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(57 min, DVS)
TRACK LIST: 1. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi 2. To the Morning Light 3. Cosmic Armageddon-1 4. Towards Uncertainty 5. The Eleventh Meridian 6. This Bitter Land 7. The Ancient Labyrinth 8. Miseria 9. Monument 10. The V Element 11. Cosmic Armageddon-2 12. Kingdoms of Control 13. Time for Change 14. Echoes of Olo Terra All tracks: by Voyager. Produced by Voyager. LINEUP: Emanuel Rudnicky - guitar Mark De Vattima - guitar Melissa Fiocco - bass Geoff Callighan - drums Daniel Estrin - vocals; keyboards
Prolusion. "Element V" is the debut album by Australian band Voyager.
Analysis. The listener's attitude towards debut albums is in most cases of two sorts: either "it's a promising start" or "well, it's just a beginning". (Reviewers are also listeners, aren't they?) In the case of Voyager's "Element V" the latter remark would be certainly more appropriate. Of course, the music has nothing to do with the Fifth Element. The album opens with a rather solid symphonic prelude, Sic Transit Gloria Mundi, which unexpectedly transforms into a good power Prog-Metal on To the Morning Light. Cosmic Armageddon-1 follows and is a simple melodic Neo with most of the vocals being confined within the cage of repetitive couplets and refrains. After the brief vocal opus a-la Brian Ferry, Towards Uncertainty, goes another accessible number, The Eleventh Meridian, which reminds me a bit of Rick Wakeman in the mid-eighties. In the second half of the album, the progressive listener should expect a series of quite unpleasant surprises, following each other several times running. The music has an excessively joyous and even danceable sense in places, reaching the merriment's apotheosis on the title track, which is the worst track here, with a monotonous sound somewhere between electronic music and Disco. There are bits of Black Metal-related vocal intonations on the album, because the singer is kind of a chameleon. However, there is nothing innovative in his vocals.
Conclusion. The band plays professionally, but it doesn't much matter in this case. Their purpose to obtain a commercial success openly conflicts with interests of progressive music lovers. Well, it's just a beginning, but I doubt these guys will ever draw their attention to a true Prog-Metal.
>KW: February 19, 2005
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