Returning to mess with your mind and rattle your notions of what progressive rock and metal should sound like is Australia's Voyager with their fifth album appropriately titled V. Mostly it continues the musical themes found in their previous album The Meaning of I.
Think some Eighties synth pop like Tears For Fears, Mister Mister or Simple Minds, throw in larger measure of heavy progressive metal in the range of Opeth to Dream Theater, then add same flashy quite technical guitar from Simone Dow, and then wrap it up in some pop sensibility and accessibility. There you have Voyager, and their rather unique sound. But let's not forget about Daniel Estrin's voice. He's not really a 'metal' singer, though he could be. He's not a rager or a screamer, but he has been known to thrown in some brief death growls into his mix. Mostly he sounds like one the dudes from Tears For Fears mixed with one of the guys from Air Supply. How metal is that?
The music can be alternatively bouncy and swirling with Estrin's lather of pop synths and the rhythm section's groove or heavy and bristling with an abundance of sharp riffage and Ashley Doodkorte's spirited often raging drums. Tempos and signatures turn in the arrangements with glorious abandon. Yet it all holds together and sounds positively prog metal groovy in The Domination Game, the quite catchy Embrace The Limitless or the simplicity of 12. The Summer Always Comes Again. Alternatively, for the prog metal purists who want their heavy barrage and technical solos you can turn to Seasons of Age or It's A Wonder.
Yet, what also is occurring, despite their uniqueness in the genre, is sameness. Cruising through this album, about half way, you might ask yourself if Voyager is always going to sound this way. Their most basic elements are self-evident, merely rearranged in a different way in each song. But there's much to be said for consistency and sticking with what you do best. And Voyager is quite good at what they do. V is quite recommended.
With V, Voyager offers it's groovy progressive metal with Eighties synth pop sensibility.
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