Album Reviews

Voyager – The Meaning Of I Review

Released By : Sensory Records

Genre : Progressive Metal

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01. Momentary Relapse Of Pain
02. Stare Into The Night
03. Seize The Day
04. Broken
05. The Pensive Disarray
06. He Will Remain
07. The Meaning Of I
08. Iron Dream (In Memoriam: Peter Steele)
09. Feuer Meiner Zeit
10. Fire Of The Times
11. She Takes Me (Into The Morning Light)
12. It’s Time To Know
13. Are You Shaded?

As an Australian I am always trying to push our local talent toward other people in the hope to get them some more worldly exposure, but one of the bands that makes me the most patriotically proud would have to be the ever interesting progressive metal group VOYAGER. Whilst the band has always shared a musical commonality with some of the more standard bands in the progressive metal game, they have never been afraid to add some more, shall we say ‘left of centre’ influences into their sound.

I’m just going to come right out and say it…. Personally I think THE MEANING OF I is VOYAGER’S best album yet and is easily one of my favorite progressive metal albums of the year. I’m not sure whether it’s the world-class production, the band’s best ever lyrical content, the epic concept running throughout the track list or maybe it’s just a combination of all of the above, whatever it is, I just can’t get enough of it.

THE MEANING OF I shares some strong elements with  the usual DREAM THEATER sound but with a bit of the more poppy-prog stylings of MARILLION mixed with some near-gothic metal, a bit of dark wave eighties synth-pop and a large smattering of melodic metal too. But while the band’s musical sound does stand apart from many of their contemporaries, it’s the hypnotic vocal stylings of singer/keyboardist Danny Estrin who’s interesting vocal approach is like a mixture of the clean vocals of Burton C. Bell, Pete Steele and A-HA frontman Morten Harket. How the hell does a mixture like that come out sounding so darn good is anyone’s guess, but I would find it hard to believe if there was anybody out there that didn’t enjoy Estrin’s unique singing style.

The album is chock full of highlight moments and in a rare display I couldn’t find one little sprinkle of filler at all. The varied styles always keep it interesting and there were a lot of instances for me at least that where simply amazingly done. THE MEANING OF I is not overly heavy, nor is it overly technical, but it constantly feels intense and never once gets boring. VOYAGER may still remain an obscure band outside the progressive metal inner circle, but fans of the band have known for a long time now just how great they are and it’s about time the world stood up and took notice because this album is one of the most interesting fifty or so minutes you’re likely to have with your stereo all year. I am hesitant to list some highlight tracks here as the entire album is just that good, but I think THE PENSIVE DISSARAY would have to be one of my favourite songs of the year, not just in the progressive metal field but across all genres.

Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 9/10

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