VOYAGER – Colours In The Sun (2019)
Australians VOYAGER seems to have found the key with their upcoming new album “Colours In The Sun”: while still melodic progressive, this talented band deliver an almost perfect storm of modern hard rock songcraft, with even pop melodic / hard twists all over. Each of the album’s ten tracks are bright, vibrant hook-laden affairs that resonate long after listening.
Voyager are musically charismatic for sure and pretty unique. What do you think about melodic prog metal with a dose of electronic, or better said synthwave-like melodies? That’s what you’ll find into “Colours In The Sun”; high-spirited, infectious and nearly impossible to resist songs.
Opener “Colours” isn’t a particularly heavy tune, but goddamn if it isn’t insanely addicting, with more pop writing acumen that most radio artists could ever hope for. In some ways it’s the prototypical Voyager song – deceptively simple in construction, powered by Daniel Estrin’s excellent vocals and larger-than-life personality.
It’s the details the band adds that make it unique – prog riffing positioned against uber poppy vocal harmonies, and everything rounded out with synths that sound like the soundtrack to a bad 1980s sci-fi flick. It’s at once a madcap mess and a total success you’ll have stuck in your head like a railroad spike. That’s the Voyager magic.
The band keeps the mana flowing with follow up cuts “Severomance” and “Brightstar” bubbling over with light-hearted prog-pop with heavy djent riffing keeping things tenuously anchored to the metalverse.
The album highlight to my ears is “Saccharine Dream,” which showcases the band’s ability to craft fun, highly engaging songs that effortlessly flit through pop, prog and metal. Slappy happy bass-work joins Estrin’s vocal tour de force along with riffs that shift from light to heavy on a dime, and the listener is dragged along with a big smile on their face. The atmosphere brings to mind Dream Theater’s Images & Words most commercial, melodic moments.
Estrin is joined by Einar Solberg of Leprous on “Entropy” for a mighty duet of young, hungry prog vocalists, then “Reconnected” adds a bit of epicness of Voyager earlier works.
“Now or Never” is a very curious song, starting like Depeche Mode going heavy and later with a bit of ’80s prog rock atmosphere, while “Runaway” even adds some kind of British new wave poppy elements mixed with commercial Marillion side of old, wrapped by a huge production.
“Colours In The Sun” is a pretty innovative album. Voyager did a unique mash-up of prog, pop, electronic, metal and more here. The band shows their ability as ever in writing slick, upbeat prog poppy ditties that stick like glue.
04. Saccharine Dream
07. Now or Never
08. Sign of the Times
09. Water Over the Bridge
Danny Estrin – Vocals, Keytar
Simone Dow – Guitars
Alex Canion – Bass, Vocals
Scott Kay – Guitars
Ashley Doodkorte – Drums