Steel City

Album Title: 
Now It's Time
Release Date: 
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Review Type: 

This Alternative Heavy Rock/ Metal band was founded in Crema (a town squarely between Milano, Bergamo, Brescia, and Piacenza, in the Central North of Italy) under the monicker of Metal Federal Reserve during 2010, and originally consisted of the foursome Simone Picco (singer), Alessandro Cannatelli guitarist), Andrea Brambilla (bass) and Gianmario Oliveri (drums), whom originally had the idea to start a band with Italian singing.

But the composition phase of the band gave rise of disagreements, especially where the overall genre of the music was concerned, as in some cases the outcome was considered a little too nostalgic. A couple of months later the band came to a turning point, when second guitarist Samuel Cremonesi was inducted into the band's ranks. The new guitarist fit into the fold just nicely, and a general consensus was reached between the band's members. Still, like the rest of the band, the new guy also realised that the potential of the musicians was of too high a quality for the band to remain stuck into a retro musical genre. Towerd the latter part of 2010, the band went on a short hiatus of reflection, after which Brambilla and Cannatelli (whom had been occupied with the band's idea for years) arranged a meeting with Picco and Cremonesi. A couple of months later, new drummer Francesco Valente joined the band, an event which ensued the birth of Steel City.

The first rehearsal sessions with the new band made the band decide to look forward with their music, but without loosing foot of the '90s music they loved so much. Still, all was not quite well with the band's line-up yet. While gigs were now coming along exponentially, and generally speaking the understanding between the musicians grew more and more, the singer eventually split away due to musical disagreements at the end of 2011. The band then spent a couple of weeks rehearsing and experimenting  their material with English lyrics, and in doing so consolidated their sound. A short while after, they organized a rehearsal with Crossover/ New Metal singer Fabio Riccio, with results which surpassed expectations. Lyrics and vocal lines were fine-tuned in a short time, and soon after the renewed band played several shows which were highly appreciated by the audiences present. During late Summer of 2012, the band issue its debut 6-track EP Welcome To Steel City, and during its promotion the guys come in contact with logic(il)logic. As a result, a deal is signed, and the band records its debut full-length at Atomic Stuff Studio in Isorella (a townlet situated some 30 SSW from Brescia) with Oscar Burato recording, mixing and mastering the material.

Which terminates the “historical” part of this review, and now makes us turn toward the music...about which, in all honesty, I was not overly impressed! For starters, when it comes to his pronunciation of the English language, Riccio is not that much of a hot singer, a Mediterranean accent slightly fouling up his vocal delivery, which is a somewhat nasal and hoarse harshness with melodic endings...but, in the latter, he frequently looses himself in the high-end of that octave which he does not really master. That, combined with his accented singing, makes the spoils for me, really! Which is a pity, because the music itself ain't that bad, and is said to be influenced on the one side by modern bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet For My Valentine and Alter Bridge, but at the other hand also by '90s bands like Machine Head and Faith No More. this case, and this one of the more positive things I can say, Steel City doesn't really sound like any of those influences. Thanks to the many differences, however, the music of the songs individually sounds somewhat different one from the others. But in the end, what puts the songs all on one par (and I've mentioned before that for me, that's a negative one), is the vocal delivery of the lead singer.

But, by all means, make up your own minds, you know! As per usual, two songs off the album can be found at the label's website (www.) The album's instrumental opener “Intro”, plus an additional song...and 4 videos (of which 3 live and the remaining in-studio footage) can be found at (www.)