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Voyager - "V" (CD)

Voyager - "V" CD cover image

"V" track listing:

1. Hyperventilating
2. Breaking Down
3. A Beautiful Mistake
4. Fortune Favours the Blind
5. You the Shallow
6. Embrace the Limitless
7. Orpheus
8. The Domination Game
9. Peacekeeper
10. It's a Wonder
11. The Morning Light
12. Summers Always Come Again
13. Seasons of Age

Reviewed by on June 4, 2014

"Neither too upbeat nor too much of a downer, never too heavy to distract from the melody or too melodic to kill the metal, 'V' is all-around solid power-prog from beginning to end."

With fifth full-length simply titled “V,” Voyager continues its reign of competent-to-excellent melodic metal for fans of the prog sound. The Australian band knows how to balance its various components, tempering progressive metal with other styles for a wider appeal, from power metal to djent to electronica and even a sprinkling of death metal. Neither too upbeat nor too much of a downer, never too heavy to distract from the melody or too melodic to kill the metal, “V” is all-around solid power-prog from beginning to end.

While it would probably be inaccurate to call "V” a pop-friendly record, there is a strong sense across the disc of what makes more mainstream music accessible and enjoyable, while still filtering it through heaviness that appeals to prog metal fans. There is a small smattering of harsh vocals, but it's not the focus by any means, with most of the singing handled by Daniel Estrin's distinctive clean voice. Keeping up the atmospheric end are loads of synthesizers propping up the beginnings and endings of the tracks.

Unfortunately the 13 track duration is pushing it on the length, and there is a bit of filler by the time the end rolls around. “Peacekeepers” is a bit limp in comparison to the rest of the tracks (and simply fades out rather than having a proper ending), the piano and soft singing on “Summer Always Comes Again” is take-it-or-leave-it territory, and the final track “Seasons Of Age” doesn't really end with a bang. On the other hand, the album is mostly four and five minute songs (along with a handful of two and three minute short offerings), so it's not overblown like a good deal of prog meandering and it doesn't ever lose focus or become self-indulgent.

Filled with about 75 - 80% very strong material and with only a small handful of padding tracks, “V” is well worth a listen for anyone into power, prog, or simply melodic metal of any kind. The album will work well for fans of Anubis Gate, or if you dig progressive bands like Haken but prefer more energy and shorter song lengths.

Highs: Great mix of melodic prog with heavier metal.

Lows: There are a few filler tracks that don't offer much and could have been cut for a stronger overall album experience.

Bottom line: Voyager offers melodic/progressive metal that doesn't get lost in prog meanderings or overlong tracks for an overall great listen.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)