If you've listened to the album, you know what I'm talking about when I say that she was a big part of the album's sound. Because these folk metal bands like to have these drawn-out, atmospheric interludes during their performance, Eluveitie pretty much had Meri lead all of them. During every interlude or whatever you want to call them (there were several all throughout their set, one of them had to be AT LEAST five minutes long), the whole band would exit the stage (sometimes the guy with the beard playing the bagpipes would stay) except for Meri. All of the lights would go out except for the ones pointed at the spot where she was standing. And during these interludes, she would just stand there and belt out these ridiculous and amazing celtic-style melodies and chants. It was one of the most unforgettable things I've ever seen at a metal show.
So now that her role in the band has become much more important and unique.......she just leaves?? Her reason for leaving must have been very, very big and made her really feel cornered. I know that neither Meri or the band explicitly stated the actual reason for her leaving, but when you look at how much those fuckers tour, it seems like a very possible reason for someone to feel forced to leave. A lot of members quietly leave bands (it was hard to do that with Eluveitie considering how famous they are) due to tour exhaustion. A lot of members of Soilwork ended up leaving purely because they physically couldn't handle the amount of touring that they had to do (that band tours A LOT by the way). So I can't think of any other reason she would choose to leave other than tour exhaustion.
In case you don't know what I mean, I have included two tour shirts. The first one is the Everything Remains World Tour shirt, which has every concert from 1/11/2010-1/23/2012....that's over two years of straight touring...and then the Helvetios World Tour (second shirt) starts not even a week after the Everything Remains Tour ENDS. So that's not even a break! The only reason they're two different tours is because a new album was released! The shirt actually only shows the first half of the Helvetios World Tour 1/27/2012-10/21/2012). But actually, the tour continues on until the final date in their home country on 9/28/2013.
So the Everything Remains World Tour goes from 1/11/2010-1/23/2012 and the Helvetios World Tour goes from 1/27/2012-9/28/2013. During that time, the band never took a break lasting more than 1.5 weeks, with the exception of four separate 1 month-long breaks. I don't really consider 1-2 weeks off from touring as time off from touring in the case of Eluveitie because someone that tours as much as them is going to require more than a week to recover and recharge. So basically, with the exception of those 4 breaks, Eluveitie have been touring constantly from January 2010-September 2013. Um...that's drawing pretty damn close to FOUR YEARS of straight touring. Look at me and tell me that you wouldn't feel tired after that.
Reasons aside, Mari was a very big part of Eluveitie and will be missed dearly by a lot of people, myself included. I didn't know she released a solo album, so I'm going to be checking that out in a few days. I also plan on posting a few reviews before the end of the year since fall quarter just ended.