By Rob Kachluba
Australia’s Voyager really caught me by surprise. Their brand of quirky, clever melodic prog metal is very refreshing to my ears. The great thing about this album is it doesn’t sound like anybody else – which is a rarity in prog metal circles. They take elements of traditional, power, progressive and even death metal and fuse it all together, wrapping around their unique way of incorporating 80s pop catchiness. Don’t let this scare you as it works perfectly in their twisted world of hyper kinetic electronic prog metal. Vocalist Danny Estrin has this 80s pop sensibility in his voice and the odd way he delivers his lines bring to mind 80s bands like Duran Duran for instance with its 80s electronic new wave in the song “She Takes Me” and the band A-ha in “The Meaning of I”. Trust me, this works and then some. Factor in some cool synth/key work that really brings to mind the 80s pop scene but inject that with modern metal heaviness, and add on some huge hooky choruses in “Seize the Day” and “The Pensive Disarray”, which also do well to keep the album flowing. Basically if you threw Nevermore, Pagans Mind, Scar Symmetry in a blender with catchy 80s pop music your end mixture would be what you get with Voyager. They even do a tribute to Pete Steele with the track “Iron Dream” that has vocalist Danny doing his best Peter Steele low end impersonation that really works well. There are so many little nuances going on on in every song that it makes this a treat to listen to. Loads of melody and quirky vocal and riff patterns that really make this a truly progressive album. Factor in a amazing production that just begs to be cranked on a big system will have you dancing around your room like an old music video. Definite top five contender of the year.