without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Let me admit right up front that I gave this album a try solely due to the picture of Amanda Somerville. Look, I'm a guy, all right?
...but the music is not exactly my cup of tea. I have my doubts about it being metal at all. Still and all, Ms. Somerville is a undeniable talent. Her pitch is dead on, and her tone contains a natural sensuality that doesn't sound silly or forced. Her range is comfortably alto I think. She dips into tenor a bit on tracks like Coward and Purge, but also drifts into mezzo-soprano on Bow to the Ego for example.
Her voice also has a fullness and power that makes her a natural fit with maybe hard-edge rock, but she's not a metal singer. I don't mean because she doesn't ever growl (she doesn't), but because she lacks the... I don't know. Attitude? Nothing on Alloy really carries that hellyeah emotional punch I look for in good metal. Alloy contains good music. Nice music. It's easy to listen to and very radio friendly. Scream It is probably the heaviest track, and it's not all that heavy.
All due props to Sander Gommans on guitar too. I think it's likely that he's better than this style allows him to be. Every track features a ripping solo, but like the vocals it stops short of being even light power metal. The mental picture I get of Trillium on stage has Sander standing back by the stack most of the time, skittering forward to hit us with a solo, then fading back again.
All in all, I think this is a pretty good album to give someone who isn't all that into metal. Fans of strong female vocals will appreciate it.
I went in this excited to hear lots of Amanda Somerville, because it's so rare that her beautiful voice graces an entire album of material. When I got about halfway through the disc though, my ability to stay positive started to wane. This is probably the epitome of mediocrity and safe material when it comes to putting together a supergroup. This album takes no chances at all and in reality the names in the band don't matter. Any session musician could have played this music and had Amanda Somerville sing over it.
The vocals themselves are fantastic, despite the lackluster songs. Amanda does her best to bring each song its own identity, but there are still too many that sound the same and run together. Before I knew it this album was almost over and I couldn't pick out a single song that I liked better than any other. It's all just far too basic and borders on the same quality as (or even less than) Evanescence at times.
Despite more than one listen to try and let it grow on me, this album is going to get shelved. I probably will never go back to it. That's a real shame too, because like I said, these albums with lots of Amanda singing are rare. I guess I'll have to wait for another Kiske Somerville album.