Steel City-Now It's Time
Originally founded under the name of Metal Federal Reserve back in 2010, which may or may not be better then the moniker of Steel City (I'll have to think about it for awhile...), this Italian band offered up "Now It's Time" back in May of this year. As there's too much history between then (Metal Federal Reserve) and now (Steel City) let's just say that over the years there were line-up changes and musical disagreements, but none of that stopped the group from releasing a 6-track EP by the tile of "Welcome to Steel City" in the summer of 2012. A little less then one year later the band delivers up "Now It's Time". With an intro and nine additional tracks this is a nice enough debut album even if it's a bit inconsistent. We'll get to that in a bit though. Even though the name Steel City might bring up images of , let's say power metal, this group rocks a different beat. Self-described as "alternative metal", which is another thing that may of may not be good, this 5-piece band is lead by vocalist Fabio Riccio (Feb) and lists the likes of Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet For My Valentine and Alter Bridge as one set of influences. The other set of influences includes the likes of Faith No More and Machine Head (or "90's crossover bands" as the promo puts it) which would make for one interesting listen. The only thing is, and this is to Steel City's credit, they don't really sound like all of those bands mashed together. In actuality these Italians have forged a sound that is more Steel City and less misc. modern metal and 90's acts. With two guitarists in tow, that being the skilled pair of Alessandra Cannatelli (Canna) and Samuele Cremonesi (Iceman), Steel City kicks out this combo attack that includes anything and everything such as hard rock, thrash, post-grunge, modern metal, nu metal, melodic heavy metal and even hardcore! With bassist Andrea Brambilla (Devilman) and drummer Francesco Valente (Iron-Ceco) adding to this weird cocktail the band does hit on some winners. Besides the title cut there's "I Don't Belong" and "No Ones Guilty". And then there's the brutal "Mandragora" which is one cut I happily hit replay on! With enough rage to stop a charging rhino, or at least crack a few skulls along the way, these cuts, as well as "Under Your Face", show off the rage and raw energy that makes Steel City interesting. The problem is that it doesn't carry over until the very end. By the time the last few tracks roll this album towards the finish line things tend to blur together. The consistency isn't there yet. Given time I'm sure it will be, but for now this is one of those albums where it's a tale of two different bands. One is very confident and forceful with emotion to spare. The other band though stumbles a little to get everything down just right. Once that first band takes over once and for all then Steel City might just be able to make a name for themselves outside of Italy.