Release Date: January 1, 2015
Label: Land of Oz Music
Progressive rock finds inspiration in classical music then molds and shapes it into its own interpretations and the final results can be awe inspiring. That is not news to listeners of the genre however there always seems to be something new to discover. What is challenging is taking classical gems and creating a magnum opus about a spacecraft and its journeys through space. More specifically, this about an ambitious and multi-talented lady named Cailyn and her recently released projectVoyager. I have included an explanation of each track from the artist for your pleasure if you choose to listen to the provided Bandcamp player.
Personally I have always had a fascination with the stars and planets and the space program since I was a little boy. That interest and wonder has not diminished, in fact it has grown stronger over the years. So it seems I have a common interest with the artist right from the start.
Cailyn is a fantastic guitar player however she does a bit more including playing bass, keys, synthesizers and drums/percussion on three tracks. There are a few friends that help along the way on select tracks such as Neil Holloman (drums), Deryn Cullen (cello), Nancy Rumbel (English Horn) and Shelby with vocals (“Neptune”).
The overall mix of the recording is superb. These are complex undertakings and one giant leap for this musician. To venture into this territory is risqué and difficult to say the least. I must admit straight away that the end result is a marvelous achievement of instrumental progressive rock with classical as the rock solid foundation. Classical is the springboard to the eventual music bliss a listener can experience taking in such a recording as Voyager.
The epic “Jupiter” puts everything previously discussed into proper perspective. The track has it all, flourishes of great leads on guitar, percussive elements that stand tall and ready like an army of frontline soldiers digging in for battle, then the keyboards take you from the launching pad in your mind’s eye right into warp drive. It is the most brilliant track in the album. The “Titan” follows that lead with more of the same explosions of sound and beauty which come at you from all sides and the many colors of the musical universe embark your senses on yet another journey into deep space, it is indeed quite a voyage. One could not ask for more in two consecutive tracks like this. Then the icing on the cake is the rocking “Miranda,” which Cailyn says to all the guitar aficionados - “Besides all the beauty of space and the craft that takes you on this voyage there is some shredding of the six- string offered up to show I can flat out rock.” It is an eye opener to be sure. When people talk about all time guitar legends do you ever hear a woman’s name mentioned? I am a guilty party as well. Perhaps with more people like Cailyn that can change and why not?
As the music plays on and takes through the universe you begin to understand just what a great musician and particularly good guitar player this lady Cailyn is. An indie artist such as this will never be as famous as someone like Rick Wakeman who took all the best of his classical influences and created masterful solo albums we shall never forget. Cailyn has done the same thing in a most professional and precise manner, much like those that came before her (Yes, King Crimson etc.) so why shouldn’t that kind of recognition be bestowed upon this musical genius created by this very talented individual? Because those kinds of things only happen to a miniscule segment of the musical population, as unfortunate as that is.
Voyager is great album that needs to be heard now by not only everyone in the prog rock community but anyone that loves and appreciates good music that happens to takes you on an unforgettable adventure. That is what you will get with this album, a ride you will not soon forget.
If you support artists like this by purchasing the download or CD, great music will continue to become available and then some of the focus can be taken away from the 2% percent of which are millionaires that are constantly being pushed on the radio whether they have any talent or not, and most don’t. It’s all about discovery and the best part is you can listen before you take out your wallet. This is a wonderful time to be alive and be a music lover, we have it all at our disposal and thanks to artists like Cailyn our faith is restored. We find that there are some talented musicians that are willing to share their gifts with us without any fanfare and millions of dollars in advertising to back them. It is all done on minimal budgets, a lot of heart, sweat, and most of all an honest day’s work. I would support that kind of individual any day over the façade of glitz, glamour and all the booty shaking. This is real and music does not ever get more true or spectacular than this. Wondrous stories indeed…Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Prog Rock Music Talk Founder
Key Tracks: Jupiter, Titan, Miranda
January 6, 2015
Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk
Voyager - A powerful symphonic introduction leads to a bluesy guitar progression followed by a powerful progression of chords that builds to a grand crescendo before a return to the opening theme complete with synths, voices, guitars, and drums.
Io - Pure progressive in 7/4 time. A brooding concoction of keys, guitars, synths, and drums.
Europa - A quiet, reflective track; both New Age and bluesy with a solo cello and sax.
Jupiter - The magnificent composition by Holst, arranged for guitars, drums, and synths into a powerful progressive rock piece. This piece adapted very well to a rock arrangement.
Titan - A hybrid of classical elements and driving rock. An eclectic mix of strings, keys, and guitars.
Saturn - Although Holst based his pieces on the astrological rather than the astronomical, he seemed to capture the essence of the outer planets very well. This track has an eerie wistful feel.
Enceladus - The outlier of all the arrangements, free form, no key or time signature. Synths, keys, voices, and some cool effects.
Miranda - An intriguing mix of metal and classical reflecting the chaotic nature of this moon.
Uranus - Holst wrote this piece in 6/4 time which adapted well to a heavy bluesy triplet drum track and screaming guitars.
Ariel - Pure hard progressive rock mania mostly in 5/4.
Triton - A piano intro, followed by a manic rock guitar/synth solo and then a reflective bluesy guitar finish.
Neptune - Holst penned this piece in 5/4, an eerie piece that closes with a wordless choir that is sung by a very talented session artist.
Pale Blue Dot - Carl Sagan used this phrase to describe a final photo that Voyager took of the Earth as it was leaving the Solar System behind. This plaintive New Age-Rock hybrid includes a solo cello and English horn.
Heliopause - Returns to the opening theme of Voyager and then builds over variations on the opening theme to a powerful conclusion of voices, keys, synths, drums, guitars.