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Trillium - 'Alloy' (frontiers) 3/5

American vocalist Amanda Somerville is fairly well known in European metal circles, having contributed to albums by the likes of Epica, Kamelot and After Forever in recent years. Now she assembled her very own outfit under the name Trillium and issued this their debut album.

Now as a band Trillium promises lots. Amanda Somerville is a fantastic vocalist, she has an incredible range, and sounds natural with it. She can scream and wail like the best of them and yet shows such sweet control on the quieter sections. On top of that she has assemble a pretty good band around her, guitarist Sander Gommans must be singled out for special praise for his lead work in particular. Add in a great guest performance from Jorn 'Hardest Working Man In Metal' Lande and you have a band and an album that should rank up their along side the likes of Nightwish and Within Temptation as true leaders of the whole female fronted gothic rock / metal genre.

However there is a fundamental flaw with 'Alloy' that not only lets the whole thing down, but at times can be so frustrating that you tend to find the whole thing almost unlistenable. The problem is with the way the vocals are produced. As I said before Amanda Somerville has a wonderful voice, and in the quieter sections of the album such as tracks like Path of Least Resistance and Love Is An Illusion it sits in the mix perfectly. But when things start to get a bit heavier, (and there is a fair amount of metal on offer on this one), she steps up a gear or three, and all to often drowns out the rest of the band. This is most noticeable on tracks like Machine Gun, Purge and especially on Scream It, where the difference between the way Amandas vocals and the aforementioned Mr Landes vocals sit in the mix is very pronounced.

All this is a shame because this is a promising debut from a band that could achieve greatness, but is an issue that must be address if Trillium's potential is to be realised.

A flawed gem

For fans of... Nightwish, Within Temptation, Issa, Mystica etc....

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