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Voyager (Australia) - 2009 I Am The ReVolution

ARTIST: Voyager (Australia)
ALBUM: I Am The ReVolution
LABEL: Dockyard1
SERIAL: DY200872
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Daniel Estrin - vocals, keyboards * Simone Dow - guitars * Chris Hanssen - guitars * Alex Canion - bass * Mark Boeijen - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Land Of The Lies * 02 Common Ground * 03 Lost * 04 The Devil In Me * 05 Close Your Eyes * 06 Total Existence Failure * 07 Straight To The Other Side * 08 In My Arms * 09 Times Like These * 10 On The Run From The World * 11 Without A Sigh * 12 I Am The ReVolution



Voyager are one of Australia's premier prog metal bands. From Perth, this quintet (four parts male and part female) are pretty hard to describe musically. Looking at their bios, the band members are all into the heavier side of prog metal, Soilwork, Opeth, Children Of Bodom.. you get their drift. Thankfully their music doesn't follow a similar path. You could pigeon-hole it into a label such as epic space/trance prog metal, or something along those lines. From my perspective, an equal dose of Arjan Lucassen's Star One and Pagans Mind makes for a good comparison. Other people might hear it differently and come up with their own references. The other point of difference with this band is the contribution that vocalist and keyboardist Daniel Estrin makes. He creates interesting lines and offsets, the keyboard work borders on trance at times, giving the music atmosphere and space for the others to weave their bits in between. His influences are exotic to say the least, and no doubt Indian/Goa music features heavily among his favourites. The band have been in operation since 2000, and have gotten better and better among their four releases to date (if you factor their three full length releases plus 2006's 'Sober' EP).

The Songs
With 'I Am The ReVolution', Voyager have gone for broke, ensuring that the popularity for both 2004's 'Element V' and 2007's 'Universe' gets left in the dust. Certainly with the opening 'Land Of The Lies', Voyager build beautifully. It's melodic all the way, the guitars churn out solid riffs one after the other, while Estrin's vocals appear in contrast, smooth and soothing. 'Common Ground' was the track that initially got me hooked with its trance-like keyboard work and dark textures all over. A magnificent tune for sure. There's more trance keyboard lines amidst the bombast of 'Lost', the cutting guitar riffs slice through the soundscape despite the layers of synth sitting high in the upper reaches. 'The Devil In Me' is a song of two hemispheres. The vocals, melodies and keyboards act as the top half with a brutal delivery of guitars, bass and rhythm section underpinning everything else. It could be described as Savage Garden doing prog metal! The most intriguing track here would be 'Close Your Eyes' which invokes comparisons to Pagans Mind, particularly the guitar work, though the chorus is a complete constrast, mild, slightly whimsical even. 'Total Existence Failure' heavies up appreciably, bullet like deliveries from the drums, guitar riffs and a faster tempo makes this one dangerous to listen to while driving. 'Straight To The Other Side' is prime-time Scandi flavoured prog metal, hard to believe this emanates from west of the red center of Australia! 'In My Arms' is one of the lightest moments of the album, a symphonic treat with swirling keys and impassioned vocals - the tracks builds up to a weighty climax. 'Times Like These' is blessed with a number of tempo/time changes, and the killer synth solo in the middle adds brownie points all round! 'On The Run From The World' sounds like a songtitle from the Dragonforce universe, and for a moment Voyager were playing at a similar speed though I don't think Herman Li should feel threatened. No doubt, a cool song by Perth's finest. The other light moment on the album is 'Without A Sigh', which is all keys, drums and vocal choirs. The finale is the title track 'I Am The ReVolution', which comes across as part 'Operation Mindcrime' plus some of the dark prog metal outfits coming out of Finland.

In Summary
No two ways about it, this is pretty classy stuff. I've read some reviews elsewhere, and it bemuses me to read from European sites how snobby and stuffy they are when commenting about 'I Am The ReVolution'. Boo hoo to them, use your own research and find out more for myself by listening to their You Tube clips and trawling around their website. At the time of writing, Voyager have just finished an enjoyable short stint across Australia touring alongside Alestorm, and have a selection of dates at home before heading off to ProgPower 12 in Georgia USA later in the year (Sept 2011). The band have also lost guitarist Chris Hanssen, so will be looking to fill his shoes before long. Along with Black Majesty, check out one of the other better prog metal bands from Australia.

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#1 | gdazegod on May 22 2011 16:23:31
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