Nameless Crime - Law and persecution 2.5/5

Reviewed: 3-2-07


1. Mr. Stone
2. Octopus eye
3. Wish to fly away
4. Communication crimes
5. French kiss
6. Before the storm
7. Law and persecution
8. Backdraft
9. Sons of liberty
10. Roadside bison
11. Vesuvius LXXIX A.D.

It's power metal, it's from Italy, and it isn't a 3rd-rate Rhapsody clone. That much at least is a breath of fresh air. Nameless Crime's style is actually about as far from that of their countrymen as possible while staying within the confines of the same genre. They inhabit that modestly-inhabited area where power and thrash metal cross over, sticking to the more melodic side of the scale but also playing with an unexpected level of technicality.

'Law and persecution', the band's 2nd CD, provides a decent but overall rather unspectacular listen – everything here is in perfect working order, but on the whole, proceedings suffer from a basic lack of memorable songs. For a band occupying the thrash/power niche, they just lack the dark melodrama that makes Morgana Lefay and Iced Earth stand out, or the cold mechanical precision that helps put Nevermore in a class of their own. Of course it is terribly unfair to deride a band for not scaling the heights of the undeniable leaders of their genre, but the fact remains that in comparison to acts such as these, 'Law and persecution' comes across as distinctly B-grade.

With that said, there are far worse ways to spend 55 minutes than giving the CD a spin, with a few plus points that deserve to be noted. The guitar playing is the biggest pull, surprisingly technical for a power metal band, and often a song will suddenly grab the listener's attention when the main riff alters without warning. It is to my understanding that the lead guitarist, Marco Ruggiero, has recently left Nameless Crime, which will doubtlessly be a serious blow to them. His soloing can be very impressive indeed, not least on the 9-minute CD closer "Vesuvius LXXIX A.D.", and, assuming he was heavily involved in the songwriting, it would appear Nameless Crime may have lost their most valuable asset.

Vocalist Fabio Manda, however, is something of a wildcard – he sounds distinctly different to most Italian metal singers, and his voice in fact bears more than a passing resemblance to former Falconer and Destiny frontman Kristoffer Göbel. As anyone familiar with the latter's style can imagine, Manda possesses an impressively varied range and supplies an interesting performance on 'Law and persecution'. As with his Swedish counterpart, however, he could perhaps be accused of trying too hard to show as many aspects of his voice as possible, and is on occasion rather grating. When he is 'on', though, Manda's voice is one which demands attention.

Nameless Crime may eventually find the improvement in songwriting they need to add to their undeniable performing skills in order to be looked at as real contenders on the metal scene, but for the moment they will do well just to keep up with the pack. 'Law and persecution' is a decent CD, but unfortunately cannot come with anything more than a lukewarm recommendation.




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