With so many solid new releases each week, it can be hard to know where to start listening - 'The Music' team is here to help though with our Album Of The Week. This week it's Voyager's 'Colours In The Sun' that's caught our attention.
There's a whole lot of reasons why Voyager have scored themselves 4.5/5 stars in The Music's review of Colours In The Sun, with every track imbuing "a brand new energy to proceedings".
The Perth group have been described as a "pop/prog/power/rock/metal force" and it's pretty accurate given the ground they cover, not just on Colours In The Sun but their previously works too.
They've honed in their live shows too with support runs with acts like Coheed & Cambria, Nightwish, Deftones, Leprous and more, as well as stacks of their own headline shows. Here, the band share just what helped them shape the new album.
What they're saying...
Danny Estrin - Vocals/Keytar
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Modern Talking – You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul
One of the greatest German synthpopcheese songs ever written. The melody, the vibe, the falsetto chorus - it’s all just absolutely magical. Modern Talking are one of those incredibly successful but obscure bands who are unknown in the English speaking world, but were huge in Germany, Japan and Russia. They really do capture the essence of what I love about the '80s.
Desireless – Voyage Voyage
Aptly titled, I actually only discovered this gem about ten years ago. What a beautiful soundtrack to that cold stare. Entirely sung in French, it even got to #5 in the UK charts, being one of those few foreign language songs that transgresses the usual English language barrier. Combining '80s pop with such a beautiful language is just magic!
Ashley Doodkorts - Drums
Noiseworks - Welcome To The World
To be honest, I could put the whole A-side of this album on as an influence, as I used to put the cassette on every night as I fell asleep from ages three to six. One thing this album did really well was incorporate the synths with the guitars (or maybe the other way around) in a way that didn't feel so much "cheesy" as lush, epic and colourful. Welcome To The World does this to great effect with an extended one and a half minute intro that builds up all the anticipation for the banging chorus, where the huge '80s produced drums do exactly what they need to and not a bit more to get your head nodding and your feet tapping.
Phil Collins - In The Air Tonight
As a drummer talking about '80s bangers, I can't really go past this song for reasons that surely everyone must know by now. What else can I say? When those drums come in its just magic and so deserving of its iconic status. I also love the atmosphere Phil Collins is able to generate with fairly minimal elements, that give those drums the space to shine. I was channeling this song in the intro to Runaway, the last track off Colours In The Sun.
Alex Canion - bass
Devin Townsend Project - Deadhead (Live at Royal Albert Hall)
So when we were in the middle of recording Colours In The Sun, I was on a massive Devvy binge. His latest album Empath has just been released and it was so inspiring to hear him let loose with his compositions in a way he'd never done before. So I was re-watching a bunch of his clips and finding interviews of him talking about the album and came across this live video of him singing the classic song Deadhead from the Accelerated Evolution album (my favourite of his).
This particular recording is very special though as he seems to have used the 'God Mode' cheat before performing it live on stage. His pitched screams in the song are absolute perfection and it hit my musical G-spot like Cupid with a compound bow. About a week later, I go in the studio to record my backing vocal parts and I channeled my best Hevvy Devvy into my vocals on both Reconnected and Water Over The Bridge. When I was tracking them in vocal booth, I turned the light off and imagined I was Devin singing into the mic at Royal Albert Hall. It was a cathartic experience and I'm so grateful for everything Devin has done for music.
Scott Kay - guitar
David Maxim Micic - Who Bit The Moon?
When I first listened to this record, it didn't pique my interest as immediately as his previous work, but over time, the melodies and hooks kept creeping back into my mind. I found myself learning some of the riffs and melodies I most liked on the album regularly over the last two years, and I think some of that melodicism found its way into my ideas on Colours In The Sun. I also like the overall simplicity of the layering in the songs on Who Bit The Moon? as it shows how just having a few strong themes and cleverly written parts can make the song feel full.
Architects - All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
Tom Searle was a huge influence for me in terms of my riff and groove writing, and knowing this was the last full record he'd ever contribute to in his short life made this record hit hard for me. The sheer intensity and sense of urgency on this album cannot be understated; Nihilist may just be one of the best openers on a heavy record ever. The riffs continue to influence my music, and Tom's passing continues to teach me that life is too short not to follow your passions.
What we're saying...
Review by Rod Whitfield. Read more here...
"Every song on this record is killer. Every track imbues a brand new energy to proceedings. Every tune brings rich new colours and textures to the table, to what is a beautiful and cohesive patchwork of melodic and progressive heavy music. Virtually every track features sounds and styles that are glorious throwbacks to bygone eras, mostly the '80s, while maintaining a modern edge that is so 2010s going on 2020s. All within a compact ten-track, 40-odd-minute framework that gives bang for your buck but never outstays its welcome.
Highlights include towering and cathartic closer Runaway, the mid-album show-stopper Entropy, which features a highly auspicious contribution from none other than Einar Solberg of Norway’s awesome Leprous, and Water Over The Bridge, which may be the album’s heaviest and most memorable moment. It is this placement of old-school influences in such a modern setting that is arguably the most joyous part of this record, and indeed their change in direction overall. It is also what will find them continuing to appeal strongly to people who love '80s pop and rock, and contemporary heavy music.
But cherry-picking songs is a little unfair to the rest of the tracks, as this record is wall-to-wall quality. Special mention must be given to frontman Daniel Estrin, whose voice soars to the very heavens, whose keytar work just puts a big fat smile on your face and whose songwriting nous just gets better with age. Backed of course by a band whose individual skill on their instruments is second to none and whose performances slot seamlessly into the whole.
While other bands have stumbled trying to navigate a major change of sound, two decades and seven albums into their journey, Voyager are absolutely nailing it and somehow just keep improving. And we the fans are reaping the rewards."
Looking for more new music? Then step right this way and check out the list of this week's releases.