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On disc: Trillium

Alloy - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars


(Frontiers Records - 2011)

Amanda Somerville mainly worked as a vocal coach the last years as well as some stuff for commercials. She also replaced Epica's Simone Simons at a US tour when Simone was fighting MRSA. Others might know her from projects she was involved with like Aina and the duet album with Michael Kiske. Now the blond singer is presenting Trillium which can be looked at as a solo album. She teamed up with musicians / producers Sascha Paeth and Miro, they hooked up with guitarist Olaf Reitmeier, keyboarder Simon Oberender and drummer Robert Hunecke. Sascha Paeth also played drums, bass, guitars and keyboards on this one.

The opening track of Alloy is called Machine Gun and even if it offers some slower passages the song is heavy, dark and modern sounding. The track Coward they did a video for, so you can check it out yourself!

Songs like Purge are pretty heavy, riff-based and probably not what you expect from Amanda. She keeps her vocal style variable and so creates different atmospheres within songs. A balladesque opening leads you into Utter Descension, but soon it becomes a heavy symphonic tune with a soaring vocal line. Nu metal-like riffs kick off Bow To The Ego, but then they give way to Amanda's voice. This time the tune combines modern sounds with Oriental scales. One of my favorites is Mistaken, a riff-based tune which partly has a melancholy edge. Scream It sounds like a soundtrack for some fairytale... But after the symphonic opening it explodes and introduces the only guest singer Alloy has, Jørn Lande. His powerful vocals meet Amanda's angelic voice. Very catchy. Pretty heavy is Path Of Least Resistance, especially drums and bass give it heaviness, the keyboard stays in the background most of the time but gives this one a symphonic edge, again Amanda's vocals vary from soft whispers to powerful singing. After Into The Dissonance they slow down for Slow It Down, a piano-based ballad. The closer is called Love Is An Illusion, another powerful track but with slow, melancholy passages.

There is no overly catchy tune, but the songs are all on a high level and have memorable melodies - just nothing sticks out. The albums heavier than one might expect and shows that Amanda Somerville can do more than angelic vocals.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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