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Voyager - Univers (CD)

by Ian Kaatz at 07 November 2007, 12:48 PM

VOYAGER is one the bands in the newly expanding at least to my ears Australian Prog/Power music genre.  I wasn't really sure what to expect from this band considering I haven't heard that much from this area in the way of Metal.  The only initial clues I had were that I heard they kind of happy Power Metal side to songs as well as having a darker NEVERMORE almost sound on other parts of songs.

VOYAGER formed in 1999 with Daniel being the only surviving member.  They had many lineup changes and had their first gig 2000.  The band then reformed in 2005 and released Element V in 2006 via DVS Records in the beginning of the year as well as the single for this album in the same year.

As indicated in the above paragraph I was expecting some happy Power Metal, so when the first vocals on the album are Death styled I was slightly surprised.  It turns out this particular track has more of an EVERGREY feel to my ears well at least in parts where as in other parts it kind of has a happy Progressive parts rather than Power.  The Death styled back up vocals are really interesting touch to the music.  The keyboards have an almost Italian Prog/Power sound to them.  On Deep Weeds I really notice that the singer sounds quite a bit like D.C. Cooper when he uses his clean vocals which only adds to the quality of this particular track.

Track 5, Sober, is a real stand out track for me.  It starts with a very catchy instrumental hook and then the song continues with kind of a mid-paced very symphonic sound.  After listening to this song several times I noticed the keyboards are very much in the background compared to everything else in the mix except during the chorus.  I feel that the song would stand out even more if keyboards were brought to the front during the verse.  They definitely shine in the guitar vs. keyboard dual about ? of the way through the song.  I would like to be able to compare these guys to something in the Progressive genre, but I am having such a hard time pinning it down.  The tempo picks up considerably in the next track.  Still some direct comparisons evade me, and I don't want to jump to conclusions either. The start-stop riffing in the next track is also really cool.  I thoroughly enjoyed also in certain parts the Death styled vocals in the background of the clean it sounds so cool in so many parts throughout this entire album.  Really the highlight of this song comes in the last 45 seconds where the guitarist is going nuts as well as the Daniel the singer hit some stratospheric notes.  Track 8 and 9 slow it down again with something that is really melodic and symphonic again.  Daniel's voice sounds incredibly sincere and emotional on both songs his voice is really pretty moving.  The keyboard sound stands out a decent amount on What I Need, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  It still really bothers me that I can't think of any truly good comparisons because normally that is something I like specialize in.
One More Time starts off with a sick guitar lick that is not going really fast or ultra technical, but it starts the song off with a melodic bang.  The rest of the song is pretty standard for the rest of the album a very quality Melodic Prog Metal sound.  The last track on the album has the most Death vocals of any other song on the album, including a small section of blast beats and almost Black Metal styled vocals in the last 45 second of the song.  This last part gives the album an extremely strong finish and I must say it was one of the more exciting parts of the album.

It came to me in the last spin through the album I think this band has kind of Silent Force sound, but slightly darker thanks to the Evergrey-esque soulful parts.  While the album definitely is definitely in the Progressive Metal category are there are only instances where they are truly progressive with their sound.  I would recommend to anyone fan of some solid Progressive Metal.

3 Star Rating

Higher Existence
Deep Weeds
Between the Sheets
Cross the Line
Pulse 04
What I need
One more Time
White Shadow
Sober (Video - Bonus)
Record Label: Dockyard 1


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