Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Cailyn Lloyd - Voyager CD (album) cover


Cailyn Lloyd

Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Seems hard to believe she wasn't accepted in Prog Archives a year ago

The first time that I Heard about CAILYN LLOYD was in 2013, when she was suggested to the Symphonic Team due to the release of her second studio album Four Pieces in 2012. After listening carefully the record, we decided that it wasn't symphonic, so moved them to another team who also said no despite her clear connection with Progressive Rock but due to the mainstream and New Age elements.

Some days ago, received a mail from Cailyn, asking me to listen her new and yet unreleased conceptual album Voyager (inspired by the Voyager Space Program), so she gave me a link to it. Normally we don't check bands or artists already rejected, but due to the fact she had released a full studio album with Holst influences, notified the team and with some reluctance gave a listen....What a nice surprise.

I won't say that Voyager. is the classic Symphonic release, being that has a lot of Jazz and Hard Rock elements, but the structure and beauty of the music captured me in an instant, so a couple days later, CAILYN LLOYD was accepted by unanimous vote of the team knowing that we were before some new stage in the Symphonic evolution.

I won't mention all the tracks, because it would take several pages and probably would spoil the listening experience trying to describe elaborate music in plain words, but will focus in the songs that impressed me more

The opener Voyager is the musical piece that convinced me that Caily should be added to our database. Despite the aggressive guitar intro where she demonstrates her skills, the atmospheric sound created by the interplay between the guitar. Synths and voices (seem like Mellotron created) is simply delightful.

Jupiter is simply brilliant, Cailyn takes Holst music and morphs it into some sort of Heavy Symphonic -Jazz fusion that blew my head. One of the best pieces I heard in the last years. Ariel is a fantastic chaos that reminds me of a King Crimson / ELP nightmare which demonstrates that Cailyn is able to recreate the spirit of the 70's with abundant pomp, dissonances and all the excesses that progheads like me love so much.

The last track I will mention is Heliopause which closes the album retaking some elements from the opener and exploring further, leading to a grand finale where all the instruments explode into a Big Bang of sounds and images.

Despite the fact that I mentioned some tracks, Voyager must be listened from start to end (as any conceptual album), because it's the only way it makes real sense, and the listener will be able to capture the brilliant ideas in the way it was meant to be heard.

Excellent release that deserves no less than 4 solid stars. Just hope Caily follows in this path, because I believe she's one of the most promising new Prog artists.

Report this review (#1322442)
Posted Wednesday, December 10, 2014 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Starting in the 1980s, there were people like Yngwie Malmsteen, Edward van Halen, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, Chris Oliva and quite a few more who got the label guitar god attached. There was also at least one goddess apparently, called (The Great) Kat. They all had, or have, two things in common: first of, they're guitar playing skills are fantastic, and second, in each case I lost my appetite for their music quite quickly, maybe with the exception of Eddy van Halen. All that shredding, speeding, tapping etc. is great for guitarists and guitar fans, but as a music listener it bores me quite quickly. Yes, I know, it's great that someone can make his guitar talk like a human, but it's all skill and technique and very little emotion, or feeling, if you will. I much prefer the feeling that e.g Steve Hackett put into old Genesis tracks.

Coming January, the world will see the release of an album that helps me with that: Cailyn Lloyd's Voyager.

Cailyn Lloyd might also be a guitar goddess, but I think she's broader than that. Her skills are great, like those of the others, but she manages to make it not only about technique, and guitar is not her only instrument - she plays synthesizers, bass and some of the drums on this album as well.

The album is an instrumental concept album, about the travels of the Voyager probes that were launched at the end of the 70s to explore the outer planets of our Solar system.

Each track, except the first and last one, is about one of the planets or moons the probes passed on their journey. The booklet with the CD includes a description of the different rock and gas bulbs, and reading those really shows why Cailyn composed the tracks the way she did. Composed or arranged I should say, because four of the tracks were composed by Gustav Holst.

The music simply makes you feel, or rather see, for example how the probes fly over the quiet surface of Io, enjoying a slow, somewhat melodic bass line, to be disturbed suddenly by a volcanic eruption of Cailyn's guitar. A few tracks later, we find ourselves admiring quietly the rings of Saturn, accompanied by mellow keyboards and a bit of guitar, and suddenly we drop through them, driven by a heavy guitar riff, to end up on the dark side, slowly flying away from the giant planet with a steady rhythm towards Enceladus. That moon gives us a dark, almost cold track, just like the moon itself before we head of to Miranda, one of the weirdest moons in our solar system, represented by a high pitched lead guitar that together with a driving synthesizer takes us along the surface something that is best described as a planet turned partially inside out.

After that, there's still more, with the roller coaster ride around Uranus, which contains a shuffled drum pattern, the moon Ariel, where a storm at the end of the track reminds me of the staccato riffs that Alex Lifeson played on Rush' 2112.

Without wanting to describe all tracks, it is worth mentioning the use of an English horn on Pale Blue Dot, which is a track that almost makes the Voyager probes look back in a nostalgic way at earth in the very far distance.

The album closes with Heliopause, which, like the opening track, shows that Cailyn indeed has speed and skill on the guitar, until Voyager leaves the solar system at the sound of the last beat of the drums.

A well thought out album, for all who enjoying a bit of instrumental progressive symphonic rock, with a lot of emphasis on skilled guitar playing. Read along with the liner notes, or close your eyes and enjoy a trip through space. I love it.

Report this review (#1324634)
Posted Monday, December 15, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars I didn't want to post my review until the official release date of Jan 1, 2014, even thought I had had the CD for a week. But I have just received an email, saying that the Voyager has officially launched! (which would make it a de facto 2014 album, I guess?)

I must say I have been somewhat disappointed by the 2014 crop; no names shall be named, but I have found that most of the Top 100 albums wouldn't merit more than 3 stars.

But the Voyager flies high and shines bright. Cailyn and her band took Gustav Holst's grand creation, The Planets, and propelled it all the way into the deep space. Which, being a space exploration enthusiast, I find exciting and fulfilling.

As usual, instead of dissecting and analyzing the album bit by bit, I'll take the liberty of telling you all what my first impressions were. The Voyager certainly proves that Cailyn and her band have come of (space) age; the quality of their compositions, the execution and the sound engineering are very impressive for a relatively young band. The imagery they use is powerful, beautiful and perfectly congruent with the album's message. Nothing is overdone, and nothing that's worth exploring is left out. A very mature and well-rounded album.

So, why 4 stars only? If I have to pick on the Voyager, I'd say that it's perhaps 5 to 10 minutes "too long", meaning that I have to sort of "force" myself to listen to a few extra minutes past my natural attention span, which slightly diminishes the overall enjoyment. I do reserve the right to re-visit my review and upgrade it to 5 stars :)

Report this review (#1328916)
Posted Friday, December 26, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars Cailyn Lloyd is a very skilled guitarist and great composer who released this album a week ago. This album is a concept album about the Nasa's Voyager. All the tracks have the name of a space object except for the first and the last ones. The album includes four adaptations of parts of The Planets by Holst. The music is great and really makes you feel like you are having a trip through space. The songs are well written, it's pure progressive rock and the guitar parts are just astounding. It's not silly shred with no soul, it's shred for the musical aspect, for making you trip. Voyager is really a great album to begin with in 2015, and I really hope that the other albums will be as good as Voyager is.
Report this review (#1334130)
Posted Thursday, January 1, 2015 | Review Permalink
3 stars Cailyn Lloyd is a talented multi-instrumentalist, playing piano, violin, bass and guitar. Voyager, a concept album based on the journey of the spacecraft(s) of the same name, automatically sets the bar high with its high concept. Prog arrangements of excerpts from Holst's The Planets set it even higher. It would be difficult for anyone to live up to the expectations produced by such ambition. Voyager succeeds in some ways, but not all.

Production and technique on this album are superb. Each instrument is pristine, and each played more than competently with tasteful arrangement. However, "tasteful" is not enough to capture the grandeur of the Voyagers' history-making journey, and therein lies the problem. While portions of Voyager are great prog rock, the tracks on the whole do not describe the incredible awesomeness of space or the alien worlds visited. There are a few wonderful highlights that do bring some true wonder into it: "Europa," a luscious exploration of unusual chord-changes that feel truly out-of-the-ordinary, and "Neptune" in which Lloyd arranged some of Holst's work in ways that instantly evoke "cold" and "alien" responses. Possibly the most rewarding track is "Pale Blue Dot," based on a single image taken of the Earth from beyond the orbit of Pluto. It is less proggish than the other tracks, but more poignant with a more orchestral style. It captures a sense of loneliness and smallness while still feeling hopeful.

One complaint about the album as a whole: while Lloyd plays and arranges well overall, I found her guitar leads to be singularly uninspired. They seemed to be based more on what is easy to play rather than what would elevate the music to an epic level or enhance the emotional response of a listener.

Overall, this is good but to represent the Voyagers' journey it should have been... grander. If, however, you are looking for generally well-produced and arranged instrumental prog music, this will certainly fit the bill.

Report this review (#1376030)
Posted Sunday, March 1, 2015 | Review Permalink

CAILYN LLOYD Voyager ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of CAILYN LLOYD Voyager

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.