Review Summary: This collection of melodic sci-fi songs is perfect for fans of Voyager and Rendezvous Point. Egor Lappo is right to be proud of his work.
There are honestly so many metal albums coming out each month that it's frankly difficult to keep track of them all. So, when I bookmark albums that may be worthwhile, I hold a fairly high but reasonable standard for what does and does not get reviewed. Because of this, I am often skeptical of solo artist material. There are many solo artists on Metal Archives that seemingly pump out one low-effort album every couple of months or so. These solo artists usually do not contribute much meaningful material to the music landscape. What's worse is that they serve more to dilute the metal community with a lot of noise and clutter. And as tempting as it is, I will not be calling out any names here. Though artists have much more creative freedom writing solo albums, it is difficult for one person to be as skilled at every instrument as each member of a band would be at their respective instruments. Because of this, it is often the case that solo artists are disproportionately focused on one instrument (usually guitars) and do not write well-rounded albums where every instrument sounds creative and unique.
When one keeps the potential challenges of a solo artist in mind, it is a pleasant surprise to hear that Trancevoicer by the Russian solo artist Egor Lappo is actually a really good album. This album excels most in its all-around melodic songwriting and its huge emphasis on hooks. The synths, guitars, and vocals are all centered around each song's distinct melody which makes it a fairly consistent album throughout. Adjacently, Egor assembled all the instruments in a way where they are fairly complementary with one another.
It is rare to say this but in Trancevoicer, each instrument has a close to perfect amount of emphasis in its mixing. No instrument is too loud, and no instrument is too quiet. It is always a disappointment when a band creates close to a masterpiece of an album when the mix is done poorly. A great mix can add a lot more to an album than many people give it credit for, especially in the passive listening experience. When the composition and arrangements of the album are paid attention to less, the overall soundscape of the album will stick out a lot more to the passive listener. This makes this an exceptional album to put on while working on other tasks.
When it comes to discussing the influences and sounds that this album has it is actually a little difficult to find an exact match. However, this album does sound like it has a decent amount of a Marillion influence, especially in the synths and melodies. This album essentially has the melody and catchiness of a rock album, but also the riffs and heaviness of a modern prog metal album similar to the likes of Rendezvous Point and modern Distorted Harmony.
This is an impressive showing from Egor Lappo. Especially considering that this is one of the better-mixed albums I have reviewed lately, and it is self-mixed. This man is responsible for the vocals, guitars, drums, piano and synths, the mixing, and production of this album. And for it to actually come out sounding instrumentally holistic and have competent songwriting is very admirable. I will say though that it would be cool to see Egor expand his creativity a bit more and write more complex and varied songs. It would also probably be beneficial to pick up more members and start a serious band. This can result in giving a new album more instrumental variety. As it stands, Trancevoicer can sound a bit samey after a while.
Overall, while this is a very well-made album, it does not really add anything particularly groundbreaking to what we already have. What one will get from this album is a new flavor of a Voyager album. But if any of the bands mentioned above are up your alley, then you will probably really enjoy this album.