Poverty’s No Crime – Save My Soul

By Mike Schlabovits 

Whenever I am asked to review an album from a group that’s been around a while and has several releases under their belts I am always tempted to compare the latest release to previous efforts. While I am guilty of comparisons many times when it comes to artists I am familiar with, I like to mix it up from time to time and make a conscious effort not to do that. With that said I do actually own and have enjoyed several of Poverty’s No Crime’s earlier releases through their career. I haven’t kept up with the German lads for several years so I am approaching this review as though this is the first album I’ve heard from them.

Save My Soul has one really CREEPY looking cover…let me start off with that! Some people might take a glance at the cover and say, “Oh look, a death metal album”, but in fact, that’s far from the truth. PNC is and has always been a very melodic and capable progressive metal band hailing from Deutschland. Save My Soul definitely fits the melodic mold for sure, but they do have a heavy element as well…plenty of hard and crunchy guitars and double bass. But in between and around that hardness lies an element of precision and structure that the vocal stylings of Volker Walsemann and the keyboard work of Jörg Springub tie together very nicely. Since I vowed not to compare this release to their other albums, I will make a comparison to another CD that I reviewed not long ago, that being Threshold and their latest release Dead Reckoning. If you are familiar with Threshold, including their latest release, you will find much to like in PNC’s new release.

On the whole there is no new ground broken on Save My Soul but don’t let that stop you from checking these guys out if you are unfamiliar with their body of work. A decent portion of the tunes on this album are uptempo and romp and frolic along at a pretty quick clip but it’s not all one long metal shredfest or frantic display of their mastery of their respective instruments. “The Key To Creativity” is a rather somber and deliberately paced tune (dare I even say a ballad?) that is followed by another slower, yet slightly heavier track “In The Wait Loop” which helps to break up the fast-paced first several tracks offered up to the listener. Believe it or not one of my favorite tracks on the CD is actually an instrumental entitled “Spellbound” which has a very prog-rocky element to it with some interesting time changes, some xylophone-sounding synths and some other goodies thrown in. I am not sure if PNC has ever done an instrumental on any of their other releases, but I really recommend this track to folks who want to check out the sheer musicianship these guys have to offer.

In closing, if you like harder or heavier progressive rock and especially melodic progressive metal and have never heard a Poverty’s No Crime album before, please do check out Save My Soul, it’s a really pleasing and catchy album. Don’t expect to be blown out of the water or have a religious or out-of-body experience, just expect to tap your feet, bob your head and kinda dig on the grooves and riffs laid down. Those of you who are familiar with PNC and have relished their past efforts will find their latest release to be a worthy addition to their catalog and your collection.

Since I had promised not to compare this release to previous releases, I had mentioned earlier in this review that Save My Soulreminds me quite a bit of the Threshold’s latest CD Dead Reckoning. I wouldn’t say they are “sound-alikes” but both bands use a similar formula in crafting catchy and good, refreshing prog metal without going overboard, laying in the unnecessary or annoying death growls or going too far off the progressive diveboard into unknown waters with maniacally fast songs or 1,000 time/tempo changes. If all this sounds good to you, it will sound even better when you get this CD in your stereo!