VOYAGER – Element V

VOYAGER - Element V


DVS Records
Release date: April 1, 2003

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Element V is the debut album of the Australian Power Metal band Voyager. You may call the album diverse, or you may call it direction-less. Voyager has failed to establish any kind of goal in their game this initial time around. They’ve seemingly followed any/all musical fancies they could come up with, leaving the listener greatly frustrated. It’s like attending a football match, and suddenly you come to the realization: -Hey, wait! This isn’t football, it’s tennis! … and one minute later: – No! They’re playing golf!

Get the picture?

However, most tracks have got one thing in common: An overuse of keyboard. All right then, let’s call it keyboard oriented Hard Rock. Still, the problem is that the keyboard is taking up too much space, this despite the fact that keyboard sound used happens to be quite powerless/dull. On top of this, the use of programmed sound effects make the strongest half of the tracks very synthetic sounding. E.G., check out track 10, “The V Element,” … it is an instrumental disco/trance number! Certainly this does not sound like quinta essentia.

Several of the keyboard parts border more to the “chill-out” genre than to what you usually expect on a rock album. Track 12, “Kingdoms Of Control,” includes Eastern harmonies, but doesn’t succeed in making the album more exciting. All right, everybody’s free to be experimental, but Voyager and their producers have a thing or two more to learn about rock music before breaking out to broaden their approach.

The drum mix, for example … the drums are tight, but sound way too faint (and sometimes even too fragile!) to give the songs the lift they are in need of getting. The female bass player, Melissa Fiocco, also doesn’t get the attention a lady deserves.

However, track 13, “Time For Change,” reveals that the band is capable of writing quality Power Metal, and a great number of the vocal lines on this album will please most of the fans of Melodic Metal. However, even loving this kind of music big-time, one has to admit some of the arrangements are unpleasantly bombastic even for this particular genre.

On his best, singer (and keyboard player) Daniel Estrin’s vocal arrangements sound like a Queensryche/Type O Negative crossover. Emanuel Rudnicki on guitar performs some all right solo parts too. Additionally, Voyager must have been up to some good in their home country, because last year they were given the honor of supporting Steve Vai on his Australian tour. Still, it is hard to imagine either this task or Element V will give them the attention that’s needed to provide an international breakthrough.

You may rather check out Finnish band Divercia’s Cycle Of Zero for a much better debut album in this genre.


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