Australia is having somewhat of a good run with bands at the moment, especially with those who tip their hat to ways of prog.
With melody aplenty, hooks all over the shop and a penchant for eighties groove, enter: Voyager
Hyperventilating begins the album with electronic grooves and a progressive guitar line to match. This track happens to contain one of the catchiest choruses I’ve encountered in a damned long time. After this comes Breaking Down which from its string-led beginnings leaps into life and is carried along by the synth and the vocals of Daniel Estrin. The eighties sensibilities of his vocals bring about a feel of the classics.
A Beautiful Mistake is an album highlight (as if the whole thing wasn’t a highlight to begin with). This track carries with it everything the band have in their arsenal. Estrin’s soaring singing carries the track again, but the baton is passed along to Zemyna Kuliukas whose guest vocals take this track above and beyond.
The crushing rhythms allow the vocals to soar over everything else, whilst Fortune Favours The Blind comes as a drum laden interval dispersed amongst an series Duran Duran style vocals and synth lead. This breaks down the album nicely but would have been brilliant if extended into a full length track.
Orpheus brings the aural assault to a whole new level, with the inclusion of some seriously well placed death growls the band step up the tempo to an almost break neck pace the result is melody in buckets, chopped apart by growls. It’s intense and delightfully ostentatious.
The Morning Light builds with the synths giving an obvious nod to The Terminator before descending into into a beautiful chunk of melodic metal. There’s an undercurrent which always returns to the brilliant opening riff. Estrin’s vocals take on a new level of tenderness – they are almost cinematic in quality, and the occasional injection of screams juxtaposes this well.
The finale of the album is split between two tracks; the wild Summer Always Comes Again and the summary of the album, Seasons Of Age. Its brightness is overcome by its slow moving heaviness, and the focus here is on the guitars and drums, which together build into a tribal-sounding outro.
This album is sublime, and there’s no two ways about that. It easily stands out amongst its peers, both in the Australian scene and worldwide. The band have sculpted a selection of tracks that enthrall and entertain. V is all about the melody and its poppy ’80s essence brings an old school familiarity to the proceedings.
Voyager are one of the most entertaining and interesting bands on the planet right now, and V is simply spectacular!