Voyager have been on our scopes for a while now; the progressive metal band are known not only for their brand of uplifting and engaging metal but also for a great live act and an overall energy that’s hard to resist. And so, when we learned that they were undertaking a crowdfunding campaign, we knew we had to pitch in. However, there was also within us a burning desire to know what made such a juggernaut of progressive energy tick; it’s always interesting to look into the influences which make such bands exist.
And so, we present you with The Anatomy of Voyager! Read on for some expected yet completely welcome picks as well as some interesting curve-balls you wouldn’t exactly see coming. And while you’re at it, have a look at both the band’s crowdfunding campaign and a brand new single!
Scott (guitars): Devin Townsend Band – Accelerated Evolution
I remember coming home from school, and my brother was listening to “Deadhead”, and my ears immediately pricked. The song was the representation of the sound I had been searching for in music for years; something heavy, yet laden with incredible atmosphere and emotional honesty. I was an immediate convert, and Devin‘s music shaped not only my guitar playing, but my approach to creating musical textures from that point onward. It’s clear that his influence has affected Voyager’s approach to atmospherics/pads, and his comical and entertaining stage presence has rubbed off on all of us too!
Alex (bass, vocals): Type O Negative – October Rust
To say Type O Negative is the nucleus of Voyager’s sound wouldn’t be crazy. Their 1996 album October Rust is at the top of this list because I feel it has had the longest, strongest and most significant impact on the band. In fact, I think almost every single album has been influenced by the four Brooklynites in some way.
Singer and founding member Daniel Estrin (who’s been infatuated with TON since the mid 90’s) played the 1st song on the album “Love you to death” in the tour van on tour some years back. I had never heard it before and it instantly struck me. That brooding gothic sound, crusty bass, enveloping keys, anthemic almost Edge-like guitars and self-deprecating yet sometimes humorous lyrics makes this album something truly special. “Wolf Moon” had cast its spell on me.
We all love this album and on our 2011 album The Meaning Of I, we wrote a song titled “Iron Dream (In Memoriam: Peter Steele)” to pay our respect to the Green Man himself who sadly passed a year before.
Ashley (drums): Nine Inch Nails – The Fragile
Everything about this album, from the arrangement, to the instrumentation, even down to the artwork was a lesson to me as a musician. The Fragile showed me that you could be heavy without being loud and intense, you could create a motif without repeating yourself, you could say the most when you’re not playing anything at all, you could be grandiose without being overblown, you could communicate a concept without necessarily telling a story, and you could create intensely personal work that can still speak to and serve a wider audience.
Danny (vocals, keys): Ozric Tentacles – Waterfall Cities
Ozric Tentacles, in its many tie-dyed whacky incarnations over 25 albums, have consistently been part of my musical life over the last 15 years. They are a band which blends electronic with organic, soundscapes with psychedelia, incredible proggery with astounding musicianship and cheese with synthy serious goodness. Countless times have I sat with headphones and listened to this album and its brother Curious Corn and let myself be taken on a magical journey over clouds, through dark places, to lands beyond my wildest dreams, through 4/4 and 17/8 and simply through absolute musical bliss. Ozric are a completely unique and underrated band and I would give many a hair follicle to see them live just once!
Simone (guitars): Soilwork – A Predator’s Portrait
I still remember when I purchased this album and the first time I heard it. I was 17, and the band I was in at the time were heavily into the Gothenburg scene. What immediately grabbed me was how effortlessly Soilwork intertwined killer melodies and hooks with these heavy and groovy riffs. Speed’s vocal lines were catchy as hell, the keys and synths had an almost 80’s edge to them and don’t get me started on the guitar work! Earworm central. I don’t think the record left my car stereo for months. This album is a staple on any Voyager tour bus/van and there’s absolutely no denying the influence that their music has had on us as a band.