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Rating:
8.4
Voyager - V
2 June 2014


01. Hyperventilating
02. Breaking Down
03. A Beautiful Mistake
04. Fortune Favours The Blind
05. You, The Shallow
06. Embrace The Limitless
07. Orpheus
08. The Domination Game
09. Peacekeeper
10. It's A Wonder
11. The Morning Light
12. Summer Always Comes Again
13. Seasons Of Age


I discovered Australia's Voyager some years ago and my first thought after hearing them was this is some spacey, tricked-out prog metal. I couldn't quite put my finger on the formula but I also couldn't stop listening. So it's great news for me that Voyager has released their fifth studio LP simply titled V. Although there isn't much difference in sound from previous albums, V enhances Voyager's reputation for putting out quality material and vaults them high into prog metal hierarchy if they weren't there already.

To distinguish itself from the heap of progressive acts in the metal world, V isn't all that concerned with the technical aspects as much as the fundamentals. The songs for the most part are heavy but the underlying theme in all of them is their beautiful and rhythmatic propositions that result in ultra-catchy melodies.

There seems to be an almost joyful approach to the songwriting but metal fans shouldn't digress. Heavy, crunching riffs help create a power/prog attitude and yet keyboards and the guitars share equal space giving the sound a quirky and astral feeling. Furthermore, the mercurial vocals from Daniel Estrin really add to the uniqueness of the intonation by sounding a lot like a gothic/doom and '80s techno pop vocalist. Even Chino from the Deftones likened Estrin's vocals to Duran Duran's Simon Lebon. Take that all you Dream Theater clones!

The production is top of the line and when venturing through V be sure to take heed of many influences and styles but also unpredictability and intrigue. The last two songs are a great example of the yin/yang appeal Voyager has to offer. For the progressive rock and "softer" enthusiasts, the intro to "Summer Always Comes Again" features a slow, beautiful and romantic piano. Other songs of this ilk include steadfast ingredients such as gorgeous female vocals which enhance the choruses, electronic, tribal drums that down-shift pace, and synthesizers and concert strings which help the organic feel of the songs.

On the earnest side, the song "Seasons Of Age" has one hell of an ending riff and closes the album out forcefully. Other heavier songs on the album contain additives such as fast tempo changes and capricious progression that are flavored by a pinch of djent and metalcore. Embrace all of the these musical facets in Voyager's specialized spectrum.

For "normal" metal fans, V will transcend "normal" metal expectations and may alienate some of them who have a precognition of what the typical hybrid style for prog metal should be. A traditional metal audience may have a tough time connecting with this release. Collectively and ultimately this work must be listened to as a whole and with an open mind.

Personally, I like it. I like thinking outside the box. If music can pass as a diversion or even better, a departure from recycled, over-used thematic ideas, more power to the groups that abuse it.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Voyager
Album: V


 



Written on 05.06.2014 by
tea[m]ster
Be gentle, I never said I was any good at this!
More reviews by tea[m]ster ››



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DragonWisdom - 05.06.2014 at 22:43  
"Meaning of I" snuck up on me and blew my mind! It was heavy, catchy, and the production is metallic and clean (in the best way possible)... It was going to be hard to top that SOB... "V" is great, not as great as Meaning of I, but still a great album... I cant wait to spin this one over and over again...
Dr.Overkill26 - 05.06.2014 at 22:46  
Right on. Will probably have to check this one out eventually. I already have a long list of ( Roughly about 10) albums to buy and listen to as of tomorrow AFTER I pay my bills and do my Budget. Great review, certainly made me want to listen to it!
BloodTears - 06.06.2014 at 11:30  
This one is on my list. I guess you can always expect good music from Voyager. Hopefully, that will be the case again this time.

Good job
Both Bears - 06.06.2014 at 14:48  
Element V is the only Voyager album I have heard. It is not really a good album I guess, but I come back to it every once in a while

will check this one out for sure!
WorpeX - 07.06.2014 at 17:10  
I really liked "Meaning of I" but I think this album might be better! I'm really liking it so far. Its far more consistent then their previous release.
Ag Fox - 27.06.2014 at 15:54  
Spot on review in describing their overall sound!
This album seems to have combined the best elements from I Am The ReVolution and The Meaning Of I, which works well for me.

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