Voyager - 'The Meaning Of I' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 02, 2012    
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A must-have for all fans of progressive metal.

I've always had a soft spot for Voyager, ever since I saw them at ProgPower Europe playing to what started off as a rather empty hall and taking their bows an hour later to a venue jammed to the rafters. The problem is that they've never really captured their essence on CD -- before now, that is.

'The Meaning Of I' -- their first release for Sensory -- is an absolute cracker of an album, and a must-have for all fans of progressive metal. The Australian quintet (Danny Estrin -- vocals and keyboards; Simone Dow and Scott Kay -- guitars; Alex Canion -- bass; and Mark Boeijen drums) have come on in leaps and bounds since their debut 'Element V' was unveiled in 2004, but with this, their fourth full album, Voyager are surely declaring themselves a force to be reckoned with.

From the dramatic Dream Theater-ish opening to 'Momentary Relapse Of Pain' to the closing notes of 'Are You Shaded' there's no let-up in the glorious rollercoaster ride of spectacular riffs, enduring melodies and tempestuous time-changes. There's so much happening on this album that it's hard to zero in on particular highlights, but the title track with its frenetic drum opening and razor-sharp guitars, the stunning opener and 'The Pensive Disarray', an extremely clever composition which features guest vocals from Tesseract's Daniel Tompkins and a delightfully expressive solo from Scott Kay are all worthy of note. But don't take my word for it -- check it out for yourselves. Elsewhere, Royal Hunt's DC Cooper puts in a guest appearance, the lyrics are a treat in themselves and a special nod goes to 'Iron Dream', a track dedicated to Peter Steele which captures so many Type O Negative nuances without ever straying overtly into the Brooklyn band's distinctive territory.

On 'The Meaning Of I' Voyager have cleverly blended their wide ranges of influences with their own inimitable brand of songwriting and come up with an extremely expressive body of work. To cap it all, it comes in a delicious wrap-around digipack with an amazing cover which would look fabulous as a 12" gatefold sleeve (someone release this album on vinyl immediately!). It is said that nothing is truly unique any more, but Voyager come pretty damn close. Despite the fact they live on the other side of the world to us in the grey and cloudy UK, we'll all be hearing more and more of them in the future. Trust me on this.

John Tucker

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