METALITE – Heroes In Time (2017)
“Heroes In Time” is the debut album by METALITE, a new Swedish female fronted combo which as their name suggest, musically is melodic metal oriented but with a ‘lite’ approach, commercial and catchy.
The album was produced by experienced Jacob Hansen [Volbeat, Evergrey, Amaranthe] and guest appearances on the album includes Fraser Edwards [Ascension] and Jakob Svensson [Wigelius].
METALITE follows the trend of many current acts: taking metal in a much more accessible direction, very melodic and with infectious choruses while still maintaining enough heaviness to avoid having their music fall too far into Rock& pop territory.
METALITE was founded by guitarist Edwin Premberg, and his six-string work is very impressive at times, with some hard-hitting riffs and some truly fantastic melodic guitar solos.
At the same time, though, despite not having a keyboardist listed in their lineup, this album has plenty of very modern sounding keys, and in fact these keys often dominate many of the songs giving the music a very catchy feeling.
There’s certainly a ton of digital effects used here as well, and it all sounds very good. Compared to similar bands, I’d say the music on this album maintains the catchiness you’d expect from Amaranthe, while also having strong metal elements at times like Dynazty on their last couple of albums.
Songwriting is quite consistent across the board, with every song being solid with a decent amount of variety, though most songs are very upbeat, very melodic, simple and extremely catchy.
If you’re going to be making an album as centered around catchy vocal lines as this album is, you need to have a capable vocalist, and thankfully Emma Bensing proves herself to be very good on this matter.
She has a very light voice that’s very much suited to this style of music, often staying in midrange and singing very calmly in a way that allows the melodies to shine through well, but when needed she starts pushing for higher notes and singing with more power and emotion, and those points are the highlights of the album.
Overall, Bensing sounds amazing.
Opener “Afterlife” is a perfect choice for the lead single, as it’s a very fast-paced, accessible track which has just a bit of heaviness to it, while also being very melodic and having an insanely catchy and memorable chorus. Next is “Nightmare”, another very radio-friendly track, where the keys again lead the way, though it moves a very fast pace like the opening track, and is the first song where I think Emma really shines, as she pushes for higher notes during the chorus.
“The Hunter” has some power metal elements but also has some very pop influenced vocal lines at times. Another speedier track is “Power of Metal”, which definitely could have the “of” in its name removed and still be an accurate name, though it’s a very modernized form of the genre, of course, and is another very fun and catchy track, with some great vocals.
“Over and Done” is yet another very fun and catchy track, with an absolutely beautiful guitar solo that stands as easily the best on the album. “The Light of Orion” has an amazing guitar solo as well as excellent chorus, with Emma really shining especially near the end.
Title track “Heroes In Time” is the most poppy, commercial song on the CD with the band really going into overdrive with all the keyboard effects, especially during the intro and the instrumental section in the middle. It’s a fairly slow paced, but ridiculously catchy track where Emma shows off her higher register quite nicely and does a great job during the chorus.
“Black Horse Rider” is driven by excellent melodic guitar leads as well as some heavier riffs, and is another very melodic metal influenced track, with an extremely fast and powerful chorus where Emma sounds very fiery, and lastly we have “The Great Force”, which again has some familiar sounding keys and a nice main melody.
Lastly, we have “In the Middle of the Night”, the lone ballad on the album, which is again very keyboard drove and it serves an excellent showcase for the lead vocals, quite emotional as the track progresses, with the final run through the chorus being absolutely stunning. There’s also an amazing, very emotional sounding guitar solo in the middle, and overall it’s an excellent track which serves as a nice change of pace during the mostly very speedy second half of the album.
Mixing classic melodic metal with poppy elements, pristine vocals and modern keyboards / effects, METALITE debut is a solid, entertaining product.
An album which continues the trend of modern melodic metal that strikes a balance between being very accessible and catchy, with a heavy use of keyboards and some very nice vocals, while still having enough of an edge to appeal to old school metal fans.
“Heroes In Time” is ‘metal for the masses’. Yeah, Even my ol’ aunt liked it.
01 – Afterlife
02 – Purpose of Life
03 – Nightmare
04 – The Hunter
05 – Heroes in Time
06 – Power of Metal
07 – Over and Done
08 – The Light of Orion
09 – In the Middle of the Night
10 – Black Horse Rider
11 – The Great Force Within Us
Emma Bensing – Vocals
Edwin Premberg – Guitar
Robert Örnesved – Guitar
Robert Majd – Bass
Lea Larsson – Drums
Fraser Edwards [Ascension] – Guitar solo
Jake Svensson [Wigelius] – Guitar solo
BUY IT !