Hot off the Press

Metalite | Heroes In Time

by Joe Mis
– Sr. Columnist —

Heroes In Time is the debut album from Stockholm-based Metalite, and this new high energy quintet makes music will appeal to fans of Amaranthe, Beyond the Black, and just about any other Female Fronted Modern Metal band.

Metalite was founded in 2015 by lead singer Emma Bensing and guitarist Edwin Premberg. Heroes in Time is packed with upbeat rhythms and sing-along choruses, stellar guitar work, manic double bass drums, booming bass, and driving keyboards. As tight as the music is, the true star of this band is singer Emma Bensing. Her voice is strong and clear, and her delivery is passionate and fierce. The guitar heroics of Premberg and Robert Örnesved ae a close second, and they are not afraid to be guitar heroes when needed. Couple great vocals and excellent musicianship with the massive production talent of Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Evergrey, Amaranthe) and you get one of the stronger Melodic Metal releases of the year.

“Afterlife” kicks off the release in impressive style – keys leading into guitars and upbeat drums – summing up Metalite’s music in a tidy little package. The high energy anthems and positive lyrics continue through “Purpose of Life” – a track built on sweeping choruses and intense guitars. After these two openers, comparisons to Amaranthe are inevitable. The synths and keys, coupled with the intense rhythms and general shiny, upbeat tempos are a dead ringer, although Bensing sings with a little more grit and bite than Amaranthe’s Elise Ryd, and she is the sole vocalist. “Nightmare” somehow manages to kick the energy level even higher, with all musicians turning it up to the proverbial “11,” and the heavier “The Hunter” drops into a more chunky Progressive/Power Metal groove thanks to strong teamwork by Majd’s bass and Larsson’s drums. The toe-tapping title track gallops along driven by the drums, but strong harmony vocals and slick synths play a vital role.

The band drops the tempo, but just a little, on the more fluid and flowing “Power of Metal” – a track that varies in tempo and tone enough to let Bensing’s voice truly shine. Choppy riffs and progressive timing patterns let the guitars take over the spotlight during “Over and Done.” “The Light Of Orion” places vocals in the center as the keys and rhythm guitars back off nicely during the verses allowing voice, drums, and bass to dominate – the extended guitar break here is excellent. The power ballad “In The Middle of the Night” must be considered as one of the best vocal performances of 2017 – Bensing is equally at home singing in front of a simple keyboard line as she is in front of the band cranked up to the max. “Black Horse Rider” again gallops off to the power metal zone, bringing tales of the Templars and Crusades to life. “The Great Force Within Us” wraps the release and once again hits all the high points – emotional vocals, intense drums and bass, slick guitars with big hooks, and positive, upbeat lyrics.

Hansen’s crisp production also bolster the comparisons to Amaranthe, but Metalite stands apart thanks to stronger songwriting skills (and a better command of the English language) and less reliance on the 3-vocalist crutch. If there is a weakness it is a simple one – every song but one is intense and fast-paced, so the listener may be a bit worn out by the time they reach the finish line. Another ballad, or at least a slower tempo track or two, would do wonders to showcase the breadth of talent across the band.

Metalite’s Heroes In Time is a Melodic Metal barn-burner of an album. The core musicians are all amazingly talented and work well together, and Bensing’s vocals are nothing short of spectacular. Upbeat songs, positive words, and top-notch production values make Metalite’s debut highly recommended!

Genre: Melodic Metal

Emma Bensing – Vocals
Edwin Premberg – Guitar
Robert Örnesved – Guitar
Robert Majd – Bass
Lea Larsson – Drums
Guest guitarists: Fraser Edwards (Ascension), Jakob Svensson (Wigelius)

Track Listing:
1. Afterlife
2. Purpose of Life
3. Nightmare
4. The Hunter
5. Heroes in Time
6. Power of Metal
7. Over and Done
8. The Light of Orion
9. In The Middle of the Night
10. Black Horse Rider
11. The Great Force Within Us

Label: Inner Wound Recordings


Hardrock Haven rating: (8 / 10)


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