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To-Mera - Biography




To-Mera was formed by Julie Kiss and Lee Barrett (ex: Extreme Noise Terror / Disgust / Mussolini Headkick) following Julie's acrimonious departure from the Hungarian progressive Metal band Without Face (ex: Earache / Elitist recording artists). She felt that she still had a lot more to offer musically and set about finding like-minded musicians in order to persue that goal. Fellow Hungarian Akos Pirisi, a huge fan of Meshuggah and a master of polyrhythmics, was brought in on drums. Later Tom MacLean was found after he, a big Without Face fan, recognized Julie and introduced himself at a Dillinger Escape Plan concert. Tom graduated from the Trinity College of Music in London, where he studied Jazz guitar. Although a huge metalhead, his broad musical tastes are evident in his playing, and he constantly pushes himself to attain new levels of skill.

When all was finally in place, the band recorded their debut demo in July 2005 at The Peel rehearsal rooms (Kingston-Upon-Thames) on a laptop, and it was mixed in France by up-and-coming producer Brett Caldas-Lima (Kalisia / Malmonde / Fairlight). After the demo was recorded, the band finally found a fulltime keyboard player in the shape of Hugo Sheppard who had already contributed to the band's newer material, and his avant-garde, free-flowing style has added yet another dimension to To-Mera's sound.

The songs are worked almost literally around Julie's lyrics, adding flesh to the emotive, dark and esoteric bones. The mesmeric descriptive themes allow the listener a very personal look into a deeply multifarious mindset. The music as a result is a complex, heavy and at times heartfelt hybrid of powerful Progressive Metal, beguiling acoustic passages, enchanting keyboard soundscapes and unmistakable female vocals.

The demo was sent to many webzines and magazines, where universal acclaim was given. The band received "Demo of The Month" at Organ Magazine, Zero Tolerance magazine and (Finland). These, and many other, great reviews led to a number of interested record labels getting in touch. It soon became clear that Candlelight Records (Emperor, Opeth, 1349, Zyklon, Enslaved, etc) was the best choice for the band and a multi-album, worldwide deal was signed at the beginning of January 2006.

In July 2006 the band with regret announced the departure of Akos Pirisi. The problems to do with his geographical circumstances (ie: him living in Hungary) meant that while they managed on the wrting and recording front, concerts and regular rehearsals were impossible. It was not a decision they came to lightly but it was agreed that it was the only way forward if they were to give a proper commitment to the future of the band. Thus, Paul Westwood was brought in on the drums. He has trained in classical percussion since childhood (he was the principal percussionist for the National Youth Orchestra and graduated from the Guildhall School of Music).

The band released their debut album "Transcendental" in September 2006. A promo video of "Blood" was also shot in August and was directed by Ray Moody.

Not content to rest on their laurels, To-Mera returned in 2008 with their second progressive metal masterpiece "Delusions", subsequently nominated the best progressive metal album of 2008 on the prestigious Metal Storm site along with names like Opeth and Cynic. With a new, enhanced line-up, the band played various European destinations including Spain, the UK, France and Hungary (as guests of Pain of Salvation) in support of the album.

The band announced departure from label Candlelight Records in June 2009, and after a brief trip to France as the guests of Adagio early 2009, To-Mera recorded their follow up EP to Delusions during the summer of 2009. They are preparing for a Dutch/Belgian adventure this autumn that is also to include an appearance at the 2009 Metal Female Voices Festival as well as the EP's release, in October 2009.