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Album Reviews : Voyager – V

By on May 14, 2014

IAV1401_Voyager_V_coverWith a strong pop sensibility at its core, the spine of this record is one of both innovation, excellent lyricism, and pushing-the-envelope. Ever the popular method these days among bands for makings records, Voyager’s fifth outing, V, is the result of a successful crowd-funding campaign that took place on Kickstarter late last year to early this year under the banner of ‘I am Voyager’. As a result what we have been given is something that can rightfully stand alongside its forebears, and more so, in many respects, outdo them.

Opening the album is “Hyperventilating”, a song that immediately kicks the album into high gear as the synths and guitars combine into a sonic serpent that cleverly weaves its way around frontman Daniel Estrin’s undeniable vocals. While I wasn’t initially certain about the slight vocal effects used for Daniel Estrin at the opening and midpoint of the song it eventually grew on me. And that being said, it’s only ever very subtly used and thankfully doesn’t diminish from Estrin’s main vocal attack on the song. In fact, it actually works well with the technical and electronic path the band were walking down here.

From just this opening song alone, however, V already aims for auspicious heights of which their previous albums only ever hoped to glean. And things only seemed to get better from this point forward. Further showing a side of the band in a light that is different from what’s been shown before, the next track on the album “Breaking Down” comes off very much as a progressive rock track, but with further emphasis on the vocals, keys and synths used; with the drums and guitars taking a backseat in terms of the mixing. This actually works to its benefit, however, serving up an accessible track that should only help Voyager to reach a wider breadth of listeners.

Featuring guest vocals from Zemyna Kuliukas on track “A Beautiful Mistake”, her delivery is stunning and chimes in at the perfect moment, swimming high above the driving rhythm of the song. And across the 13 tracks that comprise V, you’re exposed to varying degrees of Voyager’s musical ability. No one track feels the same, but despite this, the album still flows with a great level of consistency. And by all merit it’s a fascinating exercise in the Perth quintet’s arsenal of skill, musicianship, and recording ability.

Where at parts, you’re shown key sides of what the band is well known for such as their heavily atmospheric use of synthesizers and progressive interludes, at others you’re given glimpses to unusual elements in Voyager’s sound such as low death growls subtly placed in the mix of tracks like “Orpheus” which only serve to heighten the aural impact and effect of this album.

V is a highly enjoyable and innovative release, and by all accounts Voyager have outdone themselves. As other reviewers have noted, V could very well become the quintessential Voyager record as it perfectly highlights everything that makes this band, and equally their live show, such an absolute thrill to watch. If I had the option to rate this on a scale of 1-to-5, it’d easily make the five.

V is an album that is polished, clean, and refined. But don’t let that fool you, this album is straight-up Voyager in every respect and is thus far the best example of who and what these progressive metallers are all about. With every band member given their chance to shine; the beautiful conjoining of vocals and music in a way that feels both natural and smooth; and with a production level of the highest quality, things haven’t looked better.

Band: Voyager
Album: V
Year: 2014
Genre: Progressive Metal / Rock
Label: IAV Records, Bird’s Robe (AUS)
Origin: Perth, Australia

http://voyager-australia.com/

Tracklisting:
1. Hyperventilating
2. Breaking Down
3. A Beautiful Mistake
4. Fortune Favours The Blind
5. You The Shallow
6. Embrace The Limitless
7. Orpheus
8. The Domination Game
9. Peacekeeper
10. It’s A Wonder
11. Summer Always Comes Again
12. The Morning Light
13. Seasons Of Age

About

Jonathon is an aspiring fantasy/sci-fi novelist and music journalist. Thanks to the influence of the music he grew up with, he has always possessed a keen interest in metal and rock. He is also a huge fan of mythology, legend, and folklore from all across the world. You should follow him on Twitter.