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Poverty's No Crime - Spiral Of Fear

Poverty's No Crime
Spiral Of Fear
by Sammy M at 02 February 2017, 10:35 PM

Formed back in 1991, German prog-metal band POVERTY’S NO CRIME have finally unleashed the long awaited follow up to 2007s “Save My Soul”, entitled “Spiral Of Fear”. The marks the seventh studio album by the band, and by far the longest wait in between albums. With almost ten years wait, it brings about speculation on whether or not it will all be worth it. So many bands wait such a long time for a new album and have so much hype built only to let down the vast majority of fans when it finally drops. The plus side to POVERTY’S NO CRIME and the massive wait, it that they seem to be relatively unknown outside of Germany. So sure, the fans in Germany would have been going crazy with anticipation, but for the rest of us this came as more of a surprise.

When done right, prog, and prog-metal, is a wonderful beast. Prog-metal often borrows much from power metal, and as a result has the unpredictable beauty of prog, with the driving force and grace of power metal, and POVERTY’S NO CRIME does a pretty good job of capturing this feel. Each and every musician here plays their part wonderfully, with the guitar solos of Marco Ahrens and the emotional vocals of Volker Walsemann in particular taking front and centre. The underlooked part here, that I feel makes the band so special, is the keyboard work of Joerg Springub. It always fits so perfectly amongst the rest of the music and when it is pushed to the front, you really get to appreciate how great a keyboard can be in a metal band. It often feels like it leads the rest of the band when it comes to transitioning to a different tempo or movement. The best example of this is in “A Serious Dream”, where each time the song is about to change things up, it’s the keys that start this off.

“The Fifth Element” breaks things up perfectly, with an excellent instrumental that shows the technical mastery of each band member without being too flashy or bloated. It’s a great mature approach to a genre that could so easily attract showboats. “The Ballad of 91” mellows everything out and becomes a much more radio friendly feel than everything up until this point. It’s by no means the best song on the album, but following “The Fifth Element”  it could almost be seen as an opening to act 2, with how different it is from everything preceding it. It’s much more focused on the vocals than the technicality behind the music that the first 4 tracks brought. “Dying Hopes” actually seems to follow in this trend by for the most part being a fairly mellow song. However the guitar work is much more front and centre here than it was in the former track, and overall the song is much more grandiose than “Dying Hopes” was. It ends rather suddenly which is a tad jarring, but it leads straight in to the closer of the album “Wounded”. This almost ten minute song, shows off everything that makes POVERTY’S NO CRIME so good. With the chilling opening guitar riffs and wails, to the introduction of the vocals, the next ten minutes are a hell of a ride. However even with how well the song ends, it somehow feels like there should be more.

While much of the album may not be the most catchy or ground-breaking material ever released, it does a good job of reminding us who POVERTY’S NO CRIME are and what they’re all about. It also has me eagerly anticipating their next move. Hopefully this was a setback and we don’t have to wait so long for the next album, but if that is the case they’ll need to make it even better than this one. “Spiral Of Fear” is a great prog-metal album with some amazing technical mastery and song writing, it’s just let down by re-treading a lot of what they’ve done before and a few tracks that felt a little uninspired. Otherwise a great listen and a fantastic album for fans of prog.

Songwriting: 9/10
Originality: 6/10
Memorability: 7/10
Production: 10/10

4 Star Rating

01. The Longest Day
02. Spiral Of Fear
03. Fatamorgana
04. A Serious Dream
05. The Fifth Element
06. The Ballad Of 91
07. Dying Hopes
08. Wounded
Volker Walsemann - Vocals, Guitars
Marco Ahrens - Lead Guitars
Andreas Tegeler - Drums
Joerg Springub - Keyboards
Heiko Spaarmann - Bass
Record Label: Metalville


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