Theme Switcher
Switch to:

Notes about GDM Themes
Click to learn more about GDM themes


Not a member yet?
Click here to register.

Forgotten your password?
Request a new one here.
Site Stats
Album Reviews: 6825
Comments: 16465
Ratings: 4520
Forum Posts: 21582
Latest Comments
With Vinnie making his mu...
Same here, forgotten abou...
Both albums are really go...
Great band had forgotten ...
This debut is chocked ful...
The band really broadens ...
I've seen this many times...
A classic indeed and thei...
I hoped more from this al...
It was Heather Thomas in ...
Actually, 'Find The Lady'...
Cheers Dave, looking to g...
Great, Malcolm! I can hel...
Dave, it's already set up...
Great list, Jeffrey. The ...
Maybe an interview with G...
Finally got a copy of thi...
Thanks for the download y...
Yes Dave, I agree New Yor...
Very cool. I've always ha...
You must login to post a message.

23-01-2018 19:27
R.I.P Dave Holland, drummer, ex Trapeze and Judas Priest. Aged 69.

22-01-2018 21:32
Wonderful recent interview with Gary Numan.

21-01-2018 21:04
Lucky and now skint, judging by the winning bid!!

21-01-2018 20:47
Some lucky Jeff Lynne fan got a real rarity!

21-01-2018 09:43
Yep in Argent, especially as Rod Argent and Jim we’re cousins.

21-01-2018 07:43
Didn't Rodford also play in Argent and Charlie too?

20-01-2018 22:04
Jim Rodford, bass player, The Kinks, Phoenix (I think?), but I remember him with The Zombies, saw live a while back. RIP

17-01-2018 21:50
In response to Cyrille Regis, BBC 2 repeat the Adrian Chiles documentary, Whites v Blacks, How Football Changed A Nation, unbelievable true story, worth watching

17-01-2018 18:44
Review of the rather splendid `Hornal` album is in the works too.

17-01-2018 01:57
Dave and Jeff's best of 2017 wrap-up's just around the corner too.. computer work

Articles Hierarchy
Articles Home » 2003 Articles » McDonald, Brian - 2003 Voyage
McDonald, Brian - 2003 Voyage

ARTIST: McDonald, Brian (Project)
ALBUM: Voyage
LABEL: Atenzia
YEAR: 2003


LINEUP: Brian McDonald - vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards * Reb Beach - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 Intimate * 02 Where You Are I Am * 03 In The Shadow Of Angels * 04 Phoenix Rising * 05 The Night You Said Goodbye * 06 Voyage * 07 Patriot Dreams * 08 Out Of Time * 09 Between Heaven And Heart * 10 Normandy * 11 Legend * 12 In A World Made For You * 13 Unfinished Business


A man who has his finger on the pulse of melodic rock is Minnesota resident Brian McDonald. Encompassing his love of classical and contemporary styles, the combination of the two surely makes for compulsory listening for readers of this site. If 2000's 'Wind It Up' was a tug-on-the-ear wake up call, then 'Voyage' must definitely be a cold water bucket dunking for those not yet captured by the McDonald magic. Three years on, and there's less of the Def Leppard influence, instead replaced by massive infusions of Kansas and Chicago symphonic pomp. Mostly, the songs are extended pieces and cover a raft of interesting topics, some touching on Brian's childhood experiences. You ain't gonna get no 3 minute 'love em and leave em' type rockers here. No way, that would fly in the face of one of melodic rock's more intelligent gentlemen. Those of you looking for a continuation of the material on 'Wind It Up', I can end that speculation right now. Don't. Instead, Brian has moved 'Voyage' in a better direction, particularly for lovers of seventies pomp. There are ample moments to reflect on from decades long since past.

The Songs
There are plenty of tracks on offer, and over an hours worth of listening. Now when it gets to that stage, one of the first things we look for is the ability to hold the attention span for that long, and yes, it does. Initially, the album was due for release in late March, but got shifted back by two weeks, with a release date in mid April. Now despite all that, there appears to be few (if any) reviews out on the Net. We're probably the first one out there. Anyway, we'll take a slightly different approach with this review, and focus on the songs separately. Here we go.

Intimate - a terrific opening, bordering on 'bombastic'. Delicate build up, massive walls of vocals on the chorus, and a closing sequence of about a minute and a half that features a Boston like cascade of guitar layers.

Where You Are Where I Am - This one sees Brian taking on a Beatles-esque approach, 'Eleanor Rigby' like passages, violin plucks amid the guitar bursts. Interesting, and different.

In The Shadow Of Angels - Opening with some stabbing piano, the song itself punctuates throughout, the piano, synthesizer and guitar lines duelling most of the time.

Phoenix Rising - Starts out with a neat synth arpeggio sequence, followed up by some Chicago styled keyboard parps, before settling into a classic slice of pulsing AOR. One of the album highlights.

The Night You Said Goodbye - This could have been 'I Don't Wanna Want Your Touch' Part 2, played in a Chicago style. The warm vocal from Brian gives this track a certain 'feel good' factor.

Voyage - the title track, at 6min 15s, has a nautical theme (obviously) is a full-blown exercise in pomp rock, with all the pre-requisites contained within said duration. Has a few Kansas reference points in there, but overall a compulsory listen for GDM's pomp fans.

Patriot Dreams - this one is about the Vietnam War, in fact Brian's own personal recollection from that time. A songtitle appropriate in this day and age huh?

Out Of Time - Another favourite for me, think Supertramp meeting Survivor like stabbing piano a la 'Poor Mans Son' as an intro. The song is like this all the way through, the chorus surges with urgent intent, and those damn stabbing pianos!!! Awesome. Whoa..

Between Heaven and Heart - An atmospheric track with loads of feeling. A quiet introspective start building to a melodic climax, offset by some symphonic elements, a la acoustic guitar and violin at the end.

Normandy - Again another symphonic effort, with lyrics taking us back to classical era Europe, a tale of kings, queens, and brave warriors. A tremendous track, which is as multi-faceted as a symphonic track could be. The end sequence is one that messrs Walsh and Livgren would be particularly interested to hear, absolute primetime Kansas a la 'Leftoverture'.

Legend - The war theme rears it's head for 'Legend'. An urgent delivery contains strutting verses and a huge sounding chorus. This one didn't capture me as much as the others up to this point.

In A World Made For You - More of a straight-ahead melodic rock tune, with ample guitar lines, and a sound that's probably the closest to the material on 'Wind it Up'.

Unfinished Business - Less symphonic, this song contains more acoustic elements and a bluesy type delivery from Brian that is slightly different in approach than the other tracks heard before. To change it up even further, the bagpipe sequence outtro is probably a fitting arrangement from the original McDonald Clan!

In Summary
Again, Atenzia have got it right with a CD release sure to capture the attention of the melodic rock community for a wee while to come yet. To these ears at least, 'Voyage' is as close to being a symphonic gem as some of those past 70's classics, but in a modern age and with a modern production. Musically superb, though the one area which prevents it from scoring higher are the vocal harmonies on the choruses. They are so huge and thick, to the point of being detrimental. If you didn't have the liner notes you'd have great difficulty understanding them. Apart from that little issue, it is still a guaranteed certified addition to your CD collection.. that there is no doubt.

Related Articles
McDonald, Brian (Group) - 1987 Desperate Business
McDonald, Brian - 2000 Wind It Up
McDonald, Brian (Project) - 2003 Voyage
McDonald, Brian - 2003 The Voyage Interview
McDonald, Brian - 2003 Wind It Up Interview

All written content on this website is copyrighted.
Copying of material without permission is not permitted.

#1 | richardb on December 12 2007 20:46:14
Wasn't a huge fan of his 80's 'Life is a desperate business' LP (a bit too AOR by numbers for my liking..) but decided to take a punt on this CD as I saw it going cheap.

I have to say I'm very pleasantly surprised - one for Kansas fans and lovers of symphonic pomp in general.

You can add this one to my weekly playlist George - it's getting some serious airplay on the CD player at the moment.

Richard Bmusic
#2 | KurtmanJP on October 12 2008 07:07:54
In the Shadows Of angels = KILLER track!
#3 | Jez on January 09 2009 03:09:31
Superb in every department. I loved the 'Wind It Up' album aswell, but this surpasses that one in every department. One of my faves of the last few years.
#4 | rkbluez on May 31 2012 11:10:43
Amazing album amazing talent...I also think this is his best and most pompy work. Voyage is a killer track.
#5 | roadrunner158 on November 30 2012 11:16:08
Fantastic album I still listen to on a regular basis. Does anybody know what happened to Brian? Is he still active in music? It's been 9 long years...
#6 | gdazegod on December 01 2012 20:54:43
Brian is on Facebook. You can get hold of him there..
Post Comment
Please Login to Post a Comment.
Rating is available to Members only.

Please login or register to vote.

No Ratings have been Posted.
Articles Cloud
Aaron, Lee - 2016 Fire And Gasoline, Sons Of Servants - 2001 Slang Melody, Leverage - 2008 Blind Fire, Halestorm - 2011 Reanimate [The Covers EP], Snow (USA) - 1980 Snow, Helloween - 2003 Rabbit Don't Come Easy, Buckcherry - 2015 Rock N Roll, King Kobra - 2011 King Kobra, Nazareth - 1981 The Fool Circle, Osukaru - 2012 Salvation, Thunderbolt - 2003 Demons And Diamonds, Sterling, Hope - 1988 The Way Things Are, Pride (Sweden) - 2008 Pride, Digger - 1987 Stronger Than Ever, Hunter, Tim - 2013 Ascension
Glen Burtnick Stiletto (Canada) Bachman Turner Vixen (Hawaii) Al Stewart Mike Greene The Jacks Marathon Taraxacum Dragon Fly Nova No Credit EP Riff (Argentina) Prism Thin Lizzy Alaska Bernie Marsden Aurora Henry Paul Band Wounded Bird Rock Candy Records Two Fires Anvil Colour Radio Rock Candy Records Ace Frehley Warp Drive Walk The Wire Yesterrock Saga Stackridge Badhoven Kyf Brewer Atello Jerry Doucette
All Tags
Search DDG