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Album Reviews : Voyager – Colours In The Sun

By on November 19, 2019

Australian prog-metallers Voyager returns with their seventh full-length album Colours in the Sun delivering another dose of 80s-pop-infused-electro-prog-metal. Rarely do I consider a metal album of any subgenre to be ‘wholesome’, yet this is the word that keeps coming to mind for me on repeated listens of Colours in the Sun. There is a sense of energy and fun to every track on this album, with infectious melodies and grooves ensuring that it has been stuck in my head constantly. The band have balanced their various elements as well, with their keyboard electro-pop elements meshing surprisingly well with more conventional progressive metal riffs and harmonies, tied together with excellent vocals and a fresh-sounding production style. The ensemble virtuosity of the band also stands out on this release, with an excellent command of rhythm and cohesion between members that is impressive. Voyager has essentially taken the most interesting elements of the 2010s djent craze and worked them into their own style without sounding derivative or like they’re playing around with rhythms because they can’t write interesting riffs.

Opening track ‘Colours’ opens with a catchy synth line and layered vocal intro that evokes the style of Devin Townsend, with some excellent catchy riffs popping up at various points (such as after the first chorus). ‘Severomance’ opens with an interesting ‘skipping’ rhythm, while providing some interesting harmonies that aren’t difficult to parse tonally. The chorus is an album highlight, with the interaction between the main vocal line and backing vocals being so simple, yet so effective. ‘Brightstar’ changes pace with a pleasant ballad that builds very smoothly. Of particular note here is the guitar tone on the lead guitar in the second and third verse, which is smooth and bright, suiting the feel of the album and the song extremely well. ‘Saccharine Dream’ features another earworm vocal line in the chorus, generally showing off more excellent riffing and two very nice guitar solos. Rhythmic elements stand out here as well, as often quite busy rhythmic grooves are paired with simpler vocal lines that fit together well while providing a sense of interest and contrast. ‘Entropy’ has a great intro, with very nice harmony and vibe that provides a bit of contrast in the harmonic palate leading into another engaging chorus; overall a well-written song if a tad forgettable.

I always enjoy a recontextualise or transformed riff in a song, and the transition from an old-timey piano into heavy metal guitar tapping in the intro to ‘Reconnected’ caught my ear immediately, making the song another album highlight for me alongside a heavier chorus. ‘Now or Never’ works nicely as a brief bridging song, providing a brief with a pleasant breather and a point of difference with a second verse sung in German. ‘Water Over The Bridge’ comes in as the heaviest track on the album with some great variety in the riffing. ‘Runaway’ closes the album out extremely well, with the sparse outro adding an excellent sense of finality to the album.

Overall, Voyager has delivered a sleeper hit that is quickly becoming one of my favourite albums of the year and I would recommend it to both fans of the band and those who don’t usually go in for progressive metal. Repeated listens are rewarded with a surprising level of depth for how straightforward most of the songs seem. In short, Voyager should be our Eurovision submission for 2020.

Band: Voyager
Album: Colours In The Sun
Year: 2019
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label: Season of Mist
Origin: Australia

About

Ben is a metalhead originally from Sydney, who has now moved to Hobart to pursue a PhD in Australian extreme metal. When not studying, writing about or playing metal, he can be found playing video games, browsing Reddit, knitting, fending off his cat or helping out at his local church.