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Steel Flowers: Kleptocracy

Steel Flowers is an Italian band who have recently released their second album Kleptocracy. The band formed in 2002 and after the release of a few EPs their first album 12 Tales From The Life Of Mr. Someone came out in 2011. The band's lineup consists of Riz (vocals), Yano (bass), Adriano (rhythm and lead guitars), Alex (lead and rhythm guitars), Kiry (drums) and Uzzo (keyboards).

Kleptocracy has taken four years to make so this is clearly not a rush job. So, what exactly does Kleptocracy sound like? Before we delve into the music it should be noted this is a concept album although what it's about is hard to say as the band's bandcamp page revealed no such information. Although if I had to guess the deplorable state of the world might be a good place to start. The lyrics are very edgy and angry and have a certain depressing yet realistic view of the world.

The band plays a moody form of alternative metal (for a lack of a better description) that is pretty heavy in spots. The first track "Oxymoron 4991" begins with eerie effects and spacey synths with subtle builds of orchestrations before the riffs and drums crash into a slow doomy Black Sabbath-like progression. The vocals are a mixture of screams and distorted lines and are quite variable throughout the album. At times he reminds me of Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses. On "Pauper" the band lays down one of its funkiest grooves complete with catchy guitar riffs and an equally catchy chorus. "I'll Kick Your Ass" is a high energy punk influenced tune while the pretty "Hallways Of Illusions" shows off the band's mellower side with a nice beginning guitar arpeggio and clean vocals throughout. Other highlights include the heavy rock of "Break My Blues", a bluesy guitar based scorcher and the moody "Ruled By Evil Men" with a BOC-like keyboard line coursing through off kilter funky rhythms and cool riff progressions.

Kleptocracy is a very nice metal/hard rock album with plenty of atmosphere to alleviate some of the intensity. I could have done with less screaming vocals but that's just me. If you are into groove based metal and rock music you might want to check this one out.

Track Listing:
1. Oxymoron 4991 (6:37)
2. Pauper (3:28)
3. I'll Kick Your Ass (3:54)
4. Hallways Of Illusions (5:43)
5. Break My Blues (3:52)
6. Tired & Bored (3:31)
7. Ruled By Evil Men (4:37)
8. Workin' Monkey (3:27)
9. R.I.P. (4:15)
10. Tank Man (5:10)

Added: January 3rd 2016
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 2804
Language: english

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