To-Mera - _Delusions_
(Candlelight Records, 2008)
by: Jackie Smit (8 out of 10)
A few minutes shy of a full song off To-Mera's sophomore effort and you've already been hit over the head with a smorgasbord of disparate influences that range from Opeth to Portishead, Ephual Duath and Meshuggah -- and that's just the first of many to come. Indeed, while the cynic's (myself included) first response to the suggestion of yet another female-fronted metal band would be significantly less than complimentary, this English quintet turn out to be an entirely different batch of homebrewed moonshine.

While their modus operandi may at first appear just a tad too schizophrenic to be truly effective, it's a testament to mainman Tom MacLean's stellar abilities as a songwriter that it somehow all seems to hang together effortlessly. Likewise, Julie Kiss' ethereal voice is nothing short of stunning, comfortably propping up a backbone of melody even when songs like "Mirage" and "The Glory of a New Day" reach their most haphazard peaks.

Progressive, and constantly challenging, each of the album's eight songs is further helped by production that's pitch-perfect, even if by the band's own admission _Delusions_ was put together on a shoe-string budget. Based on the evidence on offer here, there's little doubt that To-Mera would blow holes through practically every one their significantly better funded peers.


(article published 25/2/2008)

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