Keyboardist HUGO SHEPPARD Explains Decision To Leave TO-MERA

Keyboardist Hugo Sheppard has issued the following statement regarding his decision to leave TO-MERA, the U.K.-based dark progressive metal band formed by former WITHOUT FACE vocalist Julie Kiss (photo) and bassist Lee Barrett (ex-EXTREME NOISE TERROR, DISGUST, MUSSOLINI HEADKICK):

"I have decided that it is time for me to step down from the exalted post of TO-MERA keyboard player. The sole reason for this decision, which had to be weighed carefully against my love for the band, is my desire to pursue my own musical path.

"I owe a debt of gratitude to Tom, Julie, Lee and Paul, and I'd also like to say thank you to those of you who have come to gigs and supported us, bought our first album, and offered kind words of encouragement. It's been a wonderful two years for me. I am especially proud to have played a part in the creation of our second album, the mixes of which are sounding very, very good (false modesty be damned). I hope you will all be moved to the depths of your blackened souls when you hear it.

"Hen, who plays guitar and keyboard with HAKEN, will be taking my place, and I wish him the best of luck and success in his new role. I will be playing one last gig with TO-MERA at the Underworld on Wednesday 21st November. Hope you can make it!"

TO-MERA recently finished recording the follow-up to last year's "Transcendental", entitled "Delusions", and is currently mixing the effort for a February 18, 2008 release. "We are again working with Brett Caldas-Lima from Tower Studios," said Barrett. "The process of recording, including photos and video clips, was captured in this blog."

Regarding the new CD's musical direction, Barrett said, "All the elements present on the last album have been greatly expanded upon. The music will display a much greater range of moods, tempos and dynamics (ranging from fragile subtlety to epic bombast via everything in between), whilst being simultaneously more sophisticated, yet more melodic and coherent than before. Julie's vocals have become substantially more versatile and powerful. There will be loads more guitar and keyboard (even drum!) solos. But most importantly, we feel this music has a much deeper and more genuine emotional impact to it. We're hoping the finished album will capture that."

Watch TO-MERA's "Blood" video (taken from 2006's "Transcendental"):

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