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Voyager - 'Ghost Mile' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/10/62/1e/voyager-ghost-mile-84-1502657706.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 13, 2017    
 
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Strong sound, strong tracks and strong performances.

Another day, another PledgeMusic campaign, and another album of top quality music that undoubtedly deserves an easier passage to a greater number of iPods, tablets, desktops and (for "traditionalists" like me) CD players.

'Ghost Mile' is Voyager's sixth album, and, in fact, smashed the band's PledgeMusic campaign target in just over a week. That is testament to the group's strong live portfolio, the critical acclaim garnered by previous album 'V' (including a strong review from yours truly in issue #64), and, of course, maintenance of high standards.

"Australian Pop sensibilities combined with Modern Progressive heaviness" is still the strapline, and while that does work as a broad characterisation of the material, it doesn't quite capture the power of the listening experience. Prog fans who appreciate Riverside or recent offerings from The Pineapple Thief will feel at home here, but in general '...Mile' is both punchier than Prog and weightier than Pop, blending an angular eighties edginess with soundscape warmth and Metal riffs. The result is refreshing, compelling and occasionally unsettling, as the band storm through ten tracks in an intense and enjoyable forty-four minutes.

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Opener, the video single 'Ascension', is truly tone setting, bringing all elements of the band's sound together and putting them in the shop window. Daniel Estrin's vocals, while exhibiting an eighties Indie or even New Romantic bent (he has been compared to Simon LeBon), benefit from the charm of his Aussie accent seeping through now and then, particularly in heavier moments. There's no let-up in style or quality anywhere here, and even at their darkest and most intense, as, for example, when growl vocals briefly threaten to intrude in 'Disconnected', the band never lose their way or their grip on melody. In fact, there are plenty of hooks, with 'What A Wonderful Day', 'Lifeline' and 'This Gentle Earth' all scoring big and demonstrating possible follow-up single potential.

'Ghost Mile' is a balanced, confident album from a band sounding exactly how they want to sound and comfortable in their own skin. Strong sound, strong tracks and strong performances; this is strongly recommended for those who like eating their Pop Prog off purposely sharpened knives.

Michael Anthony

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