Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Delicate, yet deadly. - 80%

Diamhea, December 1st, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, Digital, Independent (Bandcamp)

Mera is a pretty neat little groove metal project helmed by a few Englishmen. The locational correlation and overall riffing style elicits many comparisons to Xerath, whether consciously or otherwise. Concerning the polyrhythmic, borderline-Meshuggah tropes being employed, such parallels make some ephemeral sense. What really sold these guys to me were the programmed orchestrations, which are in a more industrial, atmospheric vein as opposed to the straight up cinematic bombast shared by Mechina and the aforementioned Xerath. I don't consider myself that big of a fan of this particular epithet of groove metal at face value, but I do believe that it coexists harmoniously with melodic keyboards if employed in a shrewd and elegant configuration.

So far, Mera is simply an instrumental outfit, and Nano is a rather compact, yet enjoyable digital EP that sufficiently teases of some great potential. There is a fair amount of musical proficiently in these guys, be it the Bladerunner-esque symphonics or the cleaving, acidic guitar riffs. If you are familiar with bands like Sybreed and the like, you already know what to expect of the guitar tone: rigid, mechanical and snaps to and fro like the rebounding cone of a speaker being tested to its limits. Most of the remainder of the music is programmed, including the drums. This isn't much cause for concern in my eyes, at least not in Mera's case. There is a fine ear for crafting varied and idiosyncratic percussive backings to augment the more evident appeals, and the preclusion of a corporeal drummer may actually end up being an asset to these guys at the end of the day. I'm also really digging the atmosphere throughout, which isn't overblown and epic like some may instinctively expect. Mental images of dystopian landscapes pervade throughout, conversely paired with rather upbeat and harmonious undercurrents.

It doesn't necessarily sound epic, but at the same time it doesn't really have to. The keyboards are the best thing about Nano, and the one strictly electronic track "Burning Chrome" is easily a highlight as a result. That isn't to discount the other three songs, which all maintain a very high standard and maintain a great equilibrium. "Kara" has that killer riff sequence after the intro that it wisely returns to several times throughout, and the title track dials up the aggression a good bit. There is a fair bit of finger-tapping and overall Martian slant to the leads, which slide into their comfort zone coherently when called upon.

To reiterate: for a four-track EP this is some great stuff and I hope that Mera delivers more in the future. There aren't a whole lot of bands out there doing this, and these guys may find themselves right up there with Neurotech as one of the better exemplars of this particular niche at the end of the day. A great deviation, yet refreshing familiar, Nano will satiate fans of any of the aforementioned acts and deserves a fair deal of attention. So there, I just gave it some.