To-Mera

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To-Mera
Origin South Oxfordshire, England
Genres Progressive metal, gothic metal
Years active 2004–present
Labels Candlelight Records
Currently unsigned
Associated acts Haken
Extreme Noise Terror
Website To-Mera website
Members Julie Kiss
Thomas MacLean
Mark Harrington
Richard Henshall
Paul Westwood
Past members Akos Pirisi
Hugo Sheppard
Lee Barrett

To-Mera are a progressive metal band from South Oxfordshire in the UK. The band plays a technical style of metal characterized by long songs, multiple time changes and jazz interludes.

Biography[edit]

Formation of the band[edit]

Following her departure from the Hungarian progressive metal band Without Face, vocalist Julie Kiss decided to form the band To-Mera with bass player Lee Barrett, former member of Extreme Noise Terror, Disgust and Mussolini Headkick. At the start of 2004 they began searching for full-time members and Akos Pirisi, a huge fan of Meshuggah and a master of polyrhythmics, was brought in on drums. Guitarist Tom MacLean, who was a big fan of Julie Kiss' former band Without Face, was recruited after he recognised Julie and introduced himself at a Dillinger Escape Plan concert. After the band's demo was recorded, To-Mera finally found a full-time keyboard player in the shape of Hugo Sheppard.

The idea for starting a new band came to Julie Kiss immediately after her departure from Without Face. However, it took nearly two years for the final line-up to take shape.[1] The word 'To-Mera' has been loosely translated to mean "The Land of the Pyramid", as cited in The Secret History of Ancient Egypt by Herbie Brennan. However, the true meaning of the word is disputed.[2]

Demo reaction and album recordings[edit]

The band recorded their debut demo in July 2005 at The Peel rehearsal rooms in Kingston upon Thames on a laptop, and it was mixed in France by producer Brett Caldas-Lima (Kalisia, Malmonde, Fairlight).

The demo was sent to many webzines and magazines and received universal acclaim. It was nominated "Demo of the Month" at Organ Magazine, Zero Tolerance magazine and Imperiumi.net (Finland). The great reviews led to a number of interested record labels getting in touch. Candlelight Records made a multi-album, worldwide deal with To-Mera, which was signed on 7 January 2006.

To-Mera recorded their debut album Transcendental in May-June 2006, again with producer Brett Caldas-Lima. Drums, guitars and vocals were recorded in Veszprém (Hungary), while the bass and keyboards were recorded in London (England). The audio mixing and mastering took place at Tower Studio in Montpellier (France). The album was released in Europe on 11 September 2006 and 3 October 2006 in the USA.

Change in the band line-up[edit]

On 15 July 2006 the band announced the departure of drummer Akos Pirisi. This was because Pirisi' commitments in his home country of Hungary made it very difficult for the band to rehearse and play as a live unit in the UK. As a replacement, the band brought in Paul Westwood from Foe, an experimental rock band based in London. Later in 2007, keyboardist Hugo Sheppard left the band for personal reasons. Richard 'Hen' Henshall, the guitarist and keyboard player from Haken, replaced him.

Reaction to Transcendental[edit]

Transcendental received very positive reviews after its release in Europe, with many webzines and magazines giving it high praise and marking it for its ingenuity and technical proficiency. The band also received a very positive four Ks review in the October 2006 issue of the British music magazine Kerrang!,[3] as well as a full-page feature, which was a huge step for a new metal band. The Kerrang! feature gave the band greater notoriety and as a result they garnered a lot of interest from promoters wanting to book the band for live shows. In the end the band chose to sign with The Agency Group, who specialise in promoting gigs at a large number of international venues. The Agency Group has also expressed interest in getting To-Mera to play in the USA.

Delusions[edit]

To-Mera worked on the follow-up to Transcendental throughout 2007. The album, named Delusions, was released on February 18, 2008.

A few days after the release of the album, bassist and founding member Lee Barrett announced his departure from the band, stating that he would be "unable to fulfill any possible future touring or musical commitments" due to his other work. A replacement was quickly found in Mark Harrington.[4] The band played several shows in support of the album, including a headlining slot at the Dames of Darkness festival in Birmingham, England.

Split with Candlelight, Earthbound EP, Exile[edit]

To-Mera began writing new material towards the end of 2008. By the years end, the band confirmed that they had two songs almost complete, with a significant portion of time being dedicated to the songwriting process in 2009.[5] In mid-2009, the band announced they had parted ways with Candlelight Records.[6] September saw the completion of the Earthbound EP, which was released in October.[7] The band began working on their third album in late 2010[8] and began recording in early 2012.[9] The record, entitled Exile, was released on September 24th of the year 2012.[10]

Influences[edit]

To-Mera cite their other influences as Opeth, Evergrey, Symphony X, Dream Theater and Pain of Salvation. Julie Kiss' interest in Egyptology gave the band their name.

Personnel[edit]

Current members
  • Julie Kiss - vocals (2004-present)
  • Thomas MacLean - guitars (2004-present)
  • Richard Henshall - keyboards (2007-present)
  • Mark Harrington - bass (2008-present)
  • Paul Westwood - drums (2006-present)
Former members
  • Hugo Sheppard - keyboards (2004-2006)
  • Akos Pirisi - drums (2004-2007)
  • Lee Barrett - bass (2004-2008)

Discography[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Early interview with whole band
  2. ^ Excerpt From The Secret History of Ancient Egypt
  3. ^ Candlelight newsletter mentioning Kerrang! review
  4. ^ "TO-MERA Parts Ways With Bassist, Announces Replacement". Blabbermouth.net. 2008-02-25. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  5. ^ "TO-MERA Begins Writing New Material". Blabbermouth.net. 2008-12-13. Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  6. ^ "TO-MERA Splits With Candlelight Records". metalundergound.com. 2009-06-06. Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  7. ^ "TO-MERA: New EP Teaser Posted Online". Blabbermouth.net. 2009-09-29. Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  8. ^ "To-Mera Begins Work On New Album". metalunderground. 2010-11-14. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  9. ^ "TO-MERA Prepares To Record Third Album". Blabbermouth.net. 2011-12-28. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  10. ^ "To-Mera Unveils New Album Artwork". Metal Underground. 2012-07-06. Retrieved 2012-08-21.