Review: Metalite “A Virtual World” [AFM Records]

Review: Metalite “A Virtual World” [AFM Records]

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Metalite is Modern Melodic Metal band from Sweden. It was formed in 2015 and already has three albums in their discography. The last one, A Virtual World, was released in the end of March.

In 2019 Erica Ohlsson, a dainty beauty with good voice changed previous vocalist Emma Bensing. However, she’s not the only girl in the band: drummer Lea Larsson plays in Metalite since the band was formed, together with guitarists Edwin Premberg, Robert Örnesved and bassist Robert Majd. In the same year Erica recorded the band’s second album Biomechanicals and a year and a half later Metalite release their third longplay.

Frankly speaking, seeing the words “Modern Power and Melodic Metal” in press release is quite troubling for me and it’s not about my reactionary or narrow-mindedness – there is nothing wrong with Modern Metal itself. At the same time I can tell you from experience that the description of music that usually placed near the word “modern” is way far from what it wants to be. But is A Virtual World an exception from this rule? Well, it’s more no than yes, while some Power Metal echoes are present in the album and it really melodic. However, first thing first.

Certainly, there are a lot of keyboards and electronic samples. At the same time there is no keyboardist in the band, at least according to themselves. Nevertheless, electronics prevail here, a Modern Metal befits. Sometimes it sounds like a Eurodance, sometimes it goes Trance or even something similar to Dubstep while all of this is on the forefront, unlike guitars and drums. On the other hand, you can hardly expect something else, that’s the modern approach.

At the same time Edwin and Robert’s guitars sounds heavy, delivering some technical and melodic solos almost in every song. Lea’s drums are also interesting and quite diverse. And Erica’s vocal is really good: there aren’t some outstanding operatic techniques or extreme-vocals elements, but what we got here is beautiful voice from skillful vocalist. Seems like all this stuff can work quite well, but here we came to the main issue: the songs.

There are some inclusions of Power Metal indeed, like in “Cloud Connected” and “Running” (the last one can easily pretend to be the heaviest song in the album) but lots of electronic samples are not allow these inclusions to unfold fully. The best example of it is probably “Artificial Intelligence”: powerful riffs, melodic vocal line and a little bit pretentious mood pretty correspond to Power Metal, if not the keyboards and predictable passages; it really feels like the band wanted to make something in a vain of Nightwish but as a result they have an average Amaranthe.

Predictability and too poppy music are the main lacks of this album, as for me: heaviness and energy are present in “Peacekeepers” but the main poppy motive doesn’t allow them to unfold as well. However, I must admit, there are some catchy (and generic at the same time) choruses in A Virtual World, like in the self-titled opener and “Talisman”. “Beyond The Horizon” is too poppy, with some Eurodance intro or over-romantic, over-saccharine ballad “Alone”.

Guitarist Edwin Premberg states: “We see ourselves as a modern band that works differently than most of the Melodic Metal bands out there” and I don’t have any reason to doubt it. But it the end we, listeners, have another Modern or Pop Metal album. Yes, it has good vocal, it’s melodic and dynamic. I won’t deny some catchy moments also. But overall A Virtual World is not quite remarkable album, which doesn’t cause any wish to listen to it one more time, even some distinct songs. So if you like Amaranthe (as a flagship of the genre), you will like Metalite as well. If not, you will try it at your own risk.

A Virtual World was released on March, 26th via AFM Records.

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