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 Voyager- The Meaning of I

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LOR
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PostSubject: Voyager- The Meaning of I   Thu May 16, 2013 12:54 pm

Voyager is band that hails from Perth, Australia. Some would call their music something akin to Melodic Progressive Power metal. While this tag is certainly true, I believe this band is much more refreshing and different than your standard double bass dragon slaying, time-signature wanking warriors from the Intergalactic Confederation of Hobbits (The ICH or The Itch). This band does not seem to fully meet the extreme stereotypes of either genre they are commonly tagged with, and instead find a really nice middle ground where they have carved out a unique sound all their own. Their latest offering, The Meaning of I is an excellent example of this.

This album is power metal- sure. It is catchy and melodic as all living hell, with soaring vocal and guitar lines to boot. Progressive? Why not, there isn’t much in the way of “out there” time and key changes and extreme technical prowess, but the “sound” with synth laden atmospheres and interesting rhythms certainly lend itself to the progressive genre. There are two other genre’s I would like to point out that I felt held a prominent (albeit probably unintentional) role in the success of this record. Pop and *breath*...metalcore.

Believe me I know. But before you trve metal overlords start bringing out the torches and screaming “BURN THE FALSES”, let me state that these elements were one of the most refreshing aspects of this record. While they never go into “breakdown territory”, many of their rhythms are very reminiscent of chugs we are used to hearing in the metalcore setting. On top of this, the vocal melodies (THOSE GOD DAMN CATCHY ASS MELODIES) and synths really make it FEEL like a more poppy record. In addition, this record has squeeky clean production which lends itself to something that would be called “pop”. While I was listening to this album (and odin [or whoever] forgive me), but I kept getting the impression that if Duran Duran was a metal band... they’d be Voyager. I mean this in the most positive way possible (unabashed Duran Duran fan). These two elements really makes this band stand out to me among the countless masses of power and progressive metal groups. What really makes this album standout though, is the songwriting.

With no song exceeding the 6 minute mark, they are definitely a progressive band with restraint. There is no over-indulgent 80 minute epic on this album. The songs are smartly crafted and (I will repeat) catchy as fuck. Daniel Estrin is a great vocalist with unique phrasing and interesting melodies. His vocals are very upfront in the mix, which is something I am usually not a fan of, but he delivered a great and entertaining performance. There is no weak link in the performances on this album. While the solos are not the wankiest and most technically astonishing performances I’ve heard, they were well-constructed and fit the song. Simone Dow really delivers some exceptionally fitting leads on the album. “Stare Into the Night” is a song which showcases one of these fitting solo’s (as well as one of the catchiest choruses on the whole disc). It does not “wow” with virtuosity but has impact nonetheless.

As stated earlier, the production is pristine. There may be some off-putting aspects to some as a consequence though. Some things sound too perfect. Keyboards were most-likely quantized to the grid which is pretty noticeable in some parts, and the drums were clearly sample enhanced or replaced altogether. This might annoy some (especially the more kvlt among you), but I didn’t find any of this to be distracting. It comes with the territory with this type of style. I’ve seen these guys live (actually opened for them), and there was nothing missed in the live show. Granted, it was at this show I got the album so I was not yet fully-initiated but they put on a great show. (Side Note: they are fantastic people as well, and were really nice and humble.)

The downsides on this album are few. There is a couple moments were the scales tilt toward the side of the gooey delicious stuff you see on pizza. I am not lactose intolerant, but cheese does not go with all things. There are two bits where they employ the use of German and Russian (or something that sounds like Russian). For whatever reason they chose to do this, I found the effect to be rather... well...cheesy. This only happens briefly though and so I found it to be pretty overlookable. Some of the harsh vocals employed also run on the line of cheese, but they are few and never come out in front. In “Fire of the Times” the solo in one section sounds a little sloppy (could be on purpose) which is odd when comparing to the rest of the record.

This album isn’t for everybody if my descriptions didn’t already make you realize that. If you are into catchy melodic metal and don’t mind the “poppy” and potentially “corey” aspects of the record, then I highly recommend giving this a listen.

Stand-Out Tracks- Stare into the Night, Seize the Day, The Meaning of I, The Fire of the Times

9/10




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Last edited by LOR on Thu May 16, 2013 7:27 pm; edited 4 times in total
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LOR
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PostSubject: Re: Voyager- The Meaning of I   Thu May 16, 2013 12:55 pm

there was probably a lot more points I could have hit upon, but decided this was long enough. not fan-boying by the way. i was really impressed by this album.

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PostSubject: Re: Voyager- The Meaning of I   Thu May 16, 2013 1:18 pm

Good job on the review man. I was listening to the song as I read it. I will say initially I wasn't overly impressed but near the end I started to come around and I feel like I would get a way better feel for them listening to the full album.

What do you think Lor, does it get better with a few listens?

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PostSubject: Re: Voyager- The Meaning of I   Thu May 16, 2013 1:28 pm

yeah it was a grower for me, shoulda probably stated that in the review. after a few listens shit starts getting stuck in your head

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PostSubject: Re: Voyager- The Meaning of I   Thu May 16, 2013 10:46 pm

Lor I got around to listening to the full album. It really gets better as it goes I agree. A small sample isn't the way to listen to the band. Then I got to the German track and I felt like I was listening to anime. Not the stronger tracks but overall I'm glad I have this album

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PostSubject: Re: Voyager- The Meaning of I   Fri May 17, 2013 12:36 am

yeah those songs with the other languages are kinda meh. i dont mind them though, they kind of provide a decent break- they short and stuff. probably just meant to be interludes anyway

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