Released: 2011, Sensory Records
My editor prefaced this one when he sent it to me with, “I think you you’ll like this one!” He was right. Voyager were unknown to me, hailing from Western Australia but are signed to New Jersey based Sensory Records. They have been around for awhile too, forming back in 1999 and have three previous releases in addition to the new album THE MEANING OF I. Also of note, they have performed with some big names like Queensryche, Nighwish, and Steve Vai. They will be performing at the 16th annual ProgPower USA in Atlanta, on September 16th so go check ‘em out along with a reunited Warrel Dane led Sanctuary!
THE MEANING OF I is mostly a progressive metal album, with many of the elements you expect from that style; staccato riffs, key and time changes, and lots of variety. However, Voyager has forged their own sound and that has enabled them to avoid being a clone of Dream Theater or Fates Warning. There are some elements of Opeth in their music and Dream Theater in the keyboard solos but what really gives them their own identity is the unique vocals of Danny Estrin. “Seize The Day” is an ideal track to get a taste of Estrin’s style while “Momentary Relapse” shows a darker more sinister side to the band with some tremolo picking and kick drumming come into the game. The band is able to shift gears and simplify with weight, as evidenced on “Pensive Disarray”, which opens with a “We Will Rock You” drum beat. On a more serious note, is the track Iron Dream, a tribute to fallen Type O Negative front man Peter Steele.
Fans of progressive metal will not want to miss this album. It is highly recommended and packed with music, containing 13 tracks totaling over 50 minutes. The cover art, while somewhat expected, is nevertheless impressive as well. There are guest vocals from Dan Tompkins (Tesseract) and DC Cooper (Royal Hunt). The style is varied, the production a showcase of clarity, and just impressive performances from the band all around, deftly mixing uplifting passages with doom and aggression. Recommended for all progressive metal fans as well as fans of Opeth.