To-Mera - Exile review




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Band: To-Mera
Album: Exile
Release date: September 2012


01. Inviting The Storm
02. The Illusionist
03. The Descent
04. Deep Inside
05. Broken
06. End Game
07. Surrender
08. All I Am


To-Mera is a bit like a blacksmith's puzzle. It's a challenge to untangle, and it's even a bigger challenge to put it back together. It also appears to have many solutions. It's like a jigsaw that fits together in more ways than one. Exile is a musical puzzle that needs solving in parallel in different dimensions. It appears straightforward, and therefore bland. Turns out, that's just a smokescreen.

The first couple of times I listened to this album I sort of liked it but couldn't help feeling a bit disappointed on the whole. Something didn't feel right about it. In all its complexity Exile seemed somewhat simple and non-appealing. The music had lost its edginess and sharpness which formed the basis of my listening experience with their previous albums. I felt lost and cheated out of a challenge.

I had to sleep on it. Two months ought to do it. As it now turns out, it was the only right decision. I needed a second first impression of the album, a fresh start from the right foot. And all of a sudden, I found myself engrossed in Exile. It unfolded itself leaf by leaf, twist by twist, passage by passage, and song by song. Beneath it all, I found the To-Mera I knew, as well as the To-Mera I didn't know.

By now I love Exile. It's laden with goodness. It might be a bit unevenly distributed across the album but there's always something to wait for. I love the wall of riffs at the beginning of "The Illusionist," a fully developed jazz passage and later contrasting keyboard insanity of "The Descent," the dirty sounding guitar solo on "Deep Inside," the bad-ass riffing on "End Game," also piano and keys complementing the beautiful lead of Julie's voice, and, most of all, the brilliantly playful circus-like salsa passage in "Surrender." And that's only a fraction of it all.

It wasn't incidental that I compared Exile with a jigsaw. There's a ridiculous amount of small excellent bits packed into this album. They're hard to find and easy to miss because they're scattered all over the place, underneath a layer of bigger bits that are also scattered around. It has all been fitted together to make a smooth sounding record. However, I like to think that if I took it all apart and rearranged all those tiny building blocks I'd get another album's worth of good music sounding totally unlike Exile but possibly equally as good. Yes, it has its ups and downs but for what it is, it totally rewards the effort of trying to untangle it.


 



Written on 04.11.2012 by I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.


Comments

Comments: 21   Visited by: 351 users
04.11.2012 - 14:31
Unhealer
Eclecticist
Excellent album, one of the best things I've heard this year. I also had to give it time to assimilate; I suspected it was awesome from the very start but I didn't actually feel it until several listens later.
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04.11.2012 - 17:20
tea[m]ster
Au Pays Natal
I am so glad they continued with their Earthbound approach. BTBAM and Haken are great prog metal bands but for my money, right now, To-Mera is the best on planet. Excellent review and thanks.
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04.11.2012 - 17:31
CyberSymphony
Ollie
I found this album really interesting. Haven't heard of anything from this band before and by reading this review it would probably take me a few listens to enjoy it fully.
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04.11.2012 - 18:37
Fredd
Account deleted
I was unimpressed by my first and only listen. But I'll be sure to give it more listens.
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04.11.2012 - 19:18
PocketMetal
Liked it more than I could imagine , great and fresh album . and surprisingly I didn't have any problems in the first listen ... it's just nice .
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04.11.2012 - 20:43
silenius
Her voice is terrible.
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04.11.2012 - 21:41
Unhealer
Eclecticist
Written by silenius on 04.11.2012 at 20:43

Her voice is terrible.


It's a very delicate voice, an acquired taste I'd say. If it's your first time listening to it I think you should give it more chances.
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04.11.2012 - 21:53
PocketMetal
I think her voice is just different , not terrible in any way .
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05.11.2012 - 01:43
silenius
Written by Unhealer on 04.11.2012 at 21:41

Written by silenius on 04.11.2012 at 20:43

Her voice is terrible.


It's a very delicate voice, an acquired taste I'd say. If it's your first time listening to it I think you should give it more chances.


I usualy like uniqe voices, thats what i prefer, but after a couple of listens to the new album she still just sounds bland, flat and weak tbh, not enough emotion to pull it of. Kinda sad, i realy like the music :/
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05.11.2012 - 06:19
Dark Blood
The Avenger
I haven't heard To-Mera in a long time, and so far I only could get into the first album. I remember listening to 'Delusions' and thinking "this sounds great!" And other times thinking the exact opposite, and something like "what in the hell is this?!". I couldn't really figure out my feelings towards that album, so I backed down. This review brought back those memories, and how hard it is to actually enjoy To-Mera's music. But I'll give this one a listen sometime.
I really liked the review, and the way it's written.
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It is humanity who must pay homage to the greatness of the Universe... not the Universe to the human narcissism.
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05.11.2012 - 12:02
Fallen Ghost
Metal & Beer
Never heard of this, but album cover art looks nice.. Gotta listen to this sometime
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Haters gonna hate, and ainters gonna aint
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05.11.2012 - 14:56
Daniell
No, you don't
I've only listened to the album once so far, so I can't say much. What I can say however, is that I still don't like Julie's vocals too much
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Now loving:
Avatarium - Pearls and Coffins
Iron Maiden - Empire of the Clouds
Ahab - The Weedmen
Finsterforst - Mach dich frei!
My Dying Bride - Feel the Misery
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05.11.2012 - 15:19
JohnDoe
Account deleted
I have a problem with the vocals as well...
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05.11.2012 - 22:59
Daniell
No, you don't
Three listens in: I love unveiling more and more mysteries that the album holds, I love the way it often surprises me. I'm looking forward to unveiling more mysteries and getting surprised again. The vocals, however, still disappoint me. The girl sings well, has a good voice, but most of the vocal lines on this album are simply uninteresting, uninspired and, ultimately, boring.
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Now loving:
Avatarium - Pearls and Coffins
Iron Maiden - Empire of the Clouds
Ahab - The Weedmen
Finsterforst - Mach dich frei!
My Dying Bride - Feel the Misery
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08.11.2012 - 13:45
Fallen Ghost
Metal & Beer
The music is pretty interesting, but damn, the vocals are, in my opinion, weak..
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Haters gonna hate, and ainters gonna aint
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03.12.2012 - 12:41
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Finally listened to this album! It is indeed a demanding listen, most songs are very long and have different songs within the song itself. It is a good album, but I feel like some passages hurt the songs and make them sound disjointed. It needs more strong moments.

I actually like the vocals a lot, it is different from what you usually find in prog.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
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03.12.2012 - 12:51
Daniell
No, you don't
Written by BloodTears on 03.12.2012 at 12:41

I actually like the vocals a lot, it is different from what you usually find in prog.


The fact that they're different doesn't make them good I'm afraid.
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Now loving:
Avatarium - Pearls and Coffins
Iron Maiden - Empire of the Clouds
Ahab - The Weedmen
Finsterforst - Mach dich frei!
My Dying Bride - Feel the Misery
Loading...
03.12.2012 - 12:57
JohnDoe
Account deleted
The album grew a bit on me, still find the vocals as the weak point of the album.
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03.12.2012 - 13:20
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Written by Daniell on 03.12.2012 at 12:51

Written by BloodTears on 03.12.2012 at 12:41

I actually like the vocals a lot, it is different from what you usually find in prog.


The fact that they're different doesn't make them good I'm afraid.


No it doesn't, but in this case it's good for me. I reckon you don't like the vocals then
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
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11.12.2012 - 15:36
R'Vannith
ghedengi
The vocals aren't an issue for me, there seems to be much more of a djent tone in the guitars than what I remember from their other albums. Tracks like "Broken" reign it in enough for me to really enjoy but others.. not so much. I found it a pretty frustrating puzzle, and I found that a very useful analogy. I definitely agree with how the more noticeably addictive pieces are scattered about the album.
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02.02.2013 - 06:47
Kuroboshi
As always with To-Mera, I'm like, when I listen to it as background music I find myself thinking, "hey, this sounds nice, I should concentrate on the music", but when I actually do that, it's just "meh" and not interesting. Thoroughly boring album.

Also, I think the vocalist isn't good enough to handle the whole albums by herself. She's not bad, but she hasn't a strong enough voice. And (I'm not a musical virtuoso but) it sounds like she hits false notes as well. Irritating vocal lines.
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