddon is a great return from One Minute Silence which shows them to be as strong and creative as ever. It is also a rich tease for their future album and following stage return. World be warned the impacting storm has not lost its bite.


RingMaster 16/06/2013

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Stars and Flights – Ruin EP

Stars & Flights new-promo-2-photo-march-2013

It may have taken a few plays to fully persuade but one thing which was soon apparent as the Ruin EP from UK alternative rock band Stars and Flights laid its cultured riot of rock ‘n’ roll upon the ear, was that there is something instinctively appealing about the band. The three track release shows a certain craft and passion to its songs which makes a string impression and though the EP does not quite light the energy and fire inside towards it that maybe it suggests it was capable of doing a confidence in saying that this is a band with a rich future is easily sparked.

Hailing from Neath in South Wales and formed in 2010, Stars and Flights first made a noticeable mark with their Ghoulish Records released debut album Dropping Anchors in March of last year. Recorded with producer Romesh Dodangoda it turned heads in the band’s direction whilst offering promise of greater things to come. Whether the Ruin EP comes close to realising that promise is debatable but it undoubtedly leaves the feeling that something formidable from the trio of James Davies (vocals/guitar), Kierran Tomkins (bass), and Brad Ratcliffe (drums) is on the horizon.

The Pete Dowsett produced release immediately clutches the ear in a tirade of guitar confrontation as the opening title track makes its 1004577_10151652752429446_1154105295_nbold and feisty presence known. With firm crisp beats and a great roving bassline instigating undiluted focus with their lures the guitar sabre sweeps with acidic and appealing flashes of sonic temptation across their intriguing design. It is not long before the expressive vocals offer an evocative plea to add to the emotive wash in place and as the music sweeps into imaginative corners and inventive ideas the further the song expands, there is a solid springboard for satisfaction to launch from.  Admittedly the track never truly ignites and seizes the senses but the enjoyable adventure given is impossible to dismiss.

The following The Lights Went Out as its predecessor makes the strongest opening persuasion, the bass tempting the richest reaction with its throaty and vibrant stroll through the ear as percussive accompaniment frames its call. Soon vocals and guitar add their voices to the mix and as energy and emotive intensity rises at the same time the track evolves into a rather compelling encounter. Again the spark to inspire a full blaze of passion to give in return for the magnetic and thoughtful endeavour is not found but throughout the song there is the sense of something desperate to break out and make the strongest demand on the heart which makes for an intensive bait. As in evidence on the first song musically, the band tease and invite a rich depth of acclaim for their offerings though at times they do seem reluctant to push the limits of their dynamic and inventive ideas to secure the most potent returns, but vocally is where things fall short. It is not a major issue as such but the tracks on the EP alone request more work needs to be made on the less successful aspects of Davies’ delivery to match the elements the vocalist does hit the spot with.

Final song Inhale/Exile thumps at the ear first before barging through with eager energy framed by impressive flexing rhythmic sinews. Bass and guitar rampage with skill and thoughtful  invention as the track stomps along with contagious diversity and fiery intensity to secure the biggest mental applause and satisfaction of the release, and though still the vocals fluctuate too much they add to the rawer and more raucous flight of the riotously enjoyably song.

Released June 17th as a Name Your Price download on the band’s bandcamp page , Ruin is a release deserving of as much attention as possible. It may not itself set the band into the limelight of UK rock but provides plenty of appealing ammunition to believe Stars and Flights will be in that glare at some point in the not so distant future.


RingMaster 16/06/2013

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