Have You Heard? I Am The ReVolution - Voyager
Unlike most new artists, I worked my way backwards with these guys starting with their latest album Ghost Mile. Having seen them perform live a number of times, mostly as the support act and doing a damn good job of it, I never really went on to listen to their amazing back catalogue of music. Boy, do I regret that now.
Voyager are quite simply one of Australia's finest. Their usage of keys is quite different from the usual norm of progressive metal bands, instead choosing to opt for a more atmospheric approach including occasional lead key parts. Voyager instead tend to conjure a much darker albeit enriching atmosphere in general and the riff intensity (on some of the songs anyway) have been dialed down a bit for a slight ballad-ish influence. I don’t really know if ballad-ish is the right word, but it’s definitely a softer, more subtle approach making the overall music much more accessible and memorable. Listen to 'In My Arms' or more notably the gorgeous title track to see what I’m talking about. Needless to say it works wonders, and the way the band alternates between the heavy and lush segments of the music just goes to show how top-class their song arrangements are, proving their mettle as absolutely seasoned professionals in the ever-changing world of prog. The perfect example of this is 'Close Your Eyes' and 'Common Ground' plus the latter song has some of the best and most unique guitar-work on the entire album with a stunning solo to boot. If you're hesitant about checking Voyager out, I would advise you to give this song a listen. The kind of thing most other bands (not just prog) would trip themselves over a hundred times to try and perfect is exactly what these guys accomplish with astonishing ease and simplicity.
At this moment I really need to rave about one song, 'The Devil In Me'. Man, this is just an amazing song with a chorus so goddamn infectious that there’s no way in hell you’ll be able to get it out of your head after the first listen. Of course most of the songs on this album are in general, but this one in particular. All of them are just loaded to the brim with magnetic hooks from every possible angle. Of course by that I don’t mean poppy hooks, but give it some time and they are bound to sink in. That is how the best of music out there works its way into your head after all. Tell me songs like 'Total Existence Failure' and 'Times Like These' are not rock solid proof enough of that fact. Like I already stated in my review of Ghost Mile, these guys are not at all prog in the grandiose or overblown sense so all you Dream Theater fans hoping for 10 minute epics and the like can safely steer clear of this release. The rest of you with the proper time and patience, that can appreciate perfect song structure and melody in metal might just end up finding a new favourite band. Of course, provided you’re an open-minded metal fan, which can be rare, I'll be the first to admit my tendency for being fussy.
Daniel is just an amazing vocalist in every sense of the word overflowing with emotion and feel in pretty much every single song. For variations sake, there are a few scattered raspy/harsh vocals here and there on 'On The Run From The World' and 'Land Of The Lies' but overall his cleans completely steal the show on every level. If the album opener 'Land Of The Lies' isn’t enough to convince you that this guy has an awesome set of pipes, nothing will. His ability to effortlessly craft infectious vocal melodies, soothing vocal layers and harmonies on every song is nothing short of stunning.
This is a direly underrated and an essential album, no two ways about it. I'm quite sure that pretty much every metalhead will find something to love about Voyager whether it's one thing or another. Not only can I not put into words how excellent this slab of music truly is, but normally it would also mean having to move on and listen to other, likely less worthy music for a while until the next truly awesome album comes my way. But guess what? Voyager have given us another gift by the name of Ghost Mile and you can listen to that epic new album right now. Of course, I will have to pull this one out again on occasion, because like most songs by Voyager, they get stuck in your head for weeks. Add Voyager to your playlist today.
Check out our review for the latest Voyager album Ghost Mile here.
Watch the music video for 'Lost' below: