Expedition One

Swedish band METALITE is about to release its fourth album Expedition One via AFM Records, and since they are one of the most interesting acts out there, let’s take a listen to what they have created this time.

And the first thing I notice is the front cover of the album. Regrettably, I find myself less enthused about this, particularly due to the objectification of the lead singer, Erica Ohlsson. In this day and age, where societal norms are shifting towards greater sensitivity and inclusivity, the depiction seems to place emphasis on physical appearance rather than the musical substance. I prefer a more balanced representation that values the artist’s talent and creativity over superficial elements.

The length of the record is almost 1 hour and 10 minutes! That is a daring and unusual approach, but as this is their fourth record I think it’s more than appropriate for them to experiment and go outside the comfort zone. Which can be a hit or miss, especially if the quality is not taken into consideration. But luckily METALITE was wise enough to have a wonderful production, mixing and mastering, done by the master Jacob Hansen, so they don’t have to worry about negative reviews in this area.

Expedition One is a concept album as I hear it, because it tells the story of our planet in the year 2055. A selected group of people needs to transport everyone on another planet, hoping that new life will blossom and humanity will prosper once again. Another point goes to METALITE: the themes are captivating and they will surely keep the attention span quite high. This is a breath of fresh air that comes at a crucial time in 2024: a novel that does not fall into the obvious or repetitive.

Even though METALITE is described as a modern melodic metal band, I beg to differ just a little bit. From Expedition One to Hurricane, each song is infused with EDM elements, such as synthesizers, sound effects and electronic beats, which blend very well with the themes of the record. There is also a notable solo that convinced me of specifying this aspect on New Generation. My favorite one has to be CtrlAltDel, because it was simply unexpected and the title was not what I thought it was.

There is, though, one aspect that could use some improving. The songs featured in the album show a remarkable sense of uniformity, creating a cohesive musical experience. While the melodies are undeniably good, there is a discernible lack of variety. The album, showcasing skillful composition and engaging tunes, leans towards a more consistent sound, possibly sacrificing the exploration of diverse musical elements. Despite the uniformity, the quality of the melodies remains a notable highlight, offering a solid listening experience for those who appreciate a consistent and well-crafted musical theme.

We need to praise Erica Ohlsson on vocals, that carries the whole story with her bright and powerful tone, Edwin Premberg and Robert Örnesved on guitars do an amazing job to intertwine riffs and sounds, especially in Utopia! It’s a pity that Robert Majd‘s bass is a bit hidden in the mix, but Lea Larsson delivers such an outstanding performance on drums, that we can forgive this.

In conclusion, you need all your strength and all your bravery, because there is the future of all the human beings at stake. Dangers are close, a fatal mistake could compromise everything, but the rewards will be the greatest. Are you ready to join Expedition One?

Benedetta Baldin