Label : Illusionary Records

Review by Davide Torresan

Do you want the truth? When they gave me this album to review and I was sure it would be a “Delusions 2.0”. I expected it to be a real drag, progressive metal with a high rate of technical skills. I noticed the length of each songs and I was sure that I would be bored to death, like after listening to “Delusions”. At first I appreciated it when it came out, but then I realized that it was too long and tedious.

I thought the same thing of this “Exile”, the 3rd To-Mera‘s album. I was wrong about the new work of the British band led by the beautiful and charismatic Julie Kiss. Forgive me Metal God for I have sinned. Compared to “Delusions”, in this album they have lightened the songs, making them more straightforward. You can realize that, listening to the first real song, “The Illusionist”. They continue to use time changes, keyboard inserts, dreamy piano melodies and crazy accelerations. The Jazz parts are a constant, but they are not placed randomly. The production is better and clear compared to previous albums. Julie‘s voice is more powerful than ever before. Indeed, the instruments covered her voice, but now things have changed for the better.

“The Descent” has the craziest keyboard inserts of the whole album. With growl, the real surprise of “Exile”, they will make you a jump out of your chair. The end of the song is in charge of piano and strings. I could tell you of the 70’s prog influences of “Deep Inside”, or the wonderful voice of Julie in “Broken”, but the last three songs are simply fan-ta-stic!

“End Game” is the heavier song of the album: thrash metal guitar riffs, continuous changes of time and a gentle piano in the middle. “Surrender” has an intro with an acoustic guitar, but then it turns to metal. Slow and atmospheric parts switch into syncopated, fast and powerful ones. A jazz interlude interrupts the gothic turn, and then it passes quickly to power metal and the use of an organ. It’s impossible to describe the huge variety of influences that this song has.

“All I Am” starts with the piano and Julie‘s voice seems to lull the listener. But it’s just a semblance, because suddenly the song enlivens thanks to electronics and the band instruments. In the middle of the song a beautiful violin matches perfectly with the piano, creating a really aching but sweet melody. Then the sound of the song returns to the progressive metal to which we are used.

In conclusion, this “Exile” gives us a band aware of their abilities and with a better production compared to the past. The album cover is noteworthy, just like the concept. The exile is a state where man takes refuge to protect himself from damages that life can inflict. He can’t cease to aspire to something/someone else though it can cause suffer and pain. The latters are only feelings that can make us stronger. With this album To-Mera improved a lot and I never expected it. They were able to propose something unique and original. Give them a chance and you’ll not be disappointed.

Rating – 85/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Inviting the Storm
  2. The Illusionist
  3. The Descent
  4. Deep Inside
  5. Broken
  6. End Game
  7. Surrender
  8. All I Am

 

Line Up

  • Julie Kiss – Vocals
  • Tom MacLean – Guitars
  • Richard Henshall – Keyboards
  • Mark Harrington – Bass
  • Paul Westwood – Drums

 

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