Voyager - Element V

Year of Release: 2004
Label: DVS Records
Catalog Number: DVS 010
Format: CD
Total Time: 00:00:00

To those looking for that "unique," "different" and "sounds like no one else" band, welcome to Voyager. To those who couldn't get enough of the unique quality of Lanfear's Zero Poems released a few years ago, welcome to Voyager. Fans in the progressive metal world are divided into many sub-genres just like their favorite bands. There are those who prefer the quirky, odd, unique progressive metal bands who (to them), define what the genre is all about. This is where Voyager steps in.

Voyager is a 5-piece progressive metal band from the Land Down Under, and they have certainly come up with a disc that really sounds like no other, except for the mighty Lanfear, and even then, it's a bit different from that sound as well. To try to describe the unique sound of this band is almost an attempt at futility, as the sound is a hybrid of many, many different sounds and styles. To describe each sound individually is another attempt at futility, because it is virtually impossible to focus on a particular style or sound of a band that is constantly moving, changing, progressing. In short, we have one of those rare, unique progressive metal bands that people either love to love, or love to hate, depending on your taste. There is no in between. There is no balance. There is no meeting halfway. You either love it, or you hate it; period.

If this all gets your interest, then once again, welcome to Voyager. A twin guitar / keyboard-led band, with plenty of speed, tempo changes, mood changes and enough complexity and oddness to keep the most cerebral progressive metal fan happy, Voyager plows through a 14-song concept disc with nary a cliché to be found. Most of the music found here tends to be speed driven, but not in the sense of the typical Euro-speed sound, but in the sense that the melodies tend to be played a bit faster than the average prog metal disc. NO song sounds the same, no lick copies itself, and no riff repeats itself on the Voyager disc. Add in a vocalist who has a pleasant mid-range tone, but frequently sings in an aggressive / thrash metal style tone, some laid back passages that strive to tell the continuing story of Element V, and you have "some" of the basics of Voyager. This is a musical journey - a voyage as the band name implies - a story, not something to be dissected in a few words, or a whole story for that matter. It's much easier to say that those of you who are familiar with Lanfear's Zero Poems would undoubtedly welcome this addition to your collection of "odd" progressive metal discs. Along the way you might even find some metallic version of Celtic music done up in true Voyager fashion. For the most part, you will find yourself immersed in some speedy, quirky, progressive metal. One possible reason for the uniqueness is not only the song structures, but the electronic sounds of the keyboards. They are presented in almost an electronica / techno / dance style fashion, surrounded by some nifty metallic guitar work, amidst a vocalist who refuses to sing in one style. Throw this all into a large blender, and you have a small idea of what Voyager is all about.

The production, mostly done by the band, is nothing short of great as well. All instruments come shining through your speakers, especially the vocals, which are here to tell a story, and a story you shall receive. Keyboards and guitars are perfectly mixed, and although the bass could just be a bit deeper and profound, for a project that was self-produced, there aren't many complaints to be found. Drums are powerful, boomy, and somewhat left to their natural sound, although again I could do with a tad more kick drum bottom, but I seem to have a problem with most prog metal drum sounds anyway so this is no surprise.

Overall, if it's unique you want, it's unique you get. When you come across a band you can't describe readily, you know something is special about it. Luckily, Lanfear released Zero Poems a few years ago, or I wouldn't have a single band to compare to. How unique is that? If you are curious about this band, I do warn that it is not the standard type prog metal that is easy to listen to. This disc will need and does deserve your full attention, time and effort to absorb what it is the band has to offer. The band has just recently signed with DVS Records, and I'm sure they will enjoy a good amount of recognition and notoriety for quite some time. If you're looking for that totally unique brand of progressive metal, look no further. Voyager can be placed in that "doesn't sound like anyone else" brand of progressive metal without question.

DVS (re)issued this CD in November 2004 -PW ed

[This review originally appeared July 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Sic Transit Gloria Mundi / To The Morning Light / Cosmic Armageddon, Part I / Towards Uncertainty / The Eleventh Meridian / This Bitter Land / The Ancient Labyrinth / Miseria / Monument / The V Element / Cosmic Armageddon, Part II / Kingdoms Of Control / Time For Change / Echoes Of Old Terra

Daniel Estrin - vocals & keyboards
Emanuel Rudnicki - guitar
Mark De Vattimo - guitar
Melissa Fiocco - bass
Geoff Callaghan - drums & percussion

Element V (2004)
UniVers (2007)
Sober (ep) (2007)
I Am The ReVolution (2009)
The Meaning Of I (2011)
V (2014)
Ghost Mile (2017)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin AU

Added: November 28th 2004
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri
Artist website:
Hits: 2031
Language: english


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