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EARTHBOUND

To-Mera

Progressive Metal


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To-Mera Earthbound album cover
3.53 | 15 ratings | 4 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Mesmerised (4:57)
2. Earthbound (7:28)
3. Arcane Solace (7:00)
4. Another World (8:55)

Total: (28:20)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Julie Kiss/ vocals
- Tom MacLean/ guitars
- Paul Westwood/ drums
- Mark Harrington/ bass
- Richard Henshall/ keyboards

Releases information

Self-released by To-Mera, October 2009

Thanks to sleeper for the addition
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TO-MERA Earthbound ratings distribution


3.53
(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
20%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
40%
Good, but non-essential (27%)
27%
Collectors/fans only (13%)
13%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

TO-MERA Earthbound reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars At first, when I was offered to review this CD, I thought that To-Mera will be very similar to Haken's music (the band that I discovered first), both standing with one leg in Heavy Prog & in Prog Metal with other. And also featuring one same member, Tom MacLean.

However, music on this extensively lenghtened (I'm glad for that) EP (clocking at 28 minutes) vary in few aspects, which when combined gives different impression. First thing I noticed are vocals by Julie Kiss that are solid, without major flaws. Music lacks this melodic, weirdly cabaretesque sound that Aquarius featured prominently, but in turn, "Earthbound" also lacks Death Metal growling. I actually never heard woman vocalist in growling mode and it's probably not nice experience, so I'm glad for Julie's charming, strong voice ranging from low places of spectrum to high tones.

Music is complex, featuring many twists, so it's basically seriously meant Prog Metal, which sometimes goes to dreamland territory of calmer parts. That's nothing bad, when still interesting enough that it's not just showcase of technique and skilfulness of members. And as you can see from my rating, it obviously isn't. This album simply mixes elements in the right way.

4(+), assuming that we can take this as EP release of almost studio length.

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#296325) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, August 26, 2010

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Earthbound' - To-Mera (7/10)

In the metal world, the concept of a female-fronted band has gained something of a bad reputation lately. Legions of tame and mediocre metal bands throw females in front and center to try to help their groups have a shred of distinction (and if that fails; sex appeal) to gain a bigger fanbase. One such exception to this string of cookie cut female fronted bands however, is To-Mera. A progressive metal band hailing from Britain, this group takes complex and intricate musicianship and works it in with the strong vocal pipes of singer Julie Kiss. With this EP 'Earthbound,' To-Mera have proven that they stand above the other bands that attempt to go their route, and outweigh their faults with strengths.

Despite being only four songs long, 'Earthbound' gives a good scope of what To-Mera is all about; a strong guitar presence with lots of atmosphere, rhythmic experimentation and alot of melody. On a very positive note, the instrumentation of To-Mera is always fresh and interesting. Just when you think you have worked out the structure of the song out and can be predict the next thing coming, To-Mera throws a curveball, giving something exciting and fresh. While it is a common ailment for modern progressive metal bands to fall into the rut of sounding like a Dream Theater derivative, To-Mera manages to put enough math metal (and themselves) into the compositions to give the band a relatively unique feel.

One weaker note of the band is not necessarily the vocal work of Julie Kiss, but more so the melodic lines she sings. While the woman is certainly a skilled singer and very capable of fronting a metal band of this caliber, it feels like theres a bit too much flair and unnecessary warble thrown into her melodic passages; it ultimately distracts the listener from the rest of the music. There are a few sections in which the vocal work is much more streamlined and to-the- point, which ends up being alot more enjoyable and effective as a result.

In any case, To-Mera have sparked my interest with this EP, and while I am sure they have some stronger work on their full-length recordings, 'Earthbound' has impressed me with it's technicality, and host of interesting rhythmic traits.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#296408) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, August 27, 2010

Review by J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A Good Taste of To-Mera

After releasing two successful full-length albums, British prog metal band To-Mera released their first EP with 2009's Earthbound. At only 4 tracks and a running time under a half-hour, Earthbound gives us a good taste of what this band is about without ever becoming overwhelming. To-Mera's varied musical style and constantly shifting moods never fail to impress, although I have a few small gripes that do drag down my score a little bit. Still, if you're into progressive metal and aren't satisfied with another Dream Theater clone, Earthbound may be right up your alley.

The music here is progressive metal, but on the more unique end of the spectrum. I find it difficult to pinpoint any single influence in To-Mera's music, something that's almost always a good thing. As mentioned, Earthbound consists of 4 songs. My favorite song by far is the opening, Mesmerised, although the title track comes pretty close. The last two songs (Arcane Solace and Another World) are actually somewhat drowned by comparison. They're still really good, but never really reach the mark of excellence that the first two songs presented. Compositionally, the last two songs never completely immersed me like the first tracks did.

My biggest gripe on Earthbound, however, is actually the guitar tones. I'm sure many people will disagree with me, but there are actually quite a few times where I think that the guitar is far too high in the mix, in addition to sounding too distorted at the wrong times. One good example of this is in the song Earthbound at the 2:05 mark. The jazzy keyboards and melodic vocals sound silly with the extreme metal guitar style. Of course, some people may like this, but it sounds a bit like an identity crisis to me. I honestly think To-Mera sounds better when they play more melodic progressive rock sections that highlight on the beautiful vocals of Julie Kiss and the atmospheric keyboards from Richard Henshall. I think they should leave the generic metal riffing to a minimum on the following releases. It may sound like an odd thing for an avid fan of Morbid Angel and Death to say, but I honestly don't think the Meshuggah-like guitar distortion fits To-Mera's style most of the time. Of course, there are a few moments where the guitar distortion adds a "punch", but most times it sounds like a lame attempt to get heavy, in my opinion.

Despite that complaint, there are plenty of great things on Earthbound that make it worth a purchase in the end. One of these things is the terrific musicianship. All of the five musicians in To-Mera are extremely talented, especially Richard Henshell on the keyboards and Julie Kiss on vocals. All of the musicians show their chops, though, and manage to incorporate that into melodic songwriting.

The production is okay. I don't have any huge complaints about the sound, but as I mentioned earlier, there are quite a few times where the guitar is way too high in the mix. Other than that, the production is pretty good.

Conclusion:

Earthbound is a very good EP by To-Mera that is recommendable to all fans of female-fronted progressive metal. There are a few gripes I have with this release, but they are (thankfully) relatively small in the big picture. It's apparent to me that To-Mera is much more confident with a full-length album format, but they still managed to pull of an EP successfully. I'll rate Earthbound with 3.5 stars for a solid, unique, and enjoyable prog metal EP.

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Send comments to J-Man (BETA) | Report this review (#300263) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review by Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars To-Mera's Earthbound is a four track bugger that lasts for almost a half hour of showcasing the band essentially revamping their aims, with founding member Lee Barrett gone, leaving only the singer, Julie Kiss (I can't imagine fellow kids ever making light of her name back when she was 10 or so) as the original member left in the band. They had also parted ways with their record label, so this was a self-released affair, the kind that's mixed in a living room while mom shows up with fresh crispy biscuits and lemonade...and to remark about poor clothing, hygiene and career options.

Djent. That's one of the first characteristics that stood out in describing the band's sound. The polyrhythmic drumming and a healthy dosage of Meshuggah-style chugs and low-note riff patterns. Luckily, though, there's a lot more going on, such as some nice keyboardwork, a good bass presence, a quick but snazzy guitar or keyboard solo popping up once in a while, and a nice array of jazzy dynamics and flowing arrangements in that the songs aren't saddled with jarring tonal shifts; it's all pretty smooth.

Much has been said about Julie, and she certainly deserves credit as probably the main source of melody concerning these four tracks. Singing over djent-ish chord progressions in a melodic display deserves accolades from the start. Her voice, while pretty enough, has slight 'poppish' inflections but not too much character otherwise. It's nice, but not striking.

It's a bit of a different animal from their earlier releases, which I found were a bit more frenetic and wild (sorta more my beat). As a four track EP, it's pretty good stuff, with the keyboards especially adding an interesting atmosphere to this release, but if stretched out to a full length, the style imposed here, particularly regarding the overusage of that djent influence, would probably wear out its welcome after a couple more similar numbers.

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Send comments to Prog Sothoth (BETA) | Report this review (#992095) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 05, 2013

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