ALBUM REVIEW: Trillium – Tectonic

MI0004415048No introduction required here. Amanda Somerville is a prominent figure in the metal community. Her impeccable vocal technique has seen her collaborate with some of metal’s household names. EPICA, KAMELOT, AVANTASIA and AFTER FOREVER are just a few that she has worked alongside. There was also her unforgettable partnership with HELLOWEEN’s Michael Kiske. She has now released a new album by her project TRILLIUM.

Somerville is very well known for her versatile vocal range and diverse ability to fit in with a lot of musical styles. TRILLIUM is rooted within the metal genre and their second studio album Tectonic shows this within the opening song Time To Shine. This empowering track moves the listener forward and helps them feel uplifted.

Tectonic is a versatile portfolio of brilliant melodies. These all consist of great guitar work, wonderful vocals and sweeping beats. If you are used to the excellent calibre of Somerville’s vocal work, this album may seem a bit tame and mediocre, almost just a mesh of tracks sounding similar to each other!

On second listen however, it’s a different story. You begin to scratch the surface and learn to appreciate music in all it’s different forms. Each track shows you varying vocal abilities and range. You might come across a vocal technique that you haven’t heard Somerville perform before.

A good example of the unheard vocal work can be found in the booming track Full Speed Ahead. It highlights the lower end of Somerville’s vocal range, a surprise, particularly when you are used to hearing her hit those high notes. This impounding track hits you like a tonne of bricks and it doesn’t plan on taking prisoners. The blasting guitar work and thunderous drums provide the perfect allies for a powerful voice.

The sweeping beats and melody of Nocturna are stunning. If you decide within the first few moments that it’s going to provide a huge impact, you’d be correct. From the amazing guitar riffs and orchestral melodies emphasising the song to the beautiful vocals then this track is a definite highlight of the album.

Shards is a brilliant hard rock track that provides inspiration and power. The song has a fabulous melody and ambience that draws you in. The chorus is a dominant one that ensures you are still listening and paying attention to the track throughout. The track name Shards is also perfect for what this track portrays with the music giving off an icy ambience, one that is powerful.

Tectonic ends on a beautiful note with the track Eternal Spring, it’s the ballad of the album stripped down to just a piano and vocals. You know those tracks that just make you stop what you are doing and listen to the song? Eternal Spring does just that. Like EPICA’s Tides Of Time, it provides a stunning melody showing us the best of the vocal work.

To sum this up, this album is a great portfolio of work. The production is already dominant, but considering the calibre of Somerville’s vocals I was expecting it to be even grander. I can only imagine how it would sound if it had received even more nurturing and care? The production could be huge. Despite that Amanda Somerville’s TRILLIUM is a force to be reckoned with!

Rating:  8/10

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