Album: Heroes In Time
Record Label: Inner Wound Recordings
Release Date: 27 October 2017
Review By: Todd Naevestad
Fresh as fresh can be, Metalite is a new band from Stockholm. They step onto the world stage with their first album, Heroes in Time. There is little known about the band as an entity, only forming in 2015 when guitarist Edwin Premberg met with vocalist Emma Bensing to share his musical vision. Still, for music fans, a new voice is always an interesting moment and we tend to hunger for different takes in our favorite genres. So how does this new melodic power metal sound?
I think the most prominent elements to Metalite’s work, one that immediately jumped out at me, was the futuristic bend to their music. With the use of synths and what feel like techno principles in some of the accompanying sound design, they’ve created music that feels like it came from the future. The future, in this case, being some pulpy kind of creation. I get this Cyber-Punk vibe from it, like it’s the kind of metal you might find in the world of Neuromancer from William Gibson. While the expected power metal sound is there, the powerful drum line and the dancing guitars, they are balanced with more computer generated sounds. I don’t say computer generated to belittle their work or how it was produced, more so to describe the feeling of it, the cold but electric quality to the music. What it ends up with is a really interesting back and forth between the familiar and the futuristic. That base is really what helps the rest of the musical pieces work so well. Emma Bensing’s voice is a great centerpiece that the rest of the elements build around. She is clear, passionate, and enjoyable to listen to. It’s through her that one of the most fun parts of a number of songs comes through, the key change toward the end. The songs tend to stay in one range for the greater majority of the track until maybe the last third or quarter where they pause for just a moment before bringing it to a new level to end the track with one last burst of energy.
While I really like the unique moving parts, I feel Metalite don’t take it far enough. The Cyber-Punk is cool, but the Power Metal is pretty standard. There is no guitar solo or vocal section that really stands out as a brilliant example of their talents. The lyrics are about as memorable. Despite Bensing’s great delivery, they don’t hold a lot of depth and are more like what you could imagine any stereotypical metal song might say. There are moments where they could have taken it and run with it to some sci-fi epic or personal commentary, but they tend to play it safe and take very little initiative. That sameness is one of the biggest issues with the album as a whole. While I like listening to it when I walk away from it, I can hardly remember anything about it. I would fail at being able to hum the main melody of any of the songs that I actively liked. No one song hooked itself into my brain and made me think about it again after it was over.
This is still a strong first step for Metalite. I think there is a lot of good things here and the album is a great way to show what makes them unique. While they don’t do enough with that uniqueness, I’m interested to see where they go from here. I would love to see Metalite jump deep into the futurism they seem to base it off of. They have a great potential going forward. I would recommend listening to “Heroes in Time” if only to get excited for the band’s future. They are definitely deserving of love, though they can still have plenty of room to be better.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Recommended Bands: Raubtier, Dynazty, Battle Beast