British guitarist and keyboardist Kenny Mitchell presents us in ''Voyager'' an aspirational project in creating a 50-minute album consisting of only a couple of instrumental compositions, mixing mainly old-school progressive rock with a slight modern touch.
''Voyager'' is Mitchell's longest release at the time of writing. It is a fully DIY project, in which Mitchell composes, performs, records and produces solely on his own, releasing his music via bandcamp. Does this differ from the multitude of DIy releases we see in the last years? In a sense it does, since we do not so often see such long compositions and with such a retro-feel. Acoustic guitars play a dominant role in both compositions, reminiscent of the moods of Yes and, even more, Genesis. Melodic, dreamy passages bring us back straight to the 70's, in a generally nostalgic atmosphere.
The strong melodies owe a lot to Pink Floyd (Animals era) especially in the first 10 minutes, after which 'Voyager part 1'' becomes more adventurous with spacey keyboards and heavy bass lines in the vein of Porcupine Tree. Both tracks follow more or less the same pattern and display a relatively long atmospheric pause midway through, followed by heavy breaks and eventually a return to the opening melodies and moods. Strangely, the whole of the album carries a Mike Oldfield aura, especially on the keyboards, and this is what finally comes to characterise the album: a fine example of crossover prog with elements of symphonic and heavy prog, executed very well by Mitchell.
A better production (as well as possibly a full band of musicians) would, in my opinion, give a 'lift' to Mitchell's compositions, which are, in general terms, very solid. The listener should expect a nice balance of melody and heaviness, and though not astonished, will not find himself getting bored throughout this voyage.