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Album Review – Voyager-X – Magic

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Review by Richard Henry for MPM

So, I must admit I had to do a bit of reading up on these guys, this album was actually recorded back in 1997 but was shelved and now has been released and digitally remastered in 2021 and is now getting a release this year! Let’s see what this album is all about!

Janus Face

Rolling in with a synth to kick it off with a pedal point phrase before the band kicks in and follows it, immediately I am thinking more Fates Warning in terms of this one, lots of odd time in the verses before it goes a lot more AOR for the next section, keys are rolling around constantly, the vocals are very Geoff Tate when he goes higher for sure, very Boston sounding solo with the harmonizer in full effect, its more or a short sort of pop sounding piece on reflection if you took out the odd time parts in the verse.

Hypnotize you

This one kicks off with a slinky groove, and a nice riff, before it sort of just about faces and into the verse that’s driven by the bass and a nice sparse guitar figure before the keys come bouncing in, then a nice key/guitar unison part, the chorus part goes back to that opening groove with a little keyboard figure following behind in the mix, it sort of goes round the parts and then finishes with the unison part again, so sort of straight to the point!

Magic

Now this straight away feels a bit different and a lot more 80s felling with that riff with the keyboard part, nice little descending guitar run there, this feels more like a heavier Toto or like 80s AOR in feel, and its glorious sounding, great chorus, and it gets really warm when the keys come in and smother the sound on the chorus, really nice solo on this, which speaking of said band, really reminds me of something Lukather would play, very nice, great track!

You Crossed My Way

Piano intro to this one, nice sound actually and then the keys come in to support the main piano part, nice full vocal on this as well and when the band come in, it’s nice and subtle, I love the shifting synth pads just moving under and then the little lead part in between the vocal in the second verse, now that’s great songwriting, instead of the band building into a solo which would be the normal thing to do, the solo is on nylon string guitar and it so suits the feel of the song instead of a typical solo, well done there, this is a phenomenal track!

I Recognize You

Oh yeah this is Toto, like that’s straight away with that keys intro and then that guitar part coming in, and then that little staccato riff on the verse as well, very nice, next part with that acoustic arpeggiated guitar part, lovely verse part just driving away but a bit more subtle, then the vocals climb and the band come in for the chorus, nice key change after the chorus, again a steel string guitar solo comes up on this then into the electric solo, again it’s really well done and great arranging, nice build into the key change right after the solo which then changes back into the chorus part, another great track!

Don’t Lose the Path

Phased guitar and heavy synth to open this one up, before it suddenly sort of opens up with the vocals coming in and a nice clean guitar part coming in as well, there are all these little parts that are coming in and out of this verse before it starts to build up into the chorus where it really starts to drive in terms of the drums and the instrumentation, after the second chorus we have a key change into the middle section and again there is a lot going on there, before it breaks down into a heavy synth bed with the hi hat and an arpeggiated clean guitar part, again these guys are really good arrangers of a track, nice solo as well, keeping it melodic but adding in little bits of flash as well, more Steve Rothery than Steve Vai, yet another well written great track!

C’mon Live Your Dreams Together

Yes, a real sort of driving open string pull off thing with the keys punctuating it, the vocals are a lot more aggressive on this one for certain and this is definitely the hardest track so far, I mean the keys are still all over it but it’s really guitar heavy, and I like it, the chorus and everything, none of it lets up in intensity, another nice solo, this one is short sharp and to the point, really loved this track!

Walk on the Dead Line

Almost sort of Rhodes and Piano mix but straight away you get the rolling arpeggiated chords but there is a counter point as well, and a lovely vocal over the top of it, before it goes really 80s with an almost electronic feeling drum part, clean guitar stabs over the verse and a nice bass line in there as well, then when it hits the chorus it all has built up and the band are in full force but again it’s so well done and then it breaks into the verse and quietens down, nice keys solo before we go all Egyptian with that short guitar solo before back into that huge chorus!

Crime of the Century

Again, a really heavy opening riff, almost like Dio, and then straight way it drops into the verse with the bass line and organ driving it, before it changes into a drum groove then stops and into a riff with a rolling keys part over the top before it goes back into the verse, the most prog arrangement for sure so far, the chorus brings back that opening riff and again I just get that Dio feel to it, middle section drops down and there is a spoken news article played over the top of it, and there is a really cool whistled melody there before it goes back into that heavy riff for the solo, before it drops out again straight after the solo, then back into the chorus again, great album closer!

9 out of 10

I was really surprised, now I thought when I saw then name it was going to be more prog, but in reality, for me, it’s a cross of the more 80s Toto sound crossed with a bit of Fates Warning and Queensryche, really good album, I think the first track is the reason I scored a nine instead of a ten, it’s the one that has the odd time drums and it sort of is the only song where I didn’t feel it flowed as well as the other tracks, apart from that, every other track is excellent, nice when you get a band you don’t know and the album surprises you!

For more information about the band, head to their band’s profile at www.dr-music-promotion.de and for the latest news and insights on VOYAGER-X and their musical resurrection, it’s worth checking out their website regularly at www.voyager-x.de and their increasingly vibrant new social media stages at www.facebook.com/voyagerxband and www.instagram.com/voyagerxband.

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