Voyager

I Am The ReVolution

Written by: TL on 24/10/2009 13:43:19

I bet you people often wonder: "How to lose TL's interest in less than two minutes?". Well, wonder no more dear readers, Voyager are here and they have the answer. In fact they must be playing it for the duration of their sophomore album "I Am The ReVolution", because I swear to you, every time I've tried to get into it, I've completely forgotten that it was on before the second song was even over, and seeing how this puzzles me, I shall now scrutinize why it has that effect.

First though, let me introduce you to Voyager, one of many bands of the same name and one you'd be forgiven for mistaking for a German outfit, should you venture such a guess based on their sound. You see, Voyager sound like your typical curly-maned neo-classical/progressive/power metal band, trying to make a name for themselves in the country which has the most massive scene for such things - Especially considering how they even sing a verse in German in for instance "Total Existance Failure" and "Straight To The Other Side". So do you think I had a bit of a "whattafuck?" moment when I discovered that Voyager hail from Perth in Australia? I mean fuck guys, what's with the German, you couldn't possibly be located any further from Germany?

Anyway, let's run the prog/power checklist: Fast-paced music, mostly clean and un-threatening guitars, piano's here, electronics there, shoulder-long hair on four out of five band members and a cleanly singing, high pitched vocalist. Check, check, check, check, check and ch-... Wait a minute. It all checks out, except for one detail, namely the singer's pitch. He still sings like you'd expect from a PM singer, but his voice is pitched relatively low, in fact I think that I, a baritone, could sing his parts - That's not something you see every day people!

Regardless, what everyone should be asking is, does the band take the listener on a fantastic and engaging voyage of sound, but as my intro has probably already revealed, the answer is no. After repeated listening, I've decided that the instrumentals only bear a small part of the blame, as they are proficient and rich in detail, even if a bit too tame for a proper metallic outfit. This leaves singer Danny as the scapegoat then, him and bassist Alex who provides some backing growls on occasion, and the reason those two boys are going down in this courtroom, is that both of them sound utterly powerless, something which hardly suits a band that plays power metal. There's nothing technically wrong with either the clean or the harsh vocals, but there's also no charisma to be found in the former, and no energy to be found in the latter. Danny sounds like he's content on merely hitting the notes and then remaining relatively distanced from the words he's singing. It's like he's singing in a language that's oddly foreign to him? As for Alex's screams, they're a good inclusion because they diversify the sonic impression, but they're just much too weak. Voyager must have listened to some harsher bands to get the idea, so why did they not make note on how to do them properly?

So yeah, there are more than enough holes in this cheese to make it feel lacking a bit in substance, and for a while I was indeed set upon grading it in a manner that suggested binning the record right away. I'm not going to do that though, because after a good handful of listening sessions, it did dawn upon me that there are some things to find here that aren't entirely awful. In the moments where the harsh and clean vocals share the singing duties equally, the inadequacies of each become less obvious, and when they are silent, there is actually room for some decently rocking solo work here and there. It's not something you haven't heard before, done better by bigger names, but it is still mildly enjoyable, and the same goes for the semi-catchy choruses that inhabit most songs on offer. Of course, the reason they become catchy is also mostly because of shameless repetition, but hey, it still gets you singing along. In the end though, "I Am The ReVolution" is still a record I will probably remember as being too boring to ever put on again, and Voyager as a band that doesn't have nearly enough personality to contend with the bands whom they probably look up to.

Download: I Am The ReVolution, On The Run From The World, The Devil In Me
For The Fans Of: Anubis Gate, Eyefear, Saidian, Symphorce
Listen: myspace.com/voyageraustralia

Release Date 25.09.2009
Dockyard 1

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