Album review: METALITE – A Virtual World

AFM Records [release date 26.03.21]

Coming soon to a Melodic Metal dancefloor near you, Metalite and their third album, A Virtual World.

Afficionados will already know the band incorporate elements of trance and electronica into their streamlined melodic metal variant. The New Wave of Scandi Melodic Metal.

Produced by the ubiquitous Jacob Hansen, the band is tight as the proverbial drum, collusive almost, powerfully pumping out their sleek, fluid dancefloor fillers, full of slick rhythmic structures and infectious tunes, on track after track.

Mostly, it’s impossible to pin down. There are distant echoes on ‘Cloud Connected’ of Stuart Price’s work with Madonna on her ‘Confessions…’ album, and you’ll not get dancier or more in the moment than that.

At most other times, it’s grandiose pomprock, rubbing shoulders with Amaranthe and Within Temptation, but with no ideas above its station. It has a concept – mankind’s growing dependence on technology – one that’s reasonably down to earth, if overused.

Energetic, dramatic, standout tracks like ‘Beyond The Horizon’ and ‘Alone’ put a fresh spin on well explored sounds, adding a more contemporary edge to a well established stylistic template.

These tracks seem to go from a standing start to a breathless, headlong rush in a second. Along with a couple of other highpoints, like ‘Talisman’ and the title track itself, ‘A Virtual World’, they are never OTT, but are laced with heartlifting melodies delivered with a kind of tempered grandeur by vocalist, Erica Ohlsson, that when done right, makes a genuine emotional connection.

Elswhere, the album is built around those same principles. Majestic melodies and cascading choruses, all dance to the pulsating beats and shine in the flashing lights of your uptown, urban nightspot.

Except…the fabulously melodic last track ‘Synchronised’. This one cuts against the grain of the preceding material. It slows the pace (relatively speaking). Lyrically, it has a little more depth, as it accepts some hard truths about mankind and the progress of technology. Doesn’t stop it from having a massive chorus of course, and even given it’s the closer it’ll linger in your mind long after the other songs have faded.  ***1/2

Review by Brian McGowan

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David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 14 March 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at for that week.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 23 March 2021.

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Featured Albums w/c 5 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GARY HUGHES Decades (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 METALITE A Virtual World (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 KAT DANSER One Eye Open (indie)

Power Plays w/c 5 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)

ALTZI Point Of No Return (RA Music)
DIRTY LACES Breathe (Golden Robot Records)
ASHEN MOON Ashen Moon (Golden Robot Records)
ANDREWW Shadow Love (indie)
JORDAN RED Freak Show (indie)
HAYES & Y Empty Orchestra (indie)
KELSEY BOVEY Another World (indie)
NEPTUNE RAIN We Breathe The Same (indie)

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