TO-MERA, is a U.K.-based (South Oxfordshire) dark progressive metal band fronted by former WITHOUT FACE vocalist Julie Kiss. The band was founded in 2005 and plays a technical style of metal characterized by long songs, multiple time changes and jazz interludes. Their début album "Transcendental" was recorded & published in 2006 by the label Candlelight Records.
The World of Music
After Julie Kiss had left the Hungarian band Without Face, she founded, along with Lee Barrett (formerly with: Extreme Noise Terror, Disgust, Mussolini Headkick), the band To-Mera with the intention to employ a dark and atmospheric metal music style with influences from classical music and jazz,
As the group was complete a first demo was published in June 2005, which got very positive reviews and caught the attention of the record label Candlelight Records. The resulting debut album Transcendental appeared in September 2006 at Candlelight Records and was praised for his ingenuity and high playful skills.
After a few line-up changes, the album Delusions was published in February 2008, which is stylistically very similar to the debut album and which also received positive feedback from the press.
The word 'To-Mera' seemingly refers to Lower Egypt (as the “Land of the Pyramids”) but this translation is disputed. The band opted for the name, because of their fascination (esp. Julie Kiss) with the ancient Egypt culture.
Lower Egypt is the northernmost region of Egypt, including the Nile Delta. Lower Egypt was known as Ta-Mehu which means "land of papyrus."
Upper Egypt is the strip of land, on both sides of the Nile valley, that extends between Aswan (in ancient times Nubia), and the south of Cairo (or Memphis, located 20 km south of Cairo). In Predynastic Egypt (ca. 4400–3000 BC), the Naqada culture was based in this region (named for the town of Naqada; located 40 km north of Luxor).
The music of To-Mera is marked by Julie Kiss' insistent voice, heavy guitar riffs and emotional lyrics. In addition, most of the songs are very long and have a complex structure with diverse style jumps. The music style is influenced by bands like Symphony X, Opeth, Pain of Salvation and Dream Theater.
The song "Blood" from the album Transcendental.
Of the album Transcendental
Just started to listen to the beginning of the CD, and the first minutes are somewhat reminiscent of the band THE TEA PARTY. Cool Grooves.
This quintet offers a careful selection of progressive Metal, Goth, Thrash riffs and a dry Classical atmosphere; musically astoundingly complex.
This mix of musical influences is greatly responsible for the diversity in their sound. The soft yet strong voice of Julie Kiss tempers everything beautifully (there are no male vocals at all on Transcendental).
The grooves and breaks have a jazzy touch (provided by Jazz guitarist Tom MacLean), without a tendency to produce chaos or create an unfathomable structure. On the contrary, each portion sits in the right place (time) and electrifies the listener.
The band facilitates a keyboard, which sets nice accents and thankfully accepts no solo parts.
Julie's voice can be described as a combination of Amie Lee (Evenescence) and Tarja Turunen (Nightwish). A mixture between which adapts intonations from classical music and rock — always soulful and expressive. However, the vocals seem to have been recorded too quiet, and I am curios how this band may sound on stage?!
You can listen to a load of music, bombastic rhythms (which at times have the finality of an eschatological battle) and ... more. A really great composition.
Conclusion: This debut of the five provides them with a shining future, and I hope that the ladies and gentlemen remain energetically hung in there and continue to produce music. Thumbs up!!!
By the way: if you are a singer (or any other kind of vocal performer), you might find this list of tongue twisters helpful to warm up your voice & pronunciation.
- Julie Kiss — Vocals (2004–present; founding member) The lyricist of To-Mera, Julie was the singer of the Hungarian progressive metal band Without Face (Earache Records), who toured extensively around Europe with Arch Enemy, Opeth and Samael in the early 2000s.
- Thomas MacLean — Guitars (2004–present) The principal composer of To-Mera. Tom also performs bass and backing vocals in fellow UK proggers Haken.
- Richard Henshall — Keyboards (2007–present; founding member) Richard is the guitarist and keyboardist of Haken. He replaced former To-Mera keyboardist Hugo Sheppard in 2007.
- Mark Harrington — Bass (2008–present) Mark is a lynch-pin of the London metal scene. He joined To-Mera in 2008 to replace Lee Barrett. Mark also plays bass in female-fronted melodic metallers, Pythia.
- Paul Westwood — Drums (2006–present) Paul joined To-Mera to replace Akos Pirisi in 2006. He is also the drummer for cult atmospheric black metallers Fen.
- Hugo Sheppard - keyboards (2004-2006)
- Akos Pirisi - drums (2004-2007)
- Lee Barrett - bass (2004-2008)
Adapted cover poster from the album Earthbound.
If available, the links point directly to the Wikipedia article, were you can find a review of the respective album.
- (2005) Demo
- (2006) Transcendental - Candlelight Records
- (2008) Delusions - Candlelight Records
- (2009) Earthbound (EP)
- (2012) Exile Released on Illusionary Records in both physical and digital form on September 24th; has been nominated for the Album of the Year 2012 in the Progressive Metal category at the illustrious Metal Storm Awards.
In 2009 To-Mera issued the following announcement about parting ways with their label Candlelight Records: "After releasing two albums on Candlelight Records, we have reached a mutual decision that it is time for this band to move on to pastures new in order to progress. We would like to thank all the staff at Candlelight for all their help during our 4 year relationship."
Currently To-Mera is not connected to any label.
Two of the founding members of To-Mera, guitarist Tom MacLean and vocalist Julie Kiss, started in November 2014 a new symphonic-electric progressive rock project, named “Euphonia” and also released a new single, entitled ‘Breathless’.
The band To-Mera is currently not performing any concerts or other known public activities.
Feedbacks & Reviews
A comprehensive collection of the feedbacks & reviews from spirited TO-MERA aficionados of various on-stage performances.
Saw you guys at The Underworld in Camden two years ago and bought a CD. I've worn it out since then, can't wait to hear the new one.
Elizabeth — Edinburgh, UK - Saturday, June 01, 2010 at 10:08:13 (CDT)
Greetings to you and your guests. My name is Jazz (Mom liked jazz music). Love what you’ve done with your site. As an educator I can say you have great communication skills.
Jazz — Manchester, UK - Friday, July 12, 2008 at 08:56:50 (CDT)
Wow! You’ve found yourself a great business opportunity. Good luck! And great site by the way!
Cynthia — San Diego, CA USA - Wednesday, July 10, 2008 at 08:47:19 (CDT)
It was great talking with Nancy and Julie at Freebutt (Brighton), Friday 21 November. Love your shows and your CD. Keep us updated. S&D
Sharon and Dave Britt — Woodstock, GA USA - Monday, June 10, 2008 at 15:44:44 (CDT)
My name is Edmund Marco and it's a pleasure to sign your guest book. I work for an advertising agency in London. Our agency represents direct marketing companies that are involved in the marketing of products as seen on TV in England. Most of the infomercial products come from the U.S. but then again we export our talents as well. My brother has appeared in infomercials in the U.S. advertising various products. I think it's hilarious that English people respond so well to American products while Americans tend to respond well to sales people who have an English accent!
Edmund — London, Kent UK - Thursday, May 30, 2008 at 22:45:24 (CDT)
Your CD rocks, I'm looking forward to hearing ya'll live tomorrow night at Freebutt (Brighton)
Lisa Johnson — Birmingham, UK - Friday, April 05, 2008 at 19:17:20 (CST)
You guys are hella cool!!! See you Saturday @ NST!
Eric Cartman — Glasgow, UK - Wednesday, April 03, 2008 at 22:07:30 (CST)
I am a friend of Joey Furtek. He told me to check out your website.
Ryan Williams — Keithsburg, IL USA - Saturday, March 16, 2008 at 00:25:30 (CST)
WUZZZZZZZ Up Mark, See Ya Ass in class. Rock on brotha's!
Jimmy D. Vann — Canton, UK - Friday, March 08, 2008 at 00:51:28 (CST)
Hey TO-MERA, how's it going? I'm doing alright.
Joe C. — Liverpool, UK - Sunday, March 03, 2008 at 22:16:59 (CST)
Hello, there. Hope all is well with you. As a graphic artist had to say yours' is smashing
Catherine Lake — Los Angeles, CA USA - Tuesday, February 19, 2008 at 20:57:15 (CST)
Haven't heard y'all before . . . looking forward to. Thanks for the soulhat link.
Brian — Bristol, UK - Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 23:02:44 (CST)
The hypnotic jerks of the drummers elbow intrigue me. The long hair of the Jersey boy does not. CUT IT! CUT IT NOW!
Timmy — Oxford, UK - Friday, January 11, 2008 at 09:56:13 (CST)
Your webpage looks way better. Good job on that. If I can get myself down to see you guys again, I'll take some pics and mail them to ya. Keep rockin' and play more led zeppelin covers please.
Some Random Fan — Cardiff, UK - Tuesday, December 04, 2007 at 09:33:28 (CST)
Great show last friday.
James Vandalay — Cambridge, UK - Monday, December 03, 2007 at 16:13:43 (CST)
Consider this for your show's intro, I heard it once for an 80's hair band (I've plugged in your band's name): "Just when you thought it was safe to open your legs--it's TO-MERA!!" I think that it sounds pretty cool. and prophetic.
some guy named Joe — Brighton, UK - Thursday, November 08, 2007 at 00:48:24 (CST)
I really dig the way you rock...Especially on that one song that you guys do? My whole frickin' life has been changed since being exposed to TO-MERA. Hey Julie, thanks for being so sensitive. Thanks to Paul, Mark, and Thomas for knowing me so well.
Joe Caprara — Leeds, UK - Thursday, November 08, 2007 at 00:40:37 (CST)
Hey, I have heard your band a couple of times in Glasgow. I like this one song you guys do a lot but I don't know the name of it. I'm bout to download your songs. Anyway, I'm going to put a link to your site on my webpage, I get lots of hits and maybe that will let you get more hits. I see your counter is 3948, I'll come back and check if it goes up. CHOW.
Jennifer — Atlanta, GA USA - Monday, October 08, 2007 at 16:49:40 (CDT)
I only have one thing to say...HARPUA!!!!
Poster-nut-bag — Nottingham, UK - Thursday, August 30, 2007 at 08:40:03 (CDT)
I just wanted to let you guys know what a great band I think you are! I love the CD and think you should come back to London again! Mark, ...I had a great weekend, it was cool to hear TO-MERA.
Jodi — North Haven, CT USA - Wednesday, August 29, 2007 at 15:36:25 (CDT)
Mark, teach me guitar someday. Love your tunes... I've been listening to that yellow "Earthbound" CD since I got home from the beach. Can't wait for your album to come out. Best of luck to you guys!
Charlie Tysse — Aberdeen, UK - Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 10:18:56 (CDT)
Great Show in Leicester!
David Kabealo — Advance, NC USA - Monday, August 20, 2007 at 11:42:00 (CDT)
Hey GUYS...i just wanted to let you know that i enjoyed meeting with you and shootin' the shit with you at The Underworld in Camden. You guys rocked! You made my first trip out of Wales worth it! Mark and Julie, especially...it was nice talking to you...Mark, thanks for educating me on the importance of the apostrophe in your name. If I ever visit South Oxfordshire, I'll let you know.
Giulietta — San Francisco, CA USA - Wednesday, August 01, 2007 at 13:01:21 (CDT)
Hey fellas, sounds great. Definitely taking another direction since we first met. Mark, you'll always be number two and Julie, you'll always be my number one.
Jenny — Chester, UK - Sunday, July 29, 2007 at 16:49:45 (CDT)
I thought you guys rocked, my friend Allison suggested we go hear y all, when you played in London. You guys were fuckin' on it. Hope to see you next time im in Glasgow or if you come back to London.
Mike Barr — York, UK - Sunday, June 24, 2007 at 13:02:25 (CDT)
I grew up with Thomas and watched his many notebook doodles become the great music TO-MERA is playing now. The music is outstanding, it's easy to see the guys love doin' what they do. Keep giving us more music and keep playing - nothing beats you guys live. Thanks again for letting me be a part of it for one show.
Phil — Hamden, CT USA - Tuesday, June 12, 2007 at 10:51:03 (CDT)
Thanks for the CD Julie! Very cool! See you on Monday in Glasgow.
Jonathan Gailey — Atlanta, GA USA - Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 22:47:42 (CDT)
TO-MERA gets Sweeter All the Time.
I got the privilege and opportunity of being introduced to the flavor that is TO-MERA about three years ago when my friend Jason Reichert played the drums for the group. Ever since those glorious days, they have quickly and steadily become one of my very favorite bands, both locally and nationally on the music scene. You wonder what these five white boys know about the blues? I would say "A helluva lot!" I am always highly entertained and mesmerized by their live show. My particular favorite is the dueling guitars of Mark and Thomas on "Delusions". This is a performance not to be missed. Add in the talented vocals of Julie, the funky drum beats of Paul, and the rhythmic sound of whoever sits in that particular day (they need a permanent and equally gifted drummer--only serious applicants need apply) and you have a revolutionary and soulful blend of passion and music. These boys are poised for greatness and when given the opportunity to be introduced to the rest of the world, they are sure to deliver the goods. Much love and kudos to you guys. Keep it smooth and sweet!
Lachandra B. Carter — London, UK - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 11:58:46 (CDT)
Two great nights! London needed a little Honey. You left us wanting more... Love Kim
Tobin — Dublin, IE - Monday, May 14, 2007 at 08:53:36 (CDT)
Friday's show at the Woughton Centre in Milton Keynes was an awesome example of what Metal & Goth has been waiting for!! Thanks.
David Levinson — Natick, MA USA - Monday, May 07, 2007 at 20:49:59 (CDT)
Beautiful, talented people........Mark - thanks for finding me......kisses from Penny Lane.
Penny Lane — Shelburne Falls, MA USA - Sunday, May 06, 2007 at 21:14:07 (CDT)
Now I'm part of the list. TO-MERA Rocks!
Gina — Liverpool, UK - Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at 20:40:03 (CDT)
Your CD is really good. Hi Mark. i can't wait to see you guys play in London.
Tina — Bethany, CT USA - Monday, April 23, 2007 at 08:15:11 (CDT)
You guys do jam! Sweet, sooooooo sweet, like honey. Oh yea!
Slick — London, UK - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at 23:18:24 (CDT)
SWM looking for romance. Fan of TO-MERA music is a must. Send photos and interests to the Maestro. Only serious applicants will be considered.
Uncle Junior — Boston, MA USA - Monday, April 09, 2007 at 17:07:05 (CDT)
TO-MERA is the coolest band ever!! My brother Mark is in it:-) Love you babe!! Love your tunes guys :-)
Pam D'Alessio — Great Falls, VA USA - Saturday, March 31, 2007 at 18:37:27 (CST)
South Oxfordshire sucks ...move to London ... before you get to old n crusty you sorry fucks. sissybitch!!!
oOi2u — Cholsey, UK - Saturday, March 31, 2007 at 04:04:00 (CST)
Saw you for the first time at Northside Tavern in March. Totally awesome!!! Can't wait to see you again! By the way, your cd rocks!
heather — Wheatley, UK - Thursday, March 29, 2007 at 20:34:04 (CST)
Liked the opening. But got a bit repetitive as it went on. Would be up for hearing other songs by the band.
Shani — Chalgrove, UK - Monday, March 12, 2007 at 19:23:00 (CST)
Great show at Wrexham!! Unforgettable encore. Can't wait to hear the new recording. Schedule a London trip will ya?
J-Lev — Boston, MA USA - Monday, March 12, 2007 at 16:05:45 (CST)