Another progressive metal band from…Australia? Yes. Must be Australian metal month on TDM. Voyager is a band I have gotten into lately, although I found out about them a couple of years ago when they were selected to perform at ProgPowerUSA in Atlanta, September 2011, though I didn’t get to go to that one. They are a unique mix of progressive and power metal with vocals from, I don’t know, some British band from the ‘80s. No matter, I am digging their latest album, The Meaning of I.
Voyager don’t tend to experiment with time signatures, as is so common with the typical progressive metal band, but have a varied song structure and use of acoustic guitar and keyboards throughout the album that makes me think of them as primarily a progressive metal band, with some elements of power added in. Momentary Relapse of Pain starts off the album with a nicely syncopated rhythm and a bit of double bass thrown in for good measure. Cold and somewhat depressing lyrics lend to the mood of the song, though, starting the album off with a killer track. Following is what sounds like some kind of dance club track with the keyboard, but quickly the guitars kick in making for a nice progressive metal tune, Stare Into the Night, with a completely catchy chorus that has me singing along every time and some thought provoking lyrics. Seize the Day is a mid-paced, melodic track, with a change of lyrical content, being a more positive song. Broken brings back the syncopation and some keyboard support to nicely executed drumming and a song I would call “atmospheric.”
A song I consider a ballad, though the guitar parts are heavy, is next in The Pensive Disarray. He Will Remain is next and a song I typically skip. For me it is a throw away, keyboardy and mellow. Maybe when I am in that mood, but not something I listen to a lot. The title track is next, ramping up the energy, getting heavy again. A thought provoking song for sure, if you are into that sort of thing. Next up is Iron Dream, a tribute to Peter Steele of Type O Negative, a band I never really cared for. That said, I really like this song. The chorus is one that sticks in my head all day after I hear the song. There is even a part in which lead singer Daniel Estrin performs a spoken word part reminiscent of Steele. A well done tribute. Next is a very strange song, Feuer Meiner Zeit, a piano interlude/introduction sung in German, leading right into the next song, Fire of The Times (which is loosely translated from Feuer Meiner Zeit). Not a bad tune with some quick guitar and drumming work, a well played solo (not many on this album), and also includes a guest appearance by vocalist DC Cooper. She Takes Me (Into the Morning Light) is where the album seems to be dragging on a little too long for me. It is a well written and executed song, but not one that stays with me. It’s Time to Know is another piano/keyboard interlude, which I usually skip. The album concludes with Are You Shaded?, a proggy, fast & slow paced, somewhat heavier song with death-metal type vocals mixed with Estrin’s. A pretty good song to wrap up the album.
The Meaning of I is an album whose songs don’t necessarily stand out on their own, but blend well to be part of a greater whole, though this is not a concept album. The exclusion of perhaps three songs would have made this more enjoyable for me, but it is still one I play quite a bit, skipping several tracks along the way. The first three songs, along with Iron Dream and Are You Shaded? are truly outstanding tracks contributing to the atmosphere of the album. If you like your prog metal mixed with some power and intelligently written lyrics, I highly recommend picking up Voyager’s The Meaning of I.
I hear the sound in a METAL way.