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Awesome - 85%

ViolentIllusion, July 6th, 2007

Spoil engine's debut album 'skinnerbox v.07' is ( to say the least ) one of the biggest surprises to me anno 2007. This album is a very strong album mixing up a lot of genres going from death to trash and further. They sommetimes sound like Machine head, but on another song they sound like Mors Principium Est. But enough comparisons now. Let's talk about the album itself.


First of all: as well the title as the cover ( which is a beautifull slipcase ) tells about a skinnerbox. A skinnerbox is a 'practical tool used in behavioral experiments, a simple box holding a random rat manipulated & conditioned ... bla bla bla'. Spoil Engine says that each and every one of us lives in a skinnerbox and they're music is one of the ways to break out of your skinnerbox.


Now we'll talk about the music, because that's actually what matters the most. 'Enter The Arena' is the first song. On this song we hear lots of fast trash salvo's. What's really remarkable are the awesome vocals. These vocals come by the name of 'Niek Tournois. He can sound very agressive. But as you will hear on a song like 'Chains' and 'Fitting The Pieces' he's also very good at singing with a clean and melodic voice.


But not only the vocalist is very good. What Steven Sanders and Nick Vandenberghe can do on their 6-string ( or guitar for the 'not-so-clever-one's' ) is at least as spectacular as the vocals are. The songs are very composed and there are a lot of details in their guitar-playing. A good example of this is the intro of 'Own Worst Enemy' and on 'Voices of Escape'.


This brings us to the rhytm-section. I heard better drumming before ... But this is getting very close to it. I can't help it to use the word 'awesome' once more. The bass is very subtile interweaved into the music, without hindering the guitars.


The production is ( no , I'm not going to say awesome this time ) tremendous. It's produced by Jochem Jacobs, Bouke Visser and Spoil Engine itself. The mixing and the mastering is also done by Jochem and Bouke. The recordings took place in the Split Second Sound.


What I'm actually trying to say is this : this album is very very good and if you're a Göthenburg and/or Trash-fan, then buy this album. You'll enjoy it for sure.