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), has announced the departure of keyboard player Hugo Sheppard.Commened the group in a statement: "Hugo felt that he had been neglecting his own personal musical projects since his time in the band. With a fairly heavy upcoming schedule of touring and promotional work for the upcoming TO-MERA album, he was unfortunately unable to commit his time and energy to both projects. "He'll still be involved in the ongoing mixing process for the new record, and his last show with us will be when we support FATES WARNING in London on the 21st November. "As a band we wish to thank Hugo for sharing his talent with us for the past two years and we wish him the very best of luck with his future endeavours. It's been a genuine pleasure to work with him. "We'll now be looking for a replacement keyboard player, and are actively seeking applications from those who can meet at least most of the following requirements: * A high level of technique and musicianship, incorporating a thorough understanding of harmony, rhythm, sight-reading etc.
* Ability/ desire to play in pretty much ANY style.
* Good improvisational ability.
* A good ear and ability to learn new material quickly
* A strong interest in composition.
* Must have own professional-standard equipment.
* Ability to commit to live shows/ touring as well as regular rehearsals in London. "Please direct all applications to [email protected] or via a message at MySpace." TO-MERA recently finished recording the follow-up to last year's "Transcendental" 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"):