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Spoil Engine – Renaissance Noire

Spoil Engine
Renaissance Noire
by Jack Lynch at 16 November 2019, 9:50 PM

SPOIL ENGINE has had quite a history since their formation in 2004. The Belgian 5-piece Modern Metal group have released a number of albums while also touring with behemoths such as MEGADETH, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, and ARCH ENEMY. By 2017 lead vocalist Niek Tournois was out, and female vocalist Iris Goessens was in, reinventing the band’s sound overnight. A bold move by all counts but as their 2017 release “Stormsleeper” proved the band’s popularity survived the transition. So it comes as no surprise that their newest album  “Renaissance Noire” continues in this direction, opting for a more polished, palatable hardcore sound that’s almost radio friendly (whatever that means in 2019), and by most accounts the album is a success.

There’s plenty of energy on the opener “Riot”, a call-to-arms where Iris’ vocals walk a balanced line of harsh singing. SPOIL ENGINE’s cross breed of Hardcore and Modern Metal riffing play nicely with one another for the most part. Tracks such as “Medicine”, “Venom”, and “The Hallow” leave plenty of space for catchy, anthem rich choruses while guitarist Steven Sanders still reminds everyone how heavy the band can be with deep, chug heavy breakdowns interspersed with some tasty guitar play. Speed is of the essence on “Warzone” as it moves at high velocity while “Golden Age” is an atmospheric ballad that breaks the action at the midway point of the album.  The final track “Storms of Tragedy” ends letting everyone know that Goessen still can crank out some long-winded deep menacing growls.

The songs are well written on “Renaissance Noir” and you tell the band was very methodical in their production. Choruses hit at all the right moments, and breakdowns crush where they are supposed to. I guess that’s kind of my grunge with the album if I really had one. Structurally, songs are friendly and palatable to perhaps newer listeners to harder music. The prompt catchiness of the choruses (which you can set your watch to) are bound to hook some listeners while at the same time alienating others.  But when a band walks that fine line between Hardcore and commercially viable, listeners of these subgenres are bound to land on one side or the other. For me, I think I fell somewhere in purgatory; respectful of the craft but not enlightened by the art.


3 Star Rating

1. Riot
2. Med
3. The Hallow
4. Venom
5. golden Cage
6. Frostbite
7. Warzone
8. No Flowers for a Pig
9. The Void
10. Storms of Tragedy
Iris Goessens - Vocals
Steven 'gaze' Sanders - Guitars
Dave De Loco - Bass
Matthijs Quaars - Drums
Record Label: Arising Empire


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