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Poverty’s No Crime – A Secret to Hide

Poverty’s No Crime
A Secret to Hide
by Eric Poulin at 05 April 2021, 10:26 AM

POVERTY’s NO CRIME is a progressive metal band based out of Twistringen, Lower Saxony, Germany and formed back in 1991. This is their eighth full-length album entitled “A Secret To Hide” to be released on Metalville Records on April 30th 2021. The album was mixed and mastered by Simone Mularoni (DGM) at Domination Studio. I recall hearing this band for the first 20 years ago when their album “One in a Million” came out and being very impressed by their cover of RUSH’s classic song “Distant Early Warning”, so when I found out they had a new album which coincides with the project’s 30th anniversary, I was very intrigued.

The opener “Supernatural” has some quintessential space-influenced keyboards with a chugging riff which is repeated quite a number of times. While I do not want to fall into this trap too many times, there are some DREAM THEATER elements to the music, especially in the melodies, which you could easily compare to 1992’s “Images and Words”. By that remark, I do not imply that they are clones, not at all. In fact, they have a heavy side, mixed with late 1980s, early 1990s hard rock. The song has a very even flow to it and never goes overboard with any of the instrumentation.

“Hollow Phrases” seems to have a bit RUSH in it than any of their other material I remember. The song starts with a heavy sound, but then actually sounds more like the 1980s rock sound the Canadian masterminds used for well over 10 years. There is some neo-progressive in here, if you think of bands like I.Q who never went into the heavy metal genre,but did flirt with some energetic passages that were louder. The chorus is extremely catchy on this one.

“Flesh and Bone” is the high-octane number that sounds like VAN HALEN decided to produce a progressive song and added some MARILLION to it. Prog fans have always enjoyed the more eccentric side of progressive metal and this is where the band shines. Again, the band does not dwell on hyper-speed passages, they know how to slow down the tempo to transition into some memorable choruses. “Grey to Green” for some reason just has that FATES WARNING aura to it, probably in how the guitars are played and that tight structure, filled with off-tempo beats. This is another long piece of music (as most of these songs are actually), but what is surprising is how the songs pass by so quickly, and before you know it, you are at the next song.

One of my favorite tracks happens to be the pure metal one in “The Great Escape” as it shows the band getting down and dirty with some more technical parts, nods to SYMPHONY X, ROYAL HUNT and striking resemblances to PAGAN’S MIND, all bands I have admired for well over 15 years at this point.  The band is surely not copying he aforementioned projects, but when you listen to this kind of metal, a lot of images come into your head. This is an amazing song. Another number I find that stands out is the closer “In the Shade” that uses keyboards as choirs and relies on psychedelic aspects. The song is darker than anything else on the album and bears some similarities to PORCUPINE TREE at times, but also REDEMPTION, especially in how the choruses are delivered by Volker Walsemann.

This is a solid effort from start to finish and I am glad to see that the band has decided to release some new material (amidst very trying times for musicians) for the first time 5 years. The overall sound has matured and brings in the collective talents very well. The production I top notch on all levels, as you would expect from DGM’s mastermind. I have mentioned countless times how difficult it is to standout in the prog genre, but these guys have been at it for 30 years and have seen other important bands flourish in Europe and North America, so hopefully they finally get the recognition they deserve with this new endeavor.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Supernatural
2. Hollow Phrases
3. Flesh and Bone
4. Grey to Green
5. Within the Veil
6. The Great Escape
7. Schizophrenic
8. In the Shade
Lineup:
Andreas Tegeler - Drums
Marco Ahrens - Guitars
Volker Walsemann - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Heiko Spaarmann - Bass
Jörg Springub – Keyboards
Record Label: Metaville Records
     


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