Amanda Somerville is an accomplished American singer-songwriter and vocal coach who has written and recorded with bands such as After Forever, Edguy, Kamelot, Epica, Avantasia and Docker's Guild. Since Amanda is blessed with such an amazing vocal range (from tenor to soprano) so far her solo career has been focused on creating softer pop/rock. While she has explored hard rock before it has mostly been in the form of collaborations. "Alloy" is the first album in which hard edge rock and heavy metal take center stage for Amanda. She ended up calling her new project Trillium because it “symbolizes a trinity because things are always showing up in 3s in my environment and there are a number of triads occurring in this project, as well”. Amanda looks like she is all too ready to branch out more into the fields of heavy rock and traditional heavy metal from the sounds displayed on "Alloy". As she says about the album title- “The name of the album, "Alloy," is symbolic and metaphorical. An alloy is a substance composed of two or more metals, or of a metal or metals combined with a non-metal, intimately mixed. It also means standard; quality; fineness and is an admixture, as of good with evil. I'm a Pisces, so I'm all about duality and combining known elements - sometimes opposing each other - to create something different. Though I've been working myself further and further into the metal scene, I still always feel the need to add an extra element to make it shine, bling, stand out”. In her desire to craft a special album Amanda enlisted the team of Sascha Paeth & Miro (Kamelot, Avantasia, Epica, After Forever, and Angra) as producers, songwriters and performers. Their hard work paid off in spades as "Alloy" is a fine album that works the thin line between riff happy radio rock and harder edged heavy metal. With the production team in place Amanda assembled a great set of musicians to back her up. The official line-up is quite solid with Sascha Paeth handling just about everything (Guitars, Bass, Keys, Drums), Sander Gommans - Guitars, Miro - Arrangements & Keys, Olaf Reitmeier - Acoustic Guitar, Robert Hunecke – Drums, Simon Oberender - Keys and Jorn Lande - Guest Lead Vocals on “Scream It”. It sounds as if a lot of thought went into "Alloy". Solo albums can be very hit or miss. With "Alloy" Amanda obviously took time to consider the direction she wanted to go and the album's overall flow. While her vocals are of course a highlight the music doesn't simply take a backseat. In fact everything merges perfectly together making Trillium sound less like a traditional solo venture and more like a new band. It offers so much variety under the label of hard rock that I'd challenge anyone with an open mind not to find something worthwhile here. This is one album I plan to come back to again soon enough.