Bands like Germany's Poverty's No Crime are proof positive that there still is good music being produced in the crowded world of progressive metal. While this band will certainly win no awards for originality, their brand of Images and Words era Dream Theater is performed with such technical skill and accessability that it is hard to not like these guys.
The Dream Theater comparison is hard to not notice, most notably in the keyboard style of Jorg Springub, who has a symphonic style very similar to Kevin Moore, as opposed to the more virtuoso attack of current DT man Jorden Rudess. Springub's wall of sound plays the perfect complement to the massive crunch of guitarists Volker Walsemann and Marco Ahrens, especially on the heavy "Ancient Lies." While this band does not try to club you to death with non-stop complexity, there is still plenty of crazy instrumental mania going on, like in the wonderful "The Stranger Within" or 'Incognito." What sets Poverty's No Crime apart from many of their contemporaries is their sense of melody. Singer Walsemann has a fantastic voice, perfectly fitting the songs, and highly original. He never tries for the Geoff Tate wail, but settles in for a melodic mid-range that really works. As for the guitar work, in most places it is impeccable. Listeners will love the memorable riffs and the twin guitar solo attack, while the drums of Andreas Tegeler pound away with reckless abandon. In traditional prog-metal fashion, many of the songs are between 7-10 minutes long, which allows for the band to create many lyrical images to go along with the complex yet melodic instrumention.
Included on the CD is a bonus track, the bands cover of the Rush classic "Distant Early Warning", which is done admirably and very close to the original, perhaps a bit heavier. It's a fitting end to a fine CD from a band that continues to grow and impress.