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Somerville performing with Avantasia in 2016
|Born||March 7, 1979|
|Associated acts||Trillium, HDK, Kiske/Somerville, Aina, Exit Eden, Avantasia, Epica, Kamelot|
Amanda Somerville (born March 7, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter and vocal coach who resides in Wolfsburg, Germany. She is known primarily for her work with many European symphonic metal bands.
Somerville was raised in Flushing, Michigan. She attended Flushing Senior High School, graduating in 1997, graduating a full year early and winning a scholarship for graduating with high honors to the University of Michigan–Flint, where she majored in psychology. Somerville moved to Wolfsburg, Germany in 1999, where she has resided, working mainly in Germany and the Netherlands.
On August 19, 2013, she announced that she was engaged to be married to After Forever's former guitarist Sander Gommans, and the pair were married on July 28, 2014. On January 8, 2015, she announced that she and Gommans were expecting their first child. On July 17, 2015, their daughter, Lana Elise Gommans, was born.
Somerville has written and recorded with bands such as After Forever, Edguy, Kamelot, Epica, Avantasia, and Docker's Guild, and has produced two solo albums. Her solo releases to date are primarily soft and elegant pop rock with some hard rock, folk and soul music influences. Somerville herself wrote and contributed instrumentally to all of the songs on her solo albums, with only one exception, "Out" from the album Windows (written by Sascha Paeth).
She collaborated with several of these metal bands alongside producers Sascha Paeth and Michael Rodenberg, which led her to collaborate with multi-instrumentalist Robert Hunecke-Rizzo, co-writing the rock opera Aina. Later she made a similar collaboration with guitarist Sander Gommans (After Forever), providing vocals and lyrical concept for the project HDK. In 2008, she toured America with Dutch heavy metal band Epica, while regular vocalist Simone Simons recovered from a staph infection.
In 2010, she collaborated with Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween singer) on a musical project entitled Kiske/Somerville. The band is a melodic metal act put together by Frontiers Records, a similar project as Allen/Lande. Songwriting and producing was done by Primal Fear bassist Mat Sinner with collaboration by guitarist Magnus Karlsson (Allen/Lande, also from Primal Fear), Sander Gommans, Jimmy Kresic and Somerville herself. Their first single, "Silence", was released on August 20. Their self-titled album was released on 24 September 2010 by Frontiers Records, after the single accompanied by a music video for "Silence". A music video was also made for the song "If I Had One Wish." Somerville contributed creatively to the album by writing three of its songs: "A Thousand Suns," "Arise" and "Set Afire," all co-written with Sander Gommans.
Somerville was also one of the live guest vocalists for Tobias Sammet's metal opera Avantasia world tours in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2016. Her role onstage included singing backing vocals during the whole setlist and performing lead vocals for the songs "Farewell," "The Wicked Symphony," "Lost in Space" and "Sign of the Cross."
In 2011, Somerville finally released her first heavy metal-oriented project, called Trillium, with the record company Frontiers Records. The project has contributions by Sascha Paeth, Michael Rodenberg, Sander Gommans and a guest appearance of Jørn Lande on a duet vocal track with Somerville.
Trillium live band members
- Amanda Somerville - vocals (2011–present)
- Paul Owsinski - guitar (2011–present)
- Marc Burnash - bass, vocals (2011–present)
- Simon Oberender (†) - keyboard (2011-2012)
- Philip Krause - drums (2011-2012)
- Tom Pluijmaekers - drums (2013)
Somerville was featured on Douglas R. Docker's space metal opera Docker's Guild. In 2012, she appeared on the song "Black Swan", a duet with Göran Edman on the debut album The Mystic Technocracy - Season 1: The Age of Ignorance. In 2016, she was featured again in the "Flash Gordon Suite", from Queen's soundtrack of the same name, on the album The Heisenberg Diaries - Book A: Sounds of Future past.
New HDK, Kiske/Somerville albums and beyond
In 2014, a new HDK album called Serenades of the Netherworld was released, featuring Somerville and Geert Kroes on vocals, and once again produced and composed by Sander Gommans. This was also the year Somerville and Gommans were married. Somerville was also part of a metal opera project from the Middle East, produced by Lebanese guitarist Amadeus Awad, with an album called The Book of Gates. She played the part of the Queen of the Nile.
In 2015, the second Kiske/Somerville album, entitled City of Heroes, was announced and released, once again featuring bassist Mat Sinner as producer and in a songwriting partnership with guitarist Magnus Karlsson, who was also in charge of the keyboards, while Veronika Lukesova was the drummer. The song "Breaking Neptune" was written by Somerville and Gommans, and two music videos were filmed for the songs "City of Heroes" and "Walk on Water".
In 2017, another new project was announced. Called Exit Eden, it features Somerville and three other female singers from the rock/metal scene: Clémentine Delauney (Visions of Atlantis, Serenity, Melted Space, Kai Hansen & Friends), Marina La Torraca (who replaced Somerville in a few festival shows of the Avantasia 2016 world tour) and newcomer Anna Brunner. The band was conceived with the plan "to show the world that almost every classic song can be transformed into a solid Metal-Rock song", a concept similar to Finland's Northern Kings. The tracklist of their debut album, Rhapsodies In Black, features some pop hits such as Madonna's "Frozen", Adele's "Skyfall" and Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi". The album was released on August 4, 2017 via Napalm Records worldwide and via Starwatch in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Simone Simons (Epica) appears on two tracks of the album.
- In the Beginning there was... (2000)
- Blue Nothing (EP, 2000)
- Never Alone (EP, 2003)
- Windows (2008)
- Conformity Challenged (TBA)
- Days of Rising Doom (2003)
- Rhapsodies in Black (2017)
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Somerville's contributions include vocals, coaching, production, engineering and choir conductor:
|2007||"Lost in Space" & "The Story Ain't Over"||Avantasia||Lost in Space (Part I)|
|"Lost in Space" & "Lost in Space (Alive at Gatestudio)"||Lost in Space (Part II)|
|"Ghost Opera", "Love You to Death", "Mourning Star" & "Season's End"||Kamelot||Ghost Opera|
|2008||"What Kind of Love" & "Lost in Space"||Avantasia||The Scarecrow|
|2010||"Femme Fatale" & "Black Rose, Pt.II"||Sebastien||Tears of White Roses|
|"The Zodiac"||Kamelot||Poetry for the Poisoned|
|2011||"Changing Fate"||Serenity||Death & Legacy|
|"Farewell" & "Sign of the Cross/The Seven Angels (Medley) / All songs (backing vocals)"||Avantasia||The Flying Opera|
|"Into Shadow"||DesDemon||Through the Gates|
|"Symphony of Aggression"||MaYaN||Quarterpast|
|"The Hunger", "Secrets", "Smoke and Mirrors" & "The Infinite Overture Pt. I"||Infinity Overture||The Infinite Overture Pt. I|
|"Blood Red Rose"||The Boyscout||Blood Red Rose – A Rock Fantasy|
|2012||"To Crawl or to Fly" & "Whispers Inside You"||Soulspell Metal Opera||Hollow's Gathering|
|"Send My Message Home"||PelleK||Bag of Tricks|
|"Black Swans"||Docker's Guild||The Mystic Technocracy - Season 1: The Age of Ignorance|
|2013||"Time Bomb"||Siber Sky||Time Bomb|
|"Cold Winter"||Wolfpakk||Cry Wolf|
|2014||All songs (as The Queen of the Nile)||Amadeus Awad's EON||The Book of Gates|
|"King of the Elves"||Elvenking||Pagan Manifesto|
|2016||All songs||Magni Animi Viri||Heroes Temporis (World Edition)|
|"Codex Atlanticus" & "The Perfect Woman"||Serenity||Codex Atlanticus|
|"Flash Gordon Suite"||Docker's Guild||The Heisenberg Diaries - Book A: Sounds of Future Past|
|All songs (backing vocals)||Avantasia||Ghostlights (The Digibook edition bonus disc – Avantasia Live)|
Coaching, production, engineering and choir conductor
- Aeverium – The Harvest EP (2014), What Are You Waiting For (2015); vocal recording
- After Forever – Invisible Circles (2004), Remagine (2005), After Forever (2007); vocal coach, backing/choir vocals, producer
- Andre Matos – Time to Be Free (2007), Mentalize (2009); choir/backing vocals and lyrical editor
- Asrai – Touch in the Dark (2004): lyrical editor
- Ebony Ark – Decoder 2.0 (2007); backing vocals, vocal coach
- Edguy – Hellfire Club (2004), Rocket Ride (2006); backing vocals, lyrical editor
- Epica – The Phantom Agony (2003), We Will Take You with Us (2004), Consign to Oblivion (2005), The Road to Paradiso (2006), The Divine Conspiracy (2007), live session singer for USA Canada tour (2008), Design Your Universe (2009); vocal coach, backing/choir vocals, co-writer, producer, Requiem for the Indifferent (2012)
- Kambrium - Dark Reveries (2013); vocalist on the song "Lake Gloom"
- Kamelot – The Black Halo (2005), Silverthorn (2012); choir vocals and story author based on Silverthorn's concept
- Luca Turilli – Prophet of the Last Eclipse (2002); choir vocals
- Mob Rules – Ethnolution A.D. (2002); choir vocals
- Shaman – Ritual (2002), Reason (2005); backing vocals, lyrical editor
- Virgo – Virgo (2001); vocalist, lyrical editor
- Xandria - Sacrificium (2014); spoken words on the song "Betrayer"
- Flynn, Timothy Flynn (April 10, 2008). "Flushing native Amanda Somerville fronts Dutch heavy metal band Epica while lead singer recuperates". The Flint Journal. Archived from the original on 2010-01-11. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
- Brian Rademacher (November 2011). "Interview with Amanda Somerville". Rockeyez.com. Archived from the original on 2012-01-31. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- "AMANDA SOMERVILLE Talks About After Forever Guitarist's HDK Project". Blabbermouth.Net. May 17, 2009.[permanent dead link]
- "Freak Show :: AMANDA SOMERVILLE - To Marry Sander Gommans Next Summer". Freakshowlb.com. 2013-08-19. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
- "Best. Weekend. Ever. ♥ - Amanda Somerville". Facebook. 2014-07-28. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
- "Christmas never ends! Blitz just found... - Amanda Somerville". Facebook. 2015-01-08. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
- Begai, Carl (April 23, 2009). "AMANDA SOMERVILLE - Windows (Hya - 2009)".
- Metal Traveller (December 4, 2010). "Avantasia live in Kaufbeuren, Germany". Metal Traveller website. Retrieved 14 January 2010.
- Bravewords (July 1, 2011). "Frontiers Records To Release Debut Album From Vocalist AMANDA SOMERVILLE's New Metal Project TRILLIUM In Fall 2011". Bravewords website.
- "Docker's Guild - The Heisenberg Diaries - Book A". Docker's Guild Official Website. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
- "Amanda Somerville Facebook Page". November 9, 2014.
- "Frontiers Music Srl | Record Label". Frontiers.it. 2016-01-07. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
- "EXIT EDEN Announce Debut Album". MetalKaoz.com. 2017-06-16. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
- "Newsletter from Amanda Somerville". Amanda Somerville website. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- "Signierstunde von Amanda Somerville. Ball mit allen Unterschriften der VfL-Profis zu gewinnen. Amanda Somerville: "Ich trete gern in den Dialog mit den Menschen."". VfL Wolfsburg-Presseservice (in German). 2003-12-12. Archived from the original on 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2008-05-07.