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Review: To-Mera - Delusions

Label: Candlelight Records
Year released: 2008
Duration: 62:04
Tracks: 8
Genre: Progressive Metal


Review online: August 3, 2009
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.68/5 (73.68%) (19 Votes)

I'm unsure of the collected To-Mera IQ, but it must be high into the thousands at least, because how these guys managed to write and record another feat of technical Prog Metal engineering a mere 18 months after their equally hard to swallow debut, I'll never know. But I'm sure glad they did. Following in the same dark, twisted footsteps as 2006's Transcendental, To-Mera's sophomore effort Delusions is a huge step forward for the Anglo-Hungarian quintet, enforcing more powerful manifestos than their reflectively lackluster debut.

One thing is instantly clear: To-Mera have become a much tighter, more focused unit in the gap of arduous touring between this and Transcendental, which is ironic considering I thought they were particularly tiresome in a live setting. Another base to be covered is that their bizarre jazz-fusion element has become more prevalent in their sound; crashing opener "The Lie" batters like a fishwife with a rolling pin before calming the violence for a syncopated jazz section complete with horns and sophisticated percussion. In turn, this creates an odd yet scintillating conglomeration of Edenbridge, Pain of Salvation and Chick Corea. Much of Delusions chases this formula, as well as throwing in some extremely tight Metal riffage and obscure world music. Unlike the debut, To-Mera's second studio effort is completely unpredictable. Something of a rarity in music these days, this creates a deeper well of influence and instruction that makes Delusions a very quirky, yet cultured release.

Julie Kiss is an admirable frontwoman, but similarly to the debut, her voice is a mere addition to the record, where it does the job and that's about it. The instrumentation is the key to the To-Mera machine, and with top notch riffing, classical piano and synth concertos, slick bass and unbelievably technical drum work, To-Mera are at the threshold of the Prog Metal annals, ready to be challenged by those better equipped. Delusions also sees the band showing their more melodic side with tracks like "Asylum" and the unfolding "Inside the Hourglass", something that I'd certainly like to hear more of in the future. Be warned, however, Delusions is still a remarkably hard listen by anyone's standards, particularly if you are not conversant with more leftfield players such as Sun Caged, Spiral Architect and the aforementioned Pain of Salvation. Still, a cracking – if not hard to crack – Prog Metal release that'll have a few heads scratched, no doubt.

More about To-Mera...
Review: Delusions (reviewed by Lars Christiansen)
Review: Delusions (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Transcendental (reviewed by Lars Christiansen)
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