Daniël : There has never been a noteworthy metal-scene in Italy. Although a number of strong death metal-formations – Hour Of Penance, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Dire Necro Cerebus – and a new breakthrough in the modern black metal-scene with Hornwood Fell, the nation never truly proved worthy of a place in the metal-ranks. It is no different with Steel Flowers’ ‘Kleptocracy’ (December 2015), a mainly uninteresting record accompanied by broken English. Musically, we should think in the direction of early Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, but especially in the corner of 90’s American alternative, such as Faith No More’s early releases.
It should be clear by now that globalisation has had some negative effects. Most of all, the smaller bands from countries which do not qualify as metal-nations have experienced those effects. There is a real identity crisis going on. It is the direct consequence of Americanisation. One loses the identity of growing up in, say, an Italian village. I would rather have Steel Flowers cultivate their Italian roots, than to imitate American or British tricks. There is no feeling with those cultures, so the music will always sound very artificial. My advice would be to be inspired by those American and British bands, but to see also how that adds up to one’s own talents. And among those is not the talent for writing English words, it seems.
Well then, I won’t consign the record directly to the flames. However often poorly worked out, Steel Flowers have thought of some genuinely interesting topics. On ‘Kleptocracy’ (state of thiefs) the band deals with the negative influence of the System on the private sphere, but also with the laziness and the moral behaviour of citizens in general, refraining from standing up against such a regime (“Where is the power of the people if the people don’t use it?” – ‘Ruled By Evil Men’).
I hope to see these ideas in a more aesthetically pleasing body any time in the future.