Metalite – “Biomechanicals”

 Posted by on October 17, 2019 at 02:57  Add comments
Oct 172019
 

Pop metal prodigies Metalite return with a new vocalist and a further refined sound on their second album, Biomechanicals.

Some music can instantly be placed when heard and Swedish pop songs fall into that category for me.  It was almost exactly 2 years ago I reviewed Heroes in Time, the debut from the Swedish band Metalite.  In the meantime, I’ve listened to a lot of music and as soon as I heard the first song on Biomechanicals the Swedish pop sensibilities became readily apparent.  For those who don’t know, the band is from Stockholm and been around since 2015.  Guitariste Edwin Premberg met vocalist Emma Bensing and the two began a collaboration with producer Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Evergrey, Amaranthe) and the songs started to flow.  In the next year, the rest of the band was added and the band signed to Inner Wound Records.  This time around, the band has picked up Erica Ohlsson to handle the vocal duties while keeping everything else the same including producer Jacob Hansen and recording at Hansen Studios.

Given the band being a female-fronted pop metal band, one expects much of the emphasis to be on the vocals so after the departure of the excellent Emma Bensing, the obvious question is whether or not Erica Ohlsson can fill those large shoes.  As it turns out there is nothing to worry about in the vocal department, much like her predecessor, Erica’s vocals are perfectly suited for Swedish pop almost too perfectly, perhaps.  Think about any popular Swedish pop band’s vocals and Erica could fill in for any of them, her vocals are that good for that style.  To my ears though, Emma’s vocals were a bit darker in tone, making them more suited for the more aggressive sound on Heroes in Time that I favor.

There is a distinct shift in the sound from Metalite on Biomechanicals compared to Heroes in Time.  I favor rougher tones in the metal, punk, and hardcore I primarily listen to but do enjoy clean symphonic metal  bands like Astralium and Nightwish, so I consider myself to have a rather large range of appreciation for a number of different genres.  Unfortunately, everything seems overly polished to the point where it seems to be lacking emotion and heart and almost seems artificial.   Heroes in Time a slight roughness to it throughout and much stronger emphasis on the drums and guitars versus the keyboards and electronica elements that dominate BIomechanicals.  The two videos for “Far from Sanctuary” and “Apocalypse” accurately portray the overall sound on the album.  The chorus on “Apocalypse” to me sounds very familiar in terms of style and structure reminding me of some pop song that I’ve long forgotten.  One of the best things about the videos is that both are largely performance clips where seeing the guitars and drums remind the listener that they are there and combining the visual and audio does have the effect of making those performances stand out better in the mix.  Without the video, the electronica, keyboards, and pop vocals dominate.

Given the emphasis on keyboards and electronica in the sound this time around, I really struggle to find something that I like on this album.  Realizing that this is my bias though, I do find it difficult to find anything from a performance standpoint to criticize and the album is filled with strong vocals, catchy hooks, and solid pop-influenced hard rock, so if you enjoyed Heroes in Time and similar bands and albums, you owe it to yourself to check out Biomechanicals.

Rating: 6/10

Written by John Jackson

Tracklist
1. Far From The Sanctuary
2. Apocalypse
3. Biomechanicals
4. Warrior
5. Mind Of A Monster
6. World On Fire
7. Eye Of The Storm
8. Breakaway
9. Social Butterflies
10. Rise Of The Phoenix
11. Victory Or Death

Band Members
Erica Ohlsson – Vocals
Edwin Premberg – Guitar
Robert Örnesved – Guitar
Robert Majd – Bass
Lea Larsson – Drums

Release Date: 25 Oct. 2019

Record Label: AFM Records

Albums:
“Heroes In Time” (2017) [review]

Weblinks: Facebook / Website 

Buy the album here:
Holland: 
First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

Video for ‘Far from the Sanctuary’

Video for ‘Apocalypse’

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