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Poverty's No Crime - The Autumn Years CD (album) cover


Poverty's No Crime

Progressive Metal

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4 stars The Autumn Years, released in 1996, is POVERTY'S NO CRIME's second, and perhaps their best album. At this point, the band was still a young and fledgling act from Germany, but their potential could be clearly seen with the release of this album.

The Autumn Years boasts nine songs of straightforward progressive metal, with all of the members on top of their game. Bassist Christian Scheele and drummer Andreas Tegeler come together to form one of the strongest rhythm sections I've heard from a struggling band, with driving fills and beats from Tegeler, while Scheele provides many grooving pulses. Keyboardist Marcello Maniscalco provides great atmosphere and leads from his instrument, but sadly he is often buried in the mix, which is the album's only pitfall, but it's very noticeable. Guitarists Marco Ahrens, and Volker Walsemann (who also provides vocals) play great melodies and leads from their guitars, also the tone from the guitars on The Autumn Years sounds the best in my opinion (to be honest the tone on Slave to the Mind and One in a Million sounded like pure crap), and Walsemann's vocals aren't over the top, which is refreshing in this genre, instead opting for a laidback, somewhat oily delivery.

The Autumn Years begins with ''Ghost of a Stone'', which starts off with a nice gallop, before softening for a first verse and kicking back into gear for the rest of the song, and leading to one of my favorite choruses. ''Future in My Hands'' is one of my favorite cuts of off the album, it is impossible not to headbang to this one, because the rhythm will grab the listener by the balls, as you might say.

Is that a Chapman Stick I hear at the beginning of ''Rain of Gods''? It sure sounds like one, and it adds quality to Ahrens' acoustic intro, along with Maniscalco's organ accents. Despite the soft intro, ''Rain of Gods'' is another heavy track. ''Beat it When it Hurts'' is a song in the vein of ''Future in My Hands'', but displays much more progressive qualities.

The title track is the shortest, and my favorite track on the album, being the sole ballad. The song is mostly acoustic, with Maniscalco providing beautiful string accents, and guitar solos galore. ''The Autumn Years'' is without a doubt one of POVERTY'S NO CRIME's most beautiful tracks that they've ever recorded. ''Seconds'' kicks the album back into with a driving keyboard rhythm replicated by Scheele with headbanging results. ''Lead Me to the Door'' is a midpaced rocker, and is one of the slightly weaker tracks.

''Enter Nowhere'' and ''The Heroes Return'' are more fastpaced rockers to chew on rounding out the album in top form.

All in all, POVERTY'S NO CRIME crafted one of their best albums in the form of The Autumn Years. The mix could use some work, because Marcello Maniscalco is often buried in the mix and this somewhat detracts from the album's quality. But, other than that The Autumn Years is certainly an excellent addition to any prog music collection.

Report this review (#200555)
Posted Sunday, January 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Poverty's no crime is one of my favorite bands. It's a pity they are not appreciated more, which presumably is the reason for their long periods of inactivity. They've got such a perfect mix of hard rock, AOR (smooth mid range vocals) and prog metal - intricate and slightly boring - that a middle-aged metal head would not ashamed to listen to. This is one of their earlier albums. I would describe it as intelligent hard rock rather than prog metal per se. Songs are in 6 minute range, nicely developed with long intros and bridges building up to an emphatic conclusion. All songs are solid (what does not happen often). But not too adventurous. Maybe because I got it as mp3, but the mix sounds quiet, I have to crank up the volume very high and then it kind of blurs. If there were a better production, I would have given it a 5.
Report this review (#985840)
Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 | Review Permalink

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