Spoil Engine - Stormsleeper album review

Gutsy Euro metal from melodic, Lowland collective

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With half these songs appearing on a self-released namesake in 2016, it’s good to hear them being given a full-blooded production with all the bells and missiles on Spoil Engine’s fourth album. With new female vocalist Iris Goessens’ roar, comparisons with Angela Gossow-era Arch Enemy are inevitable, not least when backed up by the imperious riffs, flailing leads and bullish posturing of Disconnect, while the synth-led battle cry of Black Sails could easily be an Anthems Of Rebellion b-side. However, the Belgian/Dutch band are far from one-trick ponies. Silence Will Fail’s angular chorus sets up an explosion of windswept peaks, and SE are onto a winner with Doomed To Die and Singing Sirens’ brooding melancholy, as Iris’s vocal cords are given a full workout. The title track’s power metal stomp and squealing guitars deliver a solid mid-album anchor, but either side of it Weightless and Hollow Crown join modern metal’s plundering of Meshuggah’s guitar tone without much payoff. Disjointed but demanding of attention.