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VOYAGER Colours in the Sun gets 7/10


Voyager

Colours in the Sun
Season of Mist

7/10

Perth’s very own Voyager are a workhorse of the prog metal scene, going from strength to strength since their inception way back in 1999 as UWA students. Through the years they have ascended to international metal mainstays, crafting a sleek sound that’s equal parts metal, prog, and pop. Their latest Colours in the Sun makes it clear the band isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

The album’s biggest strength is its ability to amalgamate a lot of sounds and still sound very Voyager. The band draws from enough strains of metal, pop, and EDM that you never know what they’ll draw out of the hat next. Opener Colours sets the template, with a cheesy happy hardcore synth lead, giving way to riffage and an 80s synth pop vocal. The following four minutes traverse through a nu metal grinding breakdown, tech metal palm-muted riffs, and a short electronic build-up.

The band’s formula is remarkably consistent. The songs all average around four and a half minutes, and each makes sure to include an interesting idea or two. Severomance has a cool looping rhythm to open proceedings and plenty of disjointed groove metal string bends. Brightstar is the catchiest song on here, recalling Coldplay if they dared play a palm muted note. The songs are generally well written, with catchy, often pop-punk styled choruses, such as strong single Entropy. The band goes heavier with Reconnected and the amusing Water Over the Bridge, which pairs diving nu metal lurch with sugary verses and choruses. Reconnected is the heaviest and best track on here, mixing thrash metal guitar runs with a grunge rock inspired chorus, and even features some passing death growls. Throughout their career Voyager have also wisely avoided the prog tendency to stretch – these songs are lean, with solos either being short and tight (witness the keytar on Runaway), or just scrapped altogether in favour of an interesting breakdown.

Any criticism towards this is more an indictment of the band’s style rather than this particular album. At the end of the day this is very clean, rather lightweight stuff. The guitar riffs are somewhat forgettable, more interested in establishing a rhythm or tempo change than being interesting in and of themselves. The lyrics are as overwrought as you’d expect (“Take me to the stars/ Take me home,” and so on) and the delivery can be cringe-inducing, but in a fun way. The angsty vocal gymnastics on Entropy are hard to take seriously, and the band’s habit of echoing the end of vocal lines for ‘added dramatic effect’ is head-scratching. Now or Never must also be mentioned – this is, depending on your take, either a gloriously stupid or just plain glorious slice of 80s power ballad cheese. The band must have been aware of it, keeping it under two minutes in length in what is the only transgression of their four-minute rule.

Voyager have a finely honed sound, and this is a finely honed product. Your mileage may vary, but there is no denying that this is a well crafted, if unexceptional, slice of pop metal. Add one point to the score for fans of prog metal and/ or the band.

MATIJA ZIVKOVIC

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