VOYAGER are back with their latest album, Ghost Mile. The band have always been hard to categorise, and coming across many critics of their pop influences regardless of their individual Prog stylings. There, the band express more ideas and musical expansions.
Kicking off is Ascension, which is a stellar intro to this record. Full on ambition and a clear expansion from the band’s sound in previous records, more expansive, fun and engaging. There’s a decent amount to unpack here, and the more you listen, the more this ear worm burrows in. crossing synth, Prog and even some Tech elements, it’s a winner from the start.
Interestingly, bands like VOLA have developed a similar sound in recent years, and that’s no band thing, as VOYAGER have made themselves a great little niche in the market as a complex, but pretty accessible band to the community. Misery Is Only Company takes a leap right off from where the last track left off, embracing it’s soaring vocals, heavy bass and intricate guitar work. The beats are good and the riff is thick and beefed up, so a nice overall effect here.
Lifeline starts things in a slightly different direction, more soundscape than a track you could lope around to initially. There’s a little bit of DRREAM THEATRE in VOYAGER, in only so much that there’s an emphasis on storytelling through the sounds and feelings they bring, perhaps more so than the lyrics. Nevertheless, a nice breakdown midsection and another top VOYAGER track. The Fragile Serene bursts with emotion. It’s got a lot of very good guitar work going on, and coupled with emotive vocals and crashing drums, it is simply VOYAGER doing what they do best. To The Riverside is a step into the more serene, a short drift into the very beautiful little piece. The pause for breath in this album, it’s just long enough to be poignant and still leave an impact without overstaying its welcome.
Ghost Mile, our title track, is vocally quite interesting, a more pop feel that VOYAGER are occasionally criticised for. That might make some people distance themselves from the band, but that’s honestly a loss on their part alone. It’s got hooks, it’s got a smooth rhythm that is undeniable with this sprinkling of synth that gives an almost eighties feel to the guitar work. Truly, though, Ghost Mile, is probably VOYAGER‘s best work on this album.
What A Wonderful Day is probably somewhat in the other direction. There’s a bit too much pop for those who aren’t into the feel from that angle, like DURAN DURAN only with a darker edge. That might be a little harsh, but you get the idea. And hey, you can’t win them all. Thankfully, Disconnected is much more on point. Unsettling, with a real bite, it’s a blast and a swoop back to form with disjointed sounds and rhythms really taking off.
This Gentle Earth is a swoon in the mix of keys and vocals, a dance among the stars and a feeling of fresh hope within the lyrics. VOYAGER really have hit the mark here, emerging as Progressive, Poppy and yet regardless still very much within the realm of Rock and Metal. Enjoyable and blissfully good work, it’s a great track. Finishing off, As The City Takes The Night is another foray into piano and drums, a sprawling journey into the guitars and that thick bass work once more. The melody here is perfect in the ending of this album, a pinnacle of writing from all angles, and a fantastic way to close up yet another complicated and (most probably) highly debated album.
Overall, VOYAGER have not bent in the face of critics, and made a stellar album that clearly demonstrates a lasting desire to be themselves. In light of this, Ghost Mile has emerged as a bright, intricate record that will please fans and cause debate with others. All round, cant’ do much better than that!
Ghost Mile is set for release on 12th May via self-release.
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