Album Review: “Expedition One” by Metalite

Swedish power metal quintet Metalite kick off 2024 with its fourth album, Expedition One. Expedition is fairly epic in scope, as it is a concept album that spans 16 tracks. Musically, the album is dynamic and at times a bit simplistic. The title track launches the album with a driving tempo, crunching riffs, and electronic samples to accentuate the album’s science fiction theme. Erica Ohlsson sings of flying through the cosmos and her soaring vocals complement the lyrics. “Aurora” continues the galactic voyage with an upbeat tempo that speeds up before transitioning to staccato riffs and pummeling double bass. Unfortunately, there is little variation on tracks like “CtrlAltDel” and “Cyberdome,” as the tempo is virtually unchanged from the previous tracks.

The band finds its groove on “Blazing Skies,” but the tempo once again transitions to the same tempo of the aforementioned songs. “Outer Worlds” has a cool galloping rhythm underneath some spacey guitars that breaks up the monotony. The hooky guitar riffs of Edwin Premberg and Robert Ornesved meld well with the samples but do not stand out.

The main issue with Expedition One is that Metalite plays it safe. There is little variation between the songs which makes for a tedious listen for a 67 minute long record. A 16-track album has to offer enough diversity and texture to make it an interesting listen. Here, Metalite stick to the same mid-tempo formula and intersperse some guitar leads and samples, but that is not enough. The band is certainly talented, but it bit off more than it can chew on Expedition One. The album is not a total loss as the production is top quality.

Expedition One is a record that is too expansive for its scope. Metalite could have trimmed the album by 20 minutes and several tracks, but that is not the case. Fans of the band may like it, but it may not appease hardcore fans of power and symphonic metal. I am sure Metalite will learn from its mistakes on this album when it records the next album. Expedition One is good for an orbital trip, but not an intergalactic one.

Check out the band’s official website here: https://www.metalite.se/

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