London-based To-Mera took matters into their own hands and self-produced their third and latest album, Exile. It's concept album concerning some rather complex and perplexing matters. The protagonist, having faced hardship, suffering, and loss, places herself in personal exile to avoid any future harm. While in her self-imposed exile, she searches for answers about existence, humanity, and the meaning of life. Darn heady stuff. I'll leave it to you, once you buy the disc, to discover the answers she finds.
Coming to a new To-Mera album can be quite the challenge. They play true progressive rock and metal, that is, always pushing the boundaries of complex arrangements. While the music is compelling and the musicianship first class, it's hard to call To-Mera's prog overly accessible or commercially viable. But if it's intrigue and challenge you want, To-Mera's delivers to the full extent, and that makes Exile entertaining.
The only real question I had after several spins was, what came first? Was it the lyrics and vocal arrangements or the rest of the instrumental music. I couldn't help but feel, while listening, that there was some battle going on between the two, some kind of weird Taoist dueling dualism. Singing to progressive metal can be challenge as it is, and Julie Kiss easily masters the art. However, as compelling as she can, when she wasn't singing, I was more interested in the music. I think the thing here is to have lyrics in hand as you listen. Then in combination with the music, Exile makes good sense.
Because of this, I won't speak specifically to the elements of any particular song. Nevertheless, without casting aspersions on the vocals, for the instrumental side of things, End Game, Surrender, and All I Am border on progressive metal genius, being innovative, compelling, and entertaining. For progressive metal in its highest form, To-Mera's Exile is a grand and absorbing album. Easily recommended.
For progressive metal in its highest form, To-Mera's Exile is a grand and absorbing album. Easily recommended.
Resolve marks the return of Allentown's Mindmaze, after a three year hiatus from the studio. Their third album offers a new and stable line up with new drummer Mark Bennett assisting bassist Rich ... [ Read More ]