Voyager - V

13 songs
54:44 minutes
***** **


In 2007 I was full of good words for the second album by Australian melodic progressive metal band Voyager. Soon I lost track of the band which was back then signed on a small independent label. Consider my surprise seven years later to get the meanwhile fifth album, conveniently titled V. This time the band decided to do things entirely without a label and released the album by itself, using a crowd funding campaign to pay for expenses.

On the opener Hyperventilating the band stays true to their stylistic orientation by oscillating skilfully between progressive rock and metal. Fates Warning and Dream Theater are the first parallels that come to mind. The following Breaking Down is more pop and considerably catchier, giving the impression that the band is trying not to rub anyone the wrong way. And there we have already the two major trends prevailing on the current album. On the one hand we get quite complex material like You The Shallow and Embrace The Limitless that should appeal to each and every die hard proghead. On the other hand, the keyboards have a very leading role, providing an occasionally commercial and sometimes even synthetic touch. Most of the time this even works, but things are going definitely a little too far on the cheesy Peacekeeper where also the overly high vocals come across rather unnaturally. The Morning Light is another example of a band acting too tamely. The same counts for The Summer Comes Again which might have fooled me for being a song by Norwegian pop band A-ha.

I have to admit that I am not too happy with the new musical direction of Voyager. Of course the album contains still a lot of good songs, and there are no complaints when it comes to the musiciansí instrumental skills. Itís eventually the embedding of commercial sounds that the band could have very well done without. After checking out the bandís third and fourth albums, it is clear that this new orientation only surfaced on the new album V. Now it remains to be seen how their fans will react, and if the band will possibly go back to basics.

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