Perhaps your familiarity with Amanda Somerville comes with her collaborations with other artists like Avantasia, Epica, Aina, or Kiske to name a few. This has been largely my experience. Ms. Somerville, however, has recorded several solo albums where she explores her own songwriting adventures. Her third project, which is not going by her name but by the pseudonym Trillium, is entitled Alloy, on Frontiers Records.
Above, Amanda Somerville: The vocalist looking as provocative as her music.
If your expectation of Trillium and Alloy is akin to the music of those aforementioned artists, as it was for me, then you might be thrown for a curve here, as I was. The larger description of the music within might be edgier and eclectic melodic hard rock. Most of us listen to and enjoy Somerville for her compelling vocal talent. But, honestly, the music may be equally, maybe even more, compelling than Somerville's vocals.
It's certainly diverse and intriguing. For example, the opener Machine Gun begins with a strange beat, nearing pop dance, blended with thick riffs, then later it turns to well-paced melodic metal with a lightning guitar solo. Next Coward has a curious symphonic doom feel to start only to return to the heavier melodic hard rock, and return to the former darkness. Later there's Path of Least Resistance, which offers Somerville's lighter vocals over some big drums and heavy chords and, again, that melodic hard rock sensibility creeps in.
Not everything is provocative or hard to explain. Purge nears more traditional melodic hard rock, but still pleases with eccentricity in the bass line and quirky synths. Better melodic rock, but still curious, may be the edgier side of the very catchy Bow to the Ego. Similar in accessibility is the following Mistaken, with it's strong groove and pleasing bass line. Another is the ballad-like Into the Dissonance and Love Is an Illusion, which offers Somerville's smooth vocals within a symphonic/synth arrangement, over a steady rock groove. Slow It Downs does exactly what it's name implies and is the closest thing to a traditional ballad here.
Perhaps the most interesting and frustrating piece here is Scream It, a duet with Jorn Lande. Beginning with a lovely orchestral intro, the song turns to a vocal arrangement committing Lande's raw vocals against Somerville's sweeter style, again, over that heavier melodic hard rock motif. At first the vocal arrangement and male vocals seem abrasive, but then it fits the rousing emotion of the lyrics and music.
Likely, in the Trillium context, this is most intriguing songwriting you have heard from Amanda Somerville. After several listens, which are quite necessary, Alloy is diverse and different, an eclectic platter of edgier melodic hard rock. Recommended.
Likely, in the Trillium context, this is most intriguing songwriting you have heard from Amanda Somerville. After several listens, which are quite necessary, Alloy is diverse and different, an eclectic platter of edgier melodic hard rock.
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