December 21, 2011

Review: Voyager-The Meaning Of I

Which would you rather be–a jack of all trades, or a master of one? In music, to appeal to larger audiences, most bands become the former. They may not have to sacrifice their artistic vision and as a result will still end up making music they’re happy with, but this creates another problem. Voyager is one such band.

Voyager are from Australia, but have fought global isolation well and cemented themselves in the music realm to stay. They’ve toured Europe twice and played at various prog metal festivals such as ProgPower Europe in 2006. Beginning in 1999 with founding member Danny Estrin, vocals and synths, Voyager released its first album in 2003. Lineup changes over the years led to its current state, featuring Alex Canion, Bass, Mark Boejen, Drums, Scott Kay and Simone Dow, guitars.

The Meaning Of I is their fifth album overall, but their first for Sensory Records. It’s a tough album to review, because it isn’t a record that stretches your ears, or has anything to really hate about it. It’s a good, solid album, but it’s missing something; that zing that makes it a memorable classic.

None of the songs are weak, but they are not standout achievements. “Fire Of The Times” is a good example of this. It’s got all the aggression, sonic power and melody a metal listener would want, coupled with a great guitar solo. But beyond the solo, there’s really nothing that you haven’t heard before. “She Takes Me (Into The Morning Light)” has some very cool synths and a very beautiful vocal melody. Dann Estrin’s voice really seems to fit the band’s sound well, and I’ve run out of things to write about regarding this song. “Feuer Meiner Zeit” is a short interlude completely in German. After all, Danny is German born. It’s pretty but very short.

“Iron Dream (In Memoria: Peter Steele)” is my personal favorite. This song is a tribute to the late Peter Steele of Type O–Negative. As a tribute song, however, it doesn’t much sound like a traditional homage at all, which is good– it gives this song something the others don’t have much of: uniqueness. It sounds like it could possibly be heard on the radio, as it’s rather poppy. As a result it stands out more than the other tracks.

Overall this is a good album. I do like it. It’s produced wonderfully, the songs are all strong, and it’s a very accessible listen. There’s not one aspect that totally outshines another, and that is a mixed blessing; it means there’s nothing to instantly catch your ears with and keep you coming back for more. If you want a progressive metal album with evenly displaced talent, well composed songs, and excellent production, this album will be fine. But if you want an element of excitement, look elsewhere. This album does all things well except the most important, which it does adequately at best; entertain.

3.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Iron Dream (In Memoria: Peter Steele),  Fire Of The Times, Broken

Daniel Erickson

December 21, 2011

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