Posted on by Oran

Australian Synth Prog Keytar wielding Metallers, fresh from their Global success at this years Eurovision unleash album number eight, and strewth… It’s a belter loaded with ’80s pop sensibility, fused with crushing metal anthems!

Yes, before you go any further, you did read that right, “Eurovision”.

Now, as much as this piece I am penning for you is about the bands eight studio album, we can’t ignore the fact this Aussie quintet took a healthy dose of metal to a competition that quite frankly, up until now I gave zero fucks about.

But having been a fan of Voyager since I discovered them back in 2018, and having since interviewed them, reviewed previous albums, and all that jazz, I couldn’t not pay attention to Eurovision, and was equally elated when they qualified for the finals.

That being said, a few other countries had metal acts in their arsenal (Germany & Finland to name a few), and yes, the winning country is questionable, but that is not why what are here for. I remember bassist Alex Canion telling me after their London show last year supporting Danish fellow Prog Metallers, Vola that their next album would be the best body of work the band have put their stamp on… and he could be pretty close to the mark.

Now a handful of songs have been released over the last twelve months or so, including ‘Dreamer‘, the bands entry for Eurovision last year, (sadly failing to garner enough support) and the insanely catchy, ‘Submarine‘ which also gave Alex more vocal space, something I hope to see more of, but follow-up single, ‘Promise‘ did deliver the Eurovsion dream, and the song elevated the band’s popularity 100 fold.

Both are catchy three odd minute, hooky, pop-infused gems with a decent enough dose of metal to boot. Album opener, ‘The Best Intentions‘ is classic Voyager, and could have easily been placed on previous albums, ‘Ghost Mile‘ or ‘Colours In The Sun‘ with a main riff coming straight from the Devin Townsend playbook, as the verses pull back for the bass and drums to carry the weight before a mammoth chorus ensues.

The bridge alone is colossal as singer Danny Estrin croons, “as I had the best intentions“. This is how you open an album!

Next up is ‘Prince of Fire‘, another bombastic riff-laden, pop banger, which was released as a single as soon as the Eurovision smoke cleared, (which could have also shown newer audiences this is a HEAVY band), but also reassured the already long-standing fanbase, not to worry, the guys have still got it (queue wink emoji) ‘Ultraviolet‘ feels more like a filler track for me, lyrically not as engaging as many other stronger songs here, case and point, ‘The Lamenting‘.

This is one of my favourites on the album, seriously slow, but heavy choruses sweeping between upbeat pop bass noodling and keys. Love it.

Twisted‘ is another upbeat verse keyboard groover that goes into a double kick drum driven chorus followed by some insane dual guitar-shredding from Simone Dow and Scott Kay. Another stunning track, one I hope is added to their future live set for sure! ‘Daydream‘ is another Voyagerperfect cocktail‘, a song you could show an unknown and in three minutes they would fully understand what Voyager is all about.

Last tracks ‘Listen‘ and ‘Gren (Fearless in Love)’ save the best till last when it comes to their ability to trigger hair-raising anthemic moments. Both tracks are pretty much what I would call perfect Voyager and are already up there in my top-ten by this group of talented mofo’s. The last minute of ‘Gren‘ will give you goosebumps!

The production throughout also needs to mentioned here as-well, especially the bass and percussion… Ashley Doodkorte’s drums are pummelling when needed but then take the back seat when the moment is called for. Sonically, it makes for the entire album to be an absolute listening pleasure.

Previous albums have either leaned perhaps too heavy on the prog side for what this band’s true potential holds, but ingredient-wise, I think they have absolutely nailed it with ‘Fearless in Love‘. A decent amount of prog, but definitely more 80’s pop-driven elements, which are laced with crushing guitars, and sweeping keyboards (plus the occasional Keytar solo), and percussion all topped-off with Danny Estrins soaring vocals throughout.

Until recently, Voyager were one of two Aussie acts that could be referred to as “genre defining“, but since Twelve Foot Ninja have gone on hiatus, this leave Estrin and Co to be Australia’s premier export in the metal world, and I think Alex was absolutely right. Best body of work?

Bloody Nailed it. 9/10

Fearless in Love‘ is available from July 14th. Check out some of the tracks below…

DJ Pennell 2023