Voyager- V (Birds Robe Media)

Voyager unleash something really special with V.
Release Date: 
2 Jun 2014 (All day)

There’s always been something rather distinct about Voyager and their mix of power, prog and trad metal. They manage to take a diverse variety of influences and develop something that is not only massively catchy but manages to do so without sounding derivative or cheap. 2011’s The Meaning of I was a masterclass in how to do sharp, catchy, melodic metal right and this next album simply titled V can go toe to toe with that album and maybe it could even have trumped it were it not for one or two minor flaws.

The album starts off with the second single released for radio, Hyperventilating, and Voyager waste no time at all showing just how adept at melody they are. The song is as catchy as hell and it takes real talent to make me sing along to lyrics as goofy as “I’m hyperventilating-lating-LATING” in earnest. The sheer quality of the earworms Voyager can lay in your head is astounding. They go in being catchy and only get more infectious the more you listen, wrapping around your brain and cutting off your oxygen supply until you’re aimlessly wandering around the house, bumping into furniture.

To go with a sound as hyper-melodic as this, the band has included a mix so polished I can see my face in it. Normally, this can be something of a detriment to a band as it can make the mix sterile, but Voyager manages to make it work somehow. It might be the inclusion of mellotrons or the shrewd pop sensibilities that colour their songwriting but a shiny mix just seems to suit the band.

My problems with the album are similar to the ones I had with Meaning of I; at about 13 songs and 53 mins long, I always find my attention lagging toward the latter part of the album. This was something I’d hoped the band would have learned from their last effort, which is a shame because V is so close to being perfect. The album starts off with seven tracks of absolutely A+ material, it’s only the meandering Peacekeeper and overwrought balladry of Summer Always Comes towards the end that drag down the album’s overall impact.

However, this is me sniffing at little scuffs on the album’s dazzling chrome veneer. I don’t think I’ve been this excited about an album as commercial as this since Devin Townsend’s Addicted.

Get. This. Album.