Release DetailsLABEL Inside Out
RELEASED ON 8/1/2007
Poverty's No Crime
Save My Soul
posted on 12/2007 By:
I was at the most recent ProgPower when I first heard Save My Soul. In fact, it was my first time hearing anything from Poverty's No Crime. The guys at Inside Out USA were blasting this from their booth to add some ambience to the expansive merch room and I took notice pretty quickly, mostly due to Volker Walsemann's smooth voice. Of course, I had no clue who this band was until I walked up to the CD player to check it out. The cover looked pretty stupid but I made a point to remember the name so I could listen to some more samples after the fest was over. I felt lame after looking them up and seeing that they had been around since '91. I was still in daycare at that point so I feel I have an excuse.
Save My Soul is a slightly progressive take on the kind of metal Americans often associate with Europe, but without the flowery modern element. Poverty's No Crime is nowhere near as progressive as Pain of Salvation, at least in my mind, and not quite as heavy as Evergrey. Out of all the Inside Out bands, I'd say they're closest to Vanden Plas, though they sound far more traditional and not as epic or vocally cheesy. If Threshold were still on the label I might make that comparison, too. The keyboards add some '70s flair and seem to be a necessity to the band's overall sound. They're not under or overused, but they do come up at key points in a few choruses, "The Torture" being a good example. Guitarist Marco Ahrens has a great sense of groove and knows how to string together some terrific songs. While I wouldn't go so far as to say that he is the glue that keeps the songs together, his rhythm work is calculated enough to make it appear as if he is steering the ship and Walsemann is along for the ride. I could, of course, be terribly wrong and Walsemann writes both the music and lyrics, but I would never guess that listening to Save My Soul without the credit sheet.
I would never say this about almost any other band, but Poverty's No Crime sound best when they play to their prog tendencies. It's kind of unfortunate, but the band doesn't really hit its stride until the nearly ten-minute long album-closer, "Break the Spell." It's got vocal hooks, keyboard wizardry and plays around with enough riffs to make it sound fresh. "From A Distance" is the same way but it's even more upbeat. That opening riff is a mood-setter if I have ever heard one. It's got that celebratory vibe, but it stretches and expands itself into something far less superficial. You can tell this band has grown together because the album as a whole sounds very natural and, dare I say, organic. Sure, it took them a while to hit a peak, but the rest of the album is nothing to scoff at, either. If you're a prog fan rooted in rock 'n roll, you're probably not going to find anything more suited to your taste this year. By all means, this comes recommended.
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