"It’s very exciting for me to think that maybe it's not just metalheads and prog fans that will know it's out there and give it a spin."
Today is finally the day: Perth progressive metal outfit Voyager have unveiled their new album, Fearless In Love, their first album since placing ninth at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. And what an album it is.
As its title suggests, Voyager are optimistic and vulnerable in love. Voyager’s latest record is cinematic, throwing the band in all directions, from synth-pop to breakdowns featuring Make Them Suffer’s Sean Harmanis. As The Music’s album review stated, “Fearless In Love is eleven tracks and around 45 minutes of pure catharsis and exhilaration. It is a soaring statement of intent from a band on a mission and enjoying every single living second of it.” Right on the money.
The Music’s review also touched on something many fans might have been feeling over the last few months: why did it take until Voyager appeared on Eurovision for people to pay attention to this brilliant band?
Speaking with The Music, drummer Ashley Doodkorte says their brand of synth-pop meets metal has always made them a bit more of a niche band.
“When you think about it, we're a progressive synth-pop metal band from Perth, Western Australia... everything about that sounds very niche,” Doodkorte admits. “The big win from Eurovision was just the opportunity for people to hear and see what we can do.
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“We never really minded if people liked it or not. It was just nice to just be out there - we may have never been found by most of that audience otherwise.”
In some ways, finally releasing Fearless In Love has offered a sense of “massive catharsis” for the band.
“We've had this album under our belts for over a year now, and it's one we're really excited about and proud of,” Doodkorte shares. “To finally have it out there, especially after the massive opportunity that was Eurovision, is ridiculously exciting.
“I think it's definitely the right album for it, too - we've really flexed our songwriting chops on this one.” Indeed they have – from Submarine to Dreamer to album closer Gren (Fearless In Love), Voyager constantly push the bar higher.
For Voyager, releasing an album in the post-Eurovision landscape equals “a lot more opportunities for Fearless in Love to be heard this time around.”
Doodkorte adds, “It’s very exciting for me to think that maybe it's not just metalheads and prog fans that will know it's out there and give it a spin. I think Voyager is definitely a band that has a little something for everyone; yes, we do play heavy music, but I feel like we do it in a way that is quite evocative and intense... you don't have to necessarily be into heavy music to enjoy being moved by a good tune.
“I'm not going to lie; everyone is maybe a little exhausted as we've been going hard all year with not just the Eurovision experience but with all the other work it takes behind the scenes to get an album and multiple tours off the ground. Having Fearless in Love out there and having people finally hear it is going to be a nice little reward for all that work!”
On Fearless In Love, Doodkorte says the band “were really intent on trying to sharpen our songwriting as much as possible”. This led to Voyager scrutinising “every part, every rhythm, every change” to make each song irresistible in its own way.
In addition to Eurovision significantly lifting the band’s profile across the globe, it’s also been enhanced back home.
When Voyager returned to Australia in June, they experienced their first proper sell-out tour in their home country. “[It was] such a great feeling,” Doodkorte adds, “The crowds were incredible, everyone we met was so lovely, and it just felt like a celebration of all the work we've been doing for so long.
“We were having a great time; there were smiles and dancing all around in the crowd... that's really what I want from a Voyager show!”
Fearless In Love is out now via Season Of Mist. You can listen to the album below.