Album Reviews

Amanda Somerville’s Trillium – Tectonic Review

Released by: Frontiers Music s.r.l. 

Release Date: 8th June 2018

Genre: Melodic Metal

Links: http://www.amandasomerville.com/

 

Tracklist:

01 Time To Shine
02 Stand Up
03 Full Speed Ahead
04 Hit Me
05 Fighting Fate
06 Nocturna
07 Fatal Mistake
08 Shards
09 Cliché Freak Show
10 Eternal Spring
 

I don’t like to use the term “female fronted” though I will, yet when I do I don’t mean it in the derogatory way some troglodyte metalheads do in order to keep them “in their place.” I have been a longtime supporter of women in the world of hard rock and metal since I have been old enough to even know about women in the genre. Having said that, sometimes bands that happen to be fronted by females often run stagnant for me. Rarely do you get a band like A Sound of Thunder that is full-on metal without Nina relying on growls to make it “heavier” or a band like MindMaze where Sarah has such a great voice that is lush and soulful without relying on her inner Janis Joplin or a band like Seven Kingdoms where you have a clearly accomplished singer in Sabrina who is capable of doing soaring arias but doesn’t rely on that solely.

Don’t even get me started on the brilliant voice of Cammie in Oceans of Slumber who basically can do it all. There is another singer that fits perfectly in this list of powerhouse singers that also happen to be a woman: Amanda Somerville. She has shown through various outlets that she can hold court vocally within a multitude of subgenres, and stand toe to toe with any man who dares. Her latest project, Trillium, is clearly a more melodic metal vehicle for her stunning talent, and it works perfectly.

I somehow missed Alloy, the debut of Trillium, but the follow-up, Tectonic, allows her to avoid being caught in the typical operatic style or even being in a straight Power Metal sound. Instead, there is a very strong 80’s Hard Rock vibe that runs throughout this album combining blistering licks and melodic vocals, but not fluffy like some bands of this type can be. Plus there is a good dose of Modern Hard Rock that prevents Tectonic from being a throwback album.

It actually puts me in mind of a heavier Space Elevator, if you’re familiar with them, kind of poppy and heavy and wholly unique. Somerville’s Trillium easily fits this definition, with the instantly catchy “Stand Up” and “Hit Me” to darker stuff like “Nocturna,” this album entranced me from the very first spin. Few albums have that ability these days.

While she clearly has a voice equipped to handle the more operatic side of it (she more than proved that to me when I was lucky enough to see her filling in for Simone on tour with Epica,) but this album shows that she has a voice with chameleon-like capabilities to handle damn near any style that comes her way. Her stunning voice shines on Trillium’s Tectonic and is rife with melodic wonder and enough power to satisfy even the grumpiest of metal fans.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: 9/10

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