A band is always going to be cursed to live up to their previous efforts, with expectations to match their classic material. Australia’s Voyager have somehow transcended this by creating one of the most fluid and natural feeling discographies. However, it was only with Colours in the Sun that this has become undoubtedly clear. With each release Voyager presents a grander and more clear picture of who they are as a creative whole, and with Colours in the Sun this feels fully realized. However, for those of you who need comparisons, if Ghost Mile was a deep and purposeful inhale Colours in the Sun is the satisfying exhaled breath.
Colours in the Sun is undeniably Voyager. The album includes the unstoppable hooks, deeply heavy grooves, retro melodic keys, and rhythms that sway between proggy and danceable that one has come to expect from Voyager. What is truly special about this release is how effortless all of this feels. None of the previous albums had any issues with tying these elements together but on this release it is impossible to find the seams. The distinct power of Voyager comes with their ability to be seamlessly genre-defying but still pull you back in for more listens and Colours in the Sun is the most warm and welcoming album of their discography.
Voyager have always been able to use their musicianship to emote to a very high degree whilst not sacrificing energy and heaviness. Colours in the Sun emotionally feels much different than the rest of their work while still tying it all together. The band feels solidified emotionally. It is that friend who you’ve watched work through something difficult but has come out the other side both more vibrant and emotionally elevated. The instrumental choices in order to convey this are very natural but still precise. The album is not smothered in lead guitars but when they arrive there are moments of Petrucci level of melodic awareness, “Saccharine Dream” being a perfect example of this. In the same way, each song doesn’t have heavy grooves that beg to be noticed but rather deep grooves that seem to just land in your lap and meticulously lead you somewhere, as evident in “Water Over the Bridge”. The vocal delivery seems to float ethereally above the music without going beyond the listeners grasp in terms of memorable melodies. Overall, the songwriting is highlighted perfectly by the individual performances.
Voyager has given long time fans as well as new listeners something special. An album that is bright and inviting but still heavy and meaningful. They are a band accepting and building upon their past without laying dormant in their comfort zones. Colours in the Sun is the calming and clarifying exhale of a band who have found exactly who they are supposed to be.
Recommendations: Vola, Caligula’s Horse, Rendezvous Point
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Review by: Sean Cantor