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Metalite: A Virtual World

Triumpant Swedish Melodic Power Metallers Metalite arrive with a bang pushing their contemporary release A Virtual World into the atmosphere, only just two years after the release of their well-received sophomore record Biomechanicials and they comfortably deliver a package in the same vein smothered with their over the top keyboard driven anthems for the Metal world to thoroughly indulge on.

Metalite are a pretty new outfit in the Power Metal world and they have made an outstanding name for themselves from the offshoot, leading from their ambitious debut album right up into today's musical adventures with their impressive new vocalist Erica Ohllson taking over the mic.

During A Virtual World, we have those really rich melodies we would simply expect from the five piece and they arrive layered with those gripping hooks to sit alongside the bombastic synthesizers that naturally capture some memorable moments throughout a cool collection of catchy tracks that very neatly hit the spot with an effective ease.

Ranging from outputs like the brilliant 'Cloud Connected', the mid paced 'Vampire Song' and the fantastically arranged ballad 'Alone', they all appear as superb efforts that will be great additions to the band's set list in the future to come after the current pandemic. Also to add to the mixture, pompous anthemic trophies like the safely steady single 'Peacekeepers' and the graceful sci-fi stomper 'Artificial Intelligence' fit in the basket quite nicely too and I am positively sure they will be growers and favourites amongst the Metalite fanbase, along with the possible gathering of new fans along the way.

Whilst these are all sublime entries into the Metalite back catalogue and they appear as real winners, there is a reason why 'A Virtual World' I did not give the achievement of a high score overall for this offering and that is simply because lyrically it can appear to be slightly weak, there are appearances of cases that come across like segments from the cringe factor that pop at certain times during the records playtime.

By all means, I love the cheesy and happy Metal effect every single time I hear it done well, and of course they are called Metalite after all, however sometimed it can just let things waver off a tad to lose that credibility and I think more over time Metalite will improve in this avenue with no doubts about that at all.

Moreover, one of the most memorable highlights sitting inside the group's third installment is the amazing power behind the excellent hair raising number 'Beyond the Horizon', that is essentially a deliverance surrounded with a full packed punch that personally for me is easily the best song on this whole production without any shadow of doubt.

Moving on to the more straight up Melodic Power Metal musicality Metalite are famous for and renowned for, we have the quality title track opener 'A Virtual World' and the stupendously different snapper 'Talisman' that neatly boosts the morale of things on this benefaction with a carriage of strength, force and admiration; easily making this record to be a very solid one indeed from the Stockholm fantasy team.

Overall, another great effort from the Swedes and a superb follow up to the previous album Biomechanicals, therefore let's hope they carry on with this wave of glorious form for many years to come and they try to keep that success increasing with each record they produce to essentially grow as a divine unit inside the Power Metal industry, amongst the surrounding gods and forefathers that came before them.

Track Listing
1. A Virtual World
2. Cloud Connected
3. Talisman
4. Beyond the Horizon
5. Peacekeepers
6. The Vampire Song
7. We're Like te Fire
8. Artificial Intelligence
9. Alone
10. Running
11. Synchronized

Added: September 1st 2021
Reviewer: James Mannion
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 551
Language: english

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Metalite: A Virtual World
Posted by Brandon Miles, SoT Staff Writer on 2021-09-01 19:17:20
My Score:

I make no apologies for being a fan of the sickly sweet melodies and over the top synth-popisms in metal these days. There's limits obviously (Amaranthe are an immediate mention in that regard), but the elitists out there seem to forget that Metal has a long list of bands that successfully added poppy elements and keyboards to the mix in order to reach a broader audience. Yeah, the bands of olde may have not sounded like a fever dream induced marriage of mid 90's rave culture and Helloween, but alas these are the cards we have been dealt and as the kids these days say, I'm here for it.

Metalite (seems these lads and ladies are fairly self aware), are a 5 piece pop metal outfit from Sweden. As my preamble would suggest, you should be able to tell right away if this band is for or not. They combine dancy techno beeps and bloops with fairly simple and streamlined melodic power metal and they do a pretty damn good job of it, actually. A Virtual World sees Metalite releasing their third full length album in 5 years, and it's basically a continuation and further refining of their sound from the previous two.

The melodies and harmonious vocals are the focus here, and that should surprise absolutely no one given the genre du jour. Vocalist Erica Ohlsson has a great voice, and she fits this sound like an absolute glove. Sounding a lot like genre-mate Capri of Amberian Dawn, she's the metal version of the girls from Abba in a leather cat suit and it's a perfect fit for the band's synth-pop drenched choruses. As this is still a power metal album (for the most part), there's well performed technical guitar solos and plenty of fast double-kick drumming to fill out the sound, but it would appear this lot know where their bread is buttered.

The songs themselves are all radio-length numbers and don't overstay their welcome, focusing on delivering an endorphin fix quickly and then jumping to the next pop injection. The opening title track is probably the closest A Virtual World gets to a traditional power metal tune in the way most of us are accustomed to. It's fast, fist pumpy, and if you turned the electronics down a notch or two you'd have yourself a pretty damn good Stratovarius song. From the second track and single "Cloud Connected" on though, it's all guns blazing with unabashed pop metal henceforth. Not a bad song, but the chorus isn't one of the better ones on the album, and it also has the unfortunate effect of reminding me of the exact moment that In Flames became complete irredeemable shit. Not the band's fault for that, I guess.

A Virtual World is a pretty damn consistent album, and there's not really a stinker on the album. All of the hooks are honed to be razor sharp and cut their way directly into your memory banks in a way that most of their contemporaries could only dream of. Songs like "Talisman" and "Artificial Intelligence" are leagues better and more memorable than any pop music you've heard in decades, and it being Metal to boot is just the cherry on top of this syrup drenched sundae. Special shout out to the song "Beyond the Horizon" for being my new song to haunt my metal elitist friends' dreams and give them night terrors. It's basically a lost track from a Japanese version of Dance Dance Revolution with distorted guitars and it sounds lthe the auditory equivalent of a rainbow colored cupcake with extra sprinkles and edible glitter.

There's really not much gray area when it comes to an album like A Virtual World, and it's safe to say you knew whether or not this is your bag by the second or third sentence of this review. So, to all of my Metal brethren that don't mind this current influx of poppy metal that's continuing to gain momentum, Metalite are one of the good ones. The performances are good, the melodies and choruses will be in your head for days, and luckily the songs here are all just long enough to leave you wanting more. If you're a fan of Beast in Black or their ilk, you'll be right at home here. If you're a fan of Amaranthe (shame on you), this is what they would sound like without the annoying parts.

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