Metalite – Heroes in Time (Inner Wound Recordings)

Wednesday, 11th October 2017
Rating: 9/10

It’s rare in our information age to come across a band from out of nowhere that simply blows you away. Usually the hype train tends to arrive early and often, but Sweden’s Metalite arrived in this scribe’s email without much fanfare. But given its description, it seemed ripe with opportunity. Upon listening to Heroes in Time, it seems it’s only a matter of time before all eyes are on Metalite.

Taking the electronic/metallic fusion that Amaranthe champions and giving it a more genuine power metal feel is an apt way to describe Heroes in Time. Saying that the album is upbeat is probably an understatement, and may in fact cause some of the dyed-in-the-wool metalhead types to run screaming at a few points, but if you can handle a bit of happy energy, it’s a very hard album to resist. Modern metal riffing runs through the backbone of Metalite’s sound, with the appropriately titled “Power of Metal” and “Over and Done” utilizing some galloping melodies and catchy solos in proper coordination with bouncing synths to create a vibe that merges the best of both worlds. There’s an absurd level of catchiness with songs like “Afterlife” and “Nightmare” that almost makes you think that you’ll hear them a few times and forget them, but it’s a credit to their songwriting that each track stands the test of time even after a dozen or two listens. The interwoven synths and Swedish melodies lay a solid foundation for vocalist Emma Bensing to put her own spin on things. With such over-the-top elements, it’s refreshing to hear Bensing not trying to outcompete the music but rather blend into it. She goes a good job of belting it out on occasion (“The Great Force Within Us”), but she feels a part of a music instead of being the focal point.

Easily one of the most energetic and smile-inducing albums so far this year, Heroes in Time is an impressive debut. It’s grounded with metallic power, yet isn’t afraid to bring in boogie-shaking synths to make it even stronger. While it may be polarizing for some, there’s no doubt of its potential to generate a rabid fanbase.

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