The Thirty Years War
Martyrs Among the Casualties


4.5
superb

Review

by John weathered old reviewer Hanson STAFF
February 14th, 2007 | 27 replies | 13,036 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Martyrs Among the Casualties" is an excellent debut EP from what essentially amounts to The Fall of Troy minus one guitarist, and it's arguably more engaging than any of their more recent work.

The Thirty Years War is essentially post-hardcore (phenomenon) The Fall of Troy. Lets not kid ourselves; they may have lost a guitarist in the transition from Thirty Years War to The Fall of Troy, but the essential ingredients are still there (there are even 4 songs from this EP and their other that were eventually used on TFoT’s debut LP). The big difference with Martyrs Among the Casualties and something like Doppelganger is a much rawer, chaotic vibe the band gives off at some points, and then a hard rock/metal outlook it has at others.

As EP’s go, this is one of the longest you’ll find (except for those 2 song, 70 minute pieces of garbage some bands like to crap out), running at 30 minutes with 7 tracks. One of those happens to be “Reassurance Rests in the Sea,” a fan favorite from The Fall of Troy. In the same vein that the remix’s on Doppelganger sounded worse, “Reassurance Rests in the Sea” actually sounds better with the incredibly low production values on the album. You still have the technical guitar riffs coming from Erak, along with a more present rhythm guitar thanks to Mike Munro, and the song is truer to The Fall of Troy sound than anything else here.

Songs like “Chain Wallet, Nike Shows” show where the Thirty Years War really gets its appeal. Vaguely similar to emo bands like Saetia or Joshua Fit For Battle, the song mixes an extremely poppy, upbeat verse section juxtaposed with a swirling scream-fest in the chorus. The EP truly beings when the clean opening notes suddenly shift into screams of “A car ride suicide, the last time I will cry.”

Even more so than their other albums, Martyrs Among the Casualties is filled with pure teenage angst. “Chain Wallet” is a pretty simplistic song about the feeling of being in love with someone even when the other person fall out of it (“Looking into my own eyes, I see sometimes that her promises are empty, and her heart inside is melting”). While not poetry, its an accurate and passionate expression of those terms. “The Tears of the Green Eyed Angel” documents a pretty standard topic on the drone-like state of America’s youth. Of course, because they’re a fashionable post-hardcore band, the lyrics are all extremely abstract and filled with off-beat imagery like “Sun sets day, we're standing in summer's embrace.”

The EP climaxes directly in its middle with “Mirrors Are More Fun than Television.” It’s an assuming song at first; the protagonist is going ut on a date with his girlfriend, and they’re both ecstatic about it. However, as the song slowly goes on, tragedy strikes as during the middle of the date she is struck by an incoming car. Her final words are fairly touching, but its all driven home by Thomas Erak’s fantastic delivery. You won’t see him being this outright emotional in The Fall of Troy anymore; this is pure unadulterated breaking down. HE shifts from a near-sobbing singing voice into screams effortlessly, and makes the line “oh honey, honey, hold me one more time, all I want is for you to look in my eyes, take my hand, don't let me go!!!” far more touching and emotional than it should be.

So, they make use of that whole hip soft, melodious verse/intensssse chorus to contrast the emotions. As corny as it sounds, it really does work here; imagine what would happen if Saetia got together with The Fall of Troy and warped back in time to do this (even though that makes no sense). Of course, this is much goofier at times than either of those, but on the whole it’s nearly everything The Fall of Troy does good without all the wanking bull*** and pretentious lyrics. Yeah, the songs all follow a similar formula, but the playing on the album makes all the songs seem sufficiently different to justify it.

Martyrs Among the Casualties is one of those albums that despite not being as impressive as later outputs by a given band, holds so much more impact. As overused and cliché as it is to say in music reviews, this album is really just a bunch of kids getting together to vent and make great music. As far as early recordings by bands go, this is an extremely tight and well put together album as well. The only gripe I have with it really is that’s tracks 2-4 seriously dominate on the rest of the EP. Regardless, it’s one of my favorite EP’s of all time, and you should at least give it the time of day.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2007



16071 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If anybody knows of any album art for this shizz I'd be very grateful for it.

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

Intransit
February 14th 2007



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is cool. Pretty good review, although I think Doppleganger edges this out by a bit. Maybe it'll grow on me a bit more though.

trustxdialect
February 15th 2007



1502 Comments


If you google it, this review is the first to come up. I tried looking for it but I can't find anything. Maybe just put a picture of the band?

jrowa001
February 15th 2007



8749 Comments


i gotta get this since the fall of troy are my 3rd fav band but i cant find it anywhere

TojesDolan
February 15th 2007



272 Comments


Here you go Mr. Hanson:
http://the30yw.tripod.com/images/disc.gif

I got it from this place:
http://the30yw.tripod.com/disc.html

Which is the old site of the band. Hope you enjoy it.

Also, The fall of troy is good.

Unhappy_Dean
February 15th 2007



107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If anyone wants to hear this ep, it's on http://www.maybesheforgot.com/tyw_audio.htm , TFoT's fansite. Good stuff.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
February 15th 2007



16071 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ugh stupid sputnik wont let me upload that art. Can a mod do it?

jrowa001
February 15th 2007



8749 Comments


thanks for link dean. i can tell how much they have improved their style over the years. to know suck young kids made this music blows me away

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2007



16071 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I linked all of the songs to the main page so you can hear the entire EP off of sputnik now.

Unhappy_Dean
February 20th 2007



107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Np Jrowa. Yeah, wern't these guys like 17-18 when they made this? This Message Edited On 02.20.07

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2007



16071 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah I think they were all 17, maybe 16 depending on when they actually recorded this. Pretty amazing tbqh.

The Jungler
February 21st 2007



4827 Comments


History book names are always good. I like The Fall of Troy a lot, so maybe I'll check this out when I'm more in the mood for Post Hardcore.
Good review.

The Jungler
March 4th 2007



4827 Comments


EP is cool, but not as great as you make it out to be.
I think I prefer FoT's debut to this.

syonyde
March 4th 2007



11 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Real decent EP, some of these old songs are pretty good. Although I can't really tell where the rhythm guitar had came in, it might just be Tom's greatness with looping in later releases. I don't prefer this to anything that Fall of Troy has released, it is still good music.

HighandDriving
April 5th 2007



3232 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They were 16 when they recorded this.

AndyRictor2000
January 6th 2008



146 Comments


hey illuvatar, what is your avatar from? is it from panic?This Message Edited On 01.06.08

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
January 6th 2008



16071 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

apparently it is. I didn't pick it out.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 6th 2008



17912 Comments


fuck this shit!

evilmegaman
January 14th 2008



172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Just a little note... The summary of the review says "minus one guitarist" where it should actually say "plus one guitarist"


I just had to mention that.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
January 14th 2008



16071 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I actually meant that The Fall of Troy were these guys minus one guitarist, but yeah it does seem like I meant it the other way around.



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