Voyager – Fearless In Love Review

This album has a beautiful natural flowI listened to it back and forth at least 6-8 times when getting ready for this review and never once did I feel...

Released by: Season of Mist

Release Date: July 14th, 2023

Genre: Progressive Metal/Rock

Links: https://www.facebook.com/voyageraustralia

 

Line Up:

Danny Estrin – Vocals
Simone Dow – Guitars
Alex Canion – Bass
Scott Kay – Guitars
Ash Doodkorte – Drums

 

Tracklist:

1. The Best Intentions 
2. Prince of Fire 
3. Ultraviolet 
4. Dreamer 
5. The Lamenting 
6. Submarine 
7. Promise 
8. Twisted 
9. Daydream 
10. Listen 
11. Gren (Fearless in Love) 

 

 

This album has a beautiful natural flowI listened to it back and forth at least 6-8 times when getting ready for this review and never once did I feel like it dragged. I never felt drained. I felt energized to start it again. I love the overall feel and texture of the album.

It got me thinking “What does it mean to be prog-rock?” Certainly, this is a prog rock album, however, it lacks the traditional “long songs” that so many prog bands get hailed as having.

The Best Intentions – I love how this song starts the album off, there’s a little electro beat that takes you for a spritely jog right before the song hits. The singing is an earworm, I love how drums kick off the full instrumental. The guitar riffs make me want to pick up my guitar. The effects on the bass are cool too. I like how the song is fast-paced, but there’s a lot of different changes, there’s an inherent quality of movement like you’re following a bee going from flower to flower.

Prince of Fire – Another fast-paced tune, that keeps the energy going. The drums in this song solidify the track for me, the cymbal play works nicely. I like the main riff played during the first verse. The middle of the song chorus (for lack of a better term) into a bridge was clever. I liked how the singer gets into his growl in this song just quickly, preparing you for the other growls on this album. The breakdown around the 3:45 mark was a nice break, but then hitting back into the heavy parts was cool.

Ultraviolet – Now, the intro and outro solos to this song kick ass. The tempo changes and many instrumental changes make the song feel like it’s a puzzle that’s completed by the end. I like this, it’s constantly changing but I like that. The growling voice is great too, and very fitting to the song. Unexpected vocals, but it sounds great.

Dreamer – This hits the programmed 80s synth right off the bat. I was semi-expecting “sweet dreams are made of these” in some different sort of way. Although somewhat a change from the album so far. This song has all the tones and qualities of a “dance hit” and, it keeps the energy flowing. Enjoyable. There are almost these guitar and drum dubstep breakdowns right before the musical breakdown – something I’ve not heard that often, except with Sleep Token’s new album most recently. The harmonies are great. While so far this song sticks out a little bit on the album, to me this song has “single” written all over it even if it’s not the single. Measuring in at 3 minutes, with a tempo that keeps you moving, it feels like a hit.

The Lamenting – So far, the slowest tempo on the album, but in total respect to the album as a whole, this is still pretty medium-paced. I like how this one has less going on too in terms of layering and programming, you can focus on the vocal track and the melody, which is quite nice. The vocals float on top of the very proggy instrument tracks a very interesting feel. Not ever how I’d write a song, but it certainly gives me ideas. It makes the song sound more simple than it is when you listen to everything. I am a fan of that when the vocals and instruments are different but then work together in conjunction.

Submarine – Back to the faster and programmed synth even if momentarily, but it works well with this song. I enjoy the singer’s range and use of melody in this song. This song reminds me of something Peter Frampton might write. I like the keyboard solo with the effects. The tune makes me want to run. The “submarine, submarine” chord and music pattern, oh, give me more. Same with that guitar solo! The ending of this song was quintessential. Not what you expect, but fits nonetheless.

Promise – The first minute is just synth sounds and vocals. However, the melody and vocals just hit right from quick falsetto hits to low growls. I love the instrumentation in this song and the way the song flows. This is close to my favorite track on the album.

Twisted – Sonically a little slower off the bat, but I like it. This band has a great penchant for these attractive light parts and hitting into the heavy parts, with a good 4/4 that can switch at a moment’s notice. The double pedal at 1:18 is a nice touch. From this point is when things start to change a bit more like Ultraviolet. The guitar tone in the solo is perfect. I like the lyrics in this tune. “You are the twisted aberration that occupies my mind, Twisted permutation that occupies my life, Panic’s not an option, option anymore, It’s post-life readoption that shakes me to the core.”

Daydream – I like the percussion in this song, it’s not just a 4/4 the whole time even though the song starts with the iconic synth hit. Another mention of the melody, this band writes some real earworms. I found myself repeating the melody after listening to it. This song has “single” written all over it again for me, even if it isn’t a said single.

Listen – I like how this song starts and continues like you’re going into the cave and you’re going to get through no matter what. Between the lyrics, the guitars, the drums…everything about this song it all flows wonderfully, like water that is flowing at just the right rate. The song lacks the synthy beat, which is a nice change overall. Then, wait for it… 2:10-ish hits and we take a 90-degree turn into this somewhat funky feel, it’s a beautiful turn. It reminds me of something Sleep Token might do, only add in guitar solos. This is hands down my favorite track on the album.

Gren (Fearless in Love) – The longest track on the album coming in at 5:24. Considering how everything else starts and plays on this album, this song feels like a slow song, but that’s ok. I like the bass line in this song, prominently all over the fretboard, a nice touch. About halfway in we hit the rock switch, and the kind of floating vibe is defined as a rocky outcropping you’re just discovering, even if momentarily. I like this tune, it has a beautiful overall tone and sonic feel. It’s a freefall in all the best ways, one you don’t want to end, but all good things, must end.

My final notes, I walked into this album never hearing the band before, and intentionally so did not look them up or try to get more info because I wanted the experience to be unique. I walked away a fan. If you’ve never listened to this band before, add them to your list of listens. You won’t be let down. I want to go back and listen to their other seven albums and take a deep dive. I am not normally a fan of the Dance/Electronic genre because it’s altogether too predictable and kind of all starts to sound the same, but this band melds the Prog, Metal, and Dance/Electronic genres perfectly. This album is honestly 45 minutes of pure danceable prog rock (another phrase I never thought I’d say), fitting for whatever way you dance, head nods, or full body movement.

 

Written by: Chris Rugowski

Ratings: 9/10

Editors Pick EditorPick Rex Brown - Smoke On This Review

 

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