Just in time for POVERTY’S NO CRIME’s 30th anniversary, A Secret to Hide is the eighth album to be released by the German constant in prog metal/prog rock. The fact that it took “only five years” this time until the band can present a new album and that new paths had to be taken during the recordings is due, among other things, to the Corona restrictions.
After the successful predecessor Spiral of Fear in 2016 and the joint tour with Psychotic Waltz, the band was quickly back in work mode. “The band was back in full force,” singer/guitarist Volker Walsemann sums up the situation. “That really gave us a boost after being barely active for so long. We took a lot of inspiration from that time. The great response to the album and then being on stage together again were the main motivation for us to tackle this album and put all our energy into it.”
The result is a musically multifaceted work that dares to break out of the genre boundaries again and again. It is hard melodic rock music, which is sometimes more “rock” and sometimes goes more clearly in the direction of “metal.” The band shapes its own style, takes the freedom to elaborate its songs in detail. POVERTY’S NO CRIME show a consistent feeling for catchy melodies, and they always know how to put their instrumental skills in the service of the song. The album impresses with its many details, precisely crafted instrumental passages and coherent, crisp hooklines.
However, the Corona restrictions prevented a classic collaboration on the new material. “We didn’t meet once during the creation phase,” Volker remembers. The album was recorded in complete isolation at home during the lockdown months of 2020, influenced by the individual realities of the band members’ lives, recorded in their bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms between home schooling and the next Zoom conference.
This way of working opened up new possibilities. Volker says: “We could work out the individual parts and instruments more intensively and try out a lot. There is usually no time for that in the studio. Every minute costs money. No POVERTY’S NO CRIME album in the past has taken so much time. We’re all music-mad people who always want to go one better. It’s been great fun for everyone.” And that can be heard clearly on A Secret to Hide!
Mixing and mastering was once again done by DGM guitarist and mastermind Simone Mularoni at Domination Studio in San Marino, who spontaneously got back to the band with a quick “Amazing stuff!” after the first presentation of the new material. That POVERTY’S NO CRIME and Mularoni have become a well-rehearsed team in the meantime is shown by the “wall of sound” with which the album impresses: a clearly impressive listening impression that gives space to all instruments, but also has powerful pressure and intensity.
“With this album, we want to give courage and self-confidence to all people in these difficult times,” explains Volker, who started writing the lyrics at the beginning of Lockdown 2020 – a time when everyone’s life was turned upside down. “Music is not just entertainment for us, but it is intense interaction in one’s own thought processes. This is expressed not only musically, but especially in the lyrics. Lyrically, I process what I wouldn’t say to anyone else, but can say through the music – my inner attitude to life. A good example of this is the ballad ‘Within the Veil’ as an ode to life. Or the song ‘Flesh And Bone,’ which takes up my discussion of the topic of organ donation in my personal environment. In ‘Grey to Green,’ I
describe an individual who has a lifelong commitment to transforming the world into a better place – a green paradise, to create something bigger than oneself.”
POVERTY’S NO CRIME lineup (since 2000)
Volker Walsemann – vocals & guitars
Marco Ahrens – guitars
Heiko Spaarmann – bass
Jörg Springub – keyboards
Andreas Tegeler – drums
2021 A Secret To Hide (Metalville)
2016 Spiral Of Fear (Metalville)
2007 Save My Soul (InsideOut)
2003 The Chemical Chaos (InsideOut)
2001 One In A Million (InsideOut)
1999 Slave To The Mind (InsideOut)
1996 The Autumn Years (Noise Records)
1995 Symbiosis (Noise Records)
1994 Perfect Wings (Demo)
1993 My Favourite Delusion (Demo)