It is quite difficult to analyse the symbolic meaning of the cover to “Voyageur”. A few mysterious numbers are featured on the cover of the album: 28, 22, 7. We can try to perform a certain analysis here and solve the mystery of these numbers. The number 7 might refer to the seven days of the week, or the seven planets. A rose with seven petals is a symbol of seven heavens, seven cabalistic angelic hierarchies. 7 is the number of completeness and moral order. In ancient Egypt it symbolised eternal life. It represents a complete, closed cycle, a dynamic perfection. All lunar phases are seven days long. Number 7 is a symbol of the change after completion of a certain cycle, the positive revival. It is the image of the whole time-space continuum. 7 is the sum of number 4, which represents Earth, and number 3, which represents Heaven, and so it symbolises the whole universe, the dynamic entirety.
It is worth noting that 28 is a multiple of 7. 7 symbolises the change after a complete cycle… Could it be a reference to the new form of Enigma?
Number 22 is called the master number in fortune telling. In ancient Persian culture it symbolised nature and the story of all creation. Another thing worth noting is that the ratio of two of the numbers featured on the cover, 22 and 7, is equivalent to the number pi – one of the most important constants in Mathematics.
On the perimeter of the CD we can see twelve Zodiac signs. Evidently, the circle is the leitmotif of this album. It could be a reference to coming full circle, i.e. returning to the original state of a situation. So could this mean that one of Enigma’s next albums is going to resemble their debut album?
The song “Voyageur” starts off with long sounds of panpipes, similar to those in the single “My Kingdom” (cover on the left) from Future Sound Of London’s album “Dead Cities”. It is worth adding that the founders of the British band, Brian Dougans and Garry Cobain, seemed more interested in the processes of ageing and decay than in life and energy – even though they were only in their thirties. They focused on the ruins rather than fundaments. In 1996, a very limited edition of “We Have Explosive”, a 12-inch vinyl record published under the pseudonym Semtex, was released. The album came and went without much response from the audience. Later that year the single “My Kingdom” was released (an astonishing 30-minute-long suite consisting of 5 interconnected parts). The single was available in every shop and the music video promoting it was played on the TV. A full length album, “Dead Cities” was also published. The album featured 13 tracks, the titles of which are shrouded in mystery to this day due to the ambiguous track listing on the back cover of the CD (the limited edition of “Dead Cities” was sold together with a 196-pages-long book containing a peculiar story and a lot of private photos and collages).
“Incognito” is quite a peculiar piece. It starts with the sound of footsteps, followed by a match being lit and a drag of a cigarette. Halfway through the track, the music becomes chaotic and we can hear fragments of “Sadeness Part One” (cover on the left) from Enigma’s debut album “MCMXC a.D.” This was probably Cretu’s way of adding old elements to Enigma’s new album, as a reminder of their previous style. In “Incognito” we can hear a male voice imitating instruments (a similar measure was implemented in the iconic song “Don’t worry, be happy”).
“Voyageur” uses hardly any samples from other artists’ work. We won’t find any Gregorian chants or ethnic vocals here. “Voyageur” is quite different from Enigma’s previous albums, but it has a very distinctive vibe to it and the general album’s sound could be categorized as sophisticated pop. Nevertheless, a lot of the fans were disappointed and unsatisfied with it.
Adrian Rode (author)
Marcin Papke (translation, images and review)