Frontiers [Release date 08.06.18]

The sophomore release by American-born, Dutch-based singer/songwriter Amanda Somerville’s symphonic metal project Trillium, is packed with melodies, riffs, solos and soaring vocals.

The project’s well-received debut Alloy (2011) lead to support slots with Delain (and perhaps more surprisingly, Magnum) and since, as well as raising a family, she’s been in much demand featuring as vocalist on Serenades of the Netherworld (2014) – the second album by hubbie/guitarist Sander Gommans’s HDK (Hate, Death, Kill) Dutch metal project, on City of Heroes (2015) – her second metal ‘duet’ album with Helloween vocalist Michael Kiske, and most recently as one of four female vocalists on Rhapsodies In Black (2017) the impressive debut album by Exit Eden, an international symphonic metal supergroup performing covers of well-known pop and rock songs.

So little surprise that Tectonic – an album put together with Gommans – has been a while in coming.  Full of power and purpose, and Somerville’s commanding vocals, it’s another well-crafted release that should go down a storm with lovers of the genre.

A little too ‘metally’ for my own modest symphonic leanings, there’s nevertheless enough here – like the opening pairing of ‘Time To Shine’ and ‘Stand Up’ – to offer the possibility of wider appeal.  ***1/2

Review by Pete Whalley

FLIGHT OF ICARUS s/t [Release date 23.03.18]

If symphonic metal is a genre that appeals then it’s possible Swedish pop/symphonic metal band Flight Of Icarus might feature on your radar.

Essentially a project by multi-instrumentalist Oskar Frantzen and singer Elizabeth Sarnefalt, I’d recommend caution.  There’s a couple of videos on YouTube – ‘Where The Stars Collide’, and ‘Dawn Of A New Day’ – which will give you a pretty good flavour of what’s on offer, but I have to say I found the project a bit ‘bland’.

Sarnefalt’s singing is fine, if nothing particularly distinctive, but one track blends into the next and there’s not much metal about it, lacking much by way of gritty or cutting guitar work.  And, combined with an absence of any meaty hooks, I was left feeling underwhelmed.  **

Review by Pete Whalley

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Power Plays w/c 15 October 2018

BIRDSONG AT MORNING Waterfall (Blue Gentian Records)
GUN RUNNERS Save Our Souls (indie)
THE BUZNIKS Nail It To The Floor (3MS Music)
NAZARETH The Secret Is Out (Frontiers)
CITY OF THIEVES Fuel And Alcohol (Frontiers)

Featured Albums w/c 15 October (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 STEVE PERRY Traces (BMG)
12:00-13:00 URIAH HEEP Living The Dream (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 BIRDSONG AT MORNING Signs And Wonders (Blue Gentian Records)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 STEVE MORSE/SARAH SPENCER Angelfire (2010)

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