Jason Lingle - Keyboards, Vocals; Rain Irving - Vocals; Jeremy Osborne - Bass guitar; Chad Gibson - Drums, Percussion; Franklin Ervin - Guitar

Like an approaching storm Altura's debut album, "Mercy", begins with the gentle sounds of rain and far off thunder. The keyboards echo the pattern of the rain before the guitars and drums crash in. The album continues with complex rhythms and hypnotic time signatures to create a powerful blend of progressive metal. The vocals rise above the melodic storm as sweeping keyboards drift in and out among the layers of guitars. The lyrics bring a personal, often introspective touch to the songs, giving them a warmth not generally associated with heavier music.

Based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, Altura began when Franklin Ervin and Jeremy Osborne (who had been playing together in a variety of bands) began writing with the Altura concept in mind With the addition of drummer Chad Gibson in 1993 the trio continued developing their songwriting skills. The next step in Altura's evolution was keyboardist Jason Lingle's entry to the fold. The finishing touch was the difficult search for the ever elusive lead vocalist. After many months of auditioning singers, Rain Irving was named to fill that position.

Altura began playing clubs around the Charlotte and Greensboro area. Gathering a loyal base of progressive fans, the group recorded a five song demo in June of 1995 which caught the ear of Magna Carta representatives. Matched with producer, Robert Berry, the band embarked on a recording schedule at Berry's California-based studio which proved to be a creative and positive environment for this young band to produce their first album.

For fans of bands such as Dream Theater, Shadow Gallery and Queensryche, progressive metal is given a new face with "Mercy" from Altura.

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Altura cover (Photos)