Voyager are a weird mob.
Colours in the Sun is the quintet’s seventh full-length volume of quirky, inventive and off-kilter progressive metal, an album where the individual parts are so disparate they could only be put together the way they are – and made work the way they do – by this group of people. Like almost of of Voyager’s previous works, this is a difficult album to unravel, insidiously catchy, poppy and ebullient at first and then darker and heavier later on.
Colours is almost the typical Voyager track, showing off the band’s powerful pop sensibilities, the shimmery synths and Danny Estrin’s clear vocal delivery sliding over djenty riffing in an impossibly catchy fashion and setting a mood that carries into the next run of tracks. The guitar/keys interplay and jazzy slap-bass in the well-named Saccharine Dream mark both an early highlight and a departure point. After this, Colours in the Sun gets somewhat edgier, darker and, more significantly, heavier.
Despite being a metal band, true heaviness isn’t something that Voyager is well known for, but on tracks like Reconnect and especially Water Over the Bridge they give it a pretty good crack. The way these eruptions of un-Voyager like guitar savagery are quickly tempered by the melodies often feels strangely disconnected however, and Estrin’s duet with Einar Solberg from Leprous on Entropy is marred by Solberg’s jarring, off-key singing.
Occasionally overstepping this time out, Colours in the Sun once again demonstrates this band’s diverse songwriting ability but also reveals how anchored their style is to insidious synthwave pop. For a while now, Voyager has felt more like a poppy djent band than a truly heavy one. It’s something they do extremely well. Perhaps this album’s heavier moments are pointing to a different direction in for future releases: they aren’t quite there yet.
- Saccharine Dream
- Now or Never
- Sign of the Times
- Water Over the Bridge