Trillium – Alloy

December 27, 2011 in Reviews by blackwindmetal

 

Trillium
Alloy
2011

I’ve been a fan of Amanda Somerville ever since I stumbled upon Avantasia a few years ago.  Her duet with lead man Tobias Sammet, “What Kind of Love”, is one of my favourite metal ballads ever, and it’s probably my favourite Avantasia track ever.  In “What Kind of Love”, Amanda sounds amazing: sultry and gorgeous.  I then went on to find out that she’s a reputable vocal coach and coaches Simone Simons of Epica of all people, and that Amanda even filled in for Simone when Simone got sick on tour.  Amanda also has some pop releases that I thought were OK.  So, it was very thrilling for me to hear that she was going to release her own solo metal album.  Under the name of Trillium, Alloy was released at the beginning of November.

I was stoked. “Coward”, the first single, sounded pretty good and seemed promising.  Finally, this week, I got hold of the whole album.  And proceeded to be disappointed.

It was meh.

Alloy’s concept is to be a mixture of different types of metal sounds, and indeed we get some songs with a few little symphonic elements, we get some power metal elements, and we have some really great guitar solos and heavy riffing.  Metal-wise, there is way heavier and complex stuff out there, but this Amanda’s first kick at the can, so to speak, so I’m willing to be a little more forgiving.

Sort of.

The first track, “Machine Gun” is atrocious lyrically.  I couldn’t believe my ears when I first heard it and I was almost ready to not listen to any more of Alloy after hearing it.  Here are some examples.

From the first verse:

So, what I want to know is
How did you get through my security?
Don’t turn us into a war zone
Here I thought with you I had immunity

From the chorus:

Like a machine gun
No break, between a hit
You’re a machine gun
And I’m running on for cover
Like a machine gun
The hurting never quits
I’m under fire
Fire!

Then there’s this:

Now it’s a civil war
‘Cause you started this within the union
Must want it bad, ’cause you keep talking
But I’m no civil whore, civil bore
Remember you started this
Sight in and take aim
Let loose…

And this:

Too bad for you
You’re not the right calibre

The war/firearm analogy is too much for me.  It’s cheesy.  It goes too far and pushes too hard.  I rolled my eyes and groaned when I heard “you’re not the right calibre.”

Unfortunately, while the music is competent yet not terribly exciting, but does have good hooks and a lot of strong elements, this album really falls apart for me when it comes to the lyrics, because although “Machine Gun” is the most egregious example of bad lyrics, the rest of the songs are lyrically uninspired.  Sarah Jezebel Deva is especially good at writing bitter relationship failure lyrics, but Amanda’s sound, to me at least, were just uninspired.

One interesting song on the album is “Into the Dissonance”, which I knew I’d heard before but couldn’t quite place.  Turns out it’s a cover of a Lunatica song.  I thought it was an interesting choice for a cover, but again, the version is somewhat uninspired, sounding quite similar to the original.

In the track “Scream It” Jorn Lande provides some guest vocals, and I have to say that he is great and almost outshines Amanda in the song.

With a small army of metal big wigs behind her, like Sander Gommans (ex-After Forever) and Sascha Paeth (Epica, Kamelot), I’m disappointed that this wasn’t a more epic album.  Vocally, Amanda is great here, but everything else was, unfortunately, underwhelming to me.

Allyson’s rating: 2.5/5