Aussie electro-proggers Voyager delivered a light-hearted and warming live stream with A Voyage Through Time. Their second live stream event, celebrating 20 years and seven albums of their genre-blending, hook laden music with a fan chosen set list, the set, which chronologically worked its way through their diverse and transformative discography was a fascinating way to see where their musical evolution has taken them over the years.
Performing in an empty venue with a full production, including a tangled structure of LED lights which moved around above their heads, not only was it a musically pinpoint and glossy, it was pulled off with a smile and a sense of humour too. They may have started out as a much heavier band – with opener To The Morning Light attesting to that with gruff guitars and hammering blast beats – than the melodically driven and pop adorned sound they now excellently emanate, but they’ve always been a band not to take themselves too seriously and that spirit is prevalent throughout.
White Shadow, from 2007’s self-titled release, sounds like the theme music for a gloriously bombastic Anime series. It sees the band dishing out their best symphonic metal licks and showing that, even early in their existence that infectious choruses were very much part of their DNA before The Devil In Me brought more soulfully uplifting crescendos to the foray. Iron Dream meanwhile, a tribute to the late Peter Steele, saw the quintet try their hand at dark, gothic metal, but seasoning it with their signature, synth heavy progressive pomp.
A tongue in cheek interlude saw three videos highlighting Voyager’s silliness. From drummer Ashley Doodkorte graphic design 101 to a charming appearance from Estrin’s cat, it made use of the live stream format to tie to the two sets together and make sure things didn’t get serious.
Then came a second set glittered with gold. From Hyperventilating’s illustrious pop hooks and sharp, twisting prog metal guitar lines which saw sparks spewing from the stage floor, to Ghost Mile’s swathing melodies and beyond, they show just how far they’ve come in two decades.
Estrin takes to the piano on a rousing Summer Always Comes Again before he turns barman, pouring shots for the band whilst Doodkorte sees out Seasons Of Age with a rumbling drum solo.
“It’ll be pretty boring if we released the same album 16 times,” Estrin quips at one point and it’s that mantra that has made their back catalogue so colourful. Whilst their metal lineage has never gone away, what the band have managed to do is ornament and augment their metal chops with everything from classic prog tropes to skyscraping pop moments, jazz flourishes and more. Set closer Runaway, from 2019’s Colours In The Sun is testament to that, with bubbling synths, airy vocals, rip-roaring keytar solos and beefy breakdowns perfectly at home alongside one another. That’s exactly why people are far and wide as the UK, Canada, Croatia and countless other locations tuned into the stream to celebrate the band; so here’s to another 20.