The Fall of Troy
Phantom on the Horizon


4.0
excellent

Review

by tombits USER (16 Reviews)
December 3rd, 2008 | 24 replies | 8,042 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Phantom on the Horizon demonstrates an amount of passion, flow and technicality previously unexplored by the band.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

The Fall of Troy is one of those bands which never stop progressing, and each change can be traced back throughout their discography with relative ease. It all started with the raw and aggressive self-titled; this explosive piece of post-hardcore showcased the band and impressed the pants off everyone who listened. Quickly following in a sophomore swirl of blistering riffs, tight jeans and scene girls was Doppelgänger, which managed to throw the band into the limelight with its new found hooks and pop sensibility (and F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X). Manipulator came next, and although it still encompassed the integral elements of their overall sound, the new blues influence and a horrible production contributed to a lack-luster performance and it left many fans disappointed. Thank God for Phantom on the Horizon.

The Seattle trios’ fourth effort comes at a perfect time; being a re-recording of the legendry Ghostship Demos, it boasts a familiar track list for longtime listeners and some significant improvements on the original cuts. The song structures remain mostly unaltered with the main melodies and guitar riffs left in tact, although the further progression of Thomas Eraks’ singing voice has inevitably rubbed off on his vocal delivery in places. His more melodic, almost scat-like style displayed on Manipulator can be found in several spots across the record, often replacing screamed lines to varying success. "Chapter V" already supported a more technical vocal melody and benefits greatly from the new approach, whilst the half-sung half-rapped chorus in "Chapter IV" just sounds awkwardly out of place and has a real impact on the intensity of the song. Erak has also developed a knack for harmonies, often layering his voice to nice effect.

Not so obvious are the subtle changes and additions to the instrumental parts. New bassist Frank Black has stepped up to the plate with his first release, and outshines many of the old lines with much more interesting and varied parts; the second half of "Chapter III" showcases his funky finger style and compliments the music perfectly. Andrew Forsman again impresses with his incredible drumming, fitting different sections of each song with improved rhythms and new fills. Also accompanying the regular instruments are the previously unheard glockenspiel and string parts that often provide counter-melodies or simply create a thicker, more textured sound. Guitar effects are used for similar purposes, although are applied a bit too frequently and unnecessarily hamper the music at times.

The biggest influence on Phantom on the Horizon is the story itself. The tale of demons, ships and ghosts is expressed through the music in both atmospheric and lyrical devices, and the concept helps form a wonderfully smooth transition from each track through the record. Instrumental sections at the end of every song bridge each track to the next without making the music homogeneous, and often winds down the mood in preparation for the next shift in tempo, sound and emotion. There is a depth to these songs which the other albums lack and it greatly improves the overall quality and replayability of the music itself; each listen reveals intricacies previously overlooked and eventually allows you to piece together the whole disconcerting fable contained within. There is no better example of this then towards the end of "Chapter I", as Erak desperately screams through shimmering tremolo picking and shattering drums:

"As this ship is going down/I look upon the captain’s frown/I see a face of a broken man."

Phantom on the Horizon demonstrates an amount of passion, flow and technicality previously unexplored by the band. Although the production is somewhat questionable, it gives the songs a thick and full sound that they need to convey the story accurately. It’s dark and serious at times and playful in others, but the sense of fun, experimentation and enjoyment from the old days once again integrates itself into the songs and is ever-present throughout the entire 40 minutes. This was an album facing unsurmountable hype, and damn, it's done pretty well. Yet for The Fall of Troy it's all about the future; they sure aren't looking back, and neither should you.



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user ratings (761)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Ross Delany (4)
Phantom on the Horizon bodes well for the future, provided [The Fall of Troy] realise they can’t p...

captainbrett (3)
These first time listeners are wholly unaware of what this release *could* have been - a monumental ...

Christopher Kenrick (5)
Frantic, beautiful, fast, slow. This is The Fall of Troy finally reaching their peak, creating a mas...


Comments:Add a Comment 
tombits
December 3rd 2008



3470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This lacks the amount of content I wanted. I'll edit and add to it tomorrow. Also, does this website use html code or BB code?

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
December 3rd 2008



862 Comments


This is a really well written review, but perhaps things like 'There is an emotional side to these songs which I always felt the other albums lacked' could do with a bit of expanding? Explain the emotional side rather than simply say it improves the record.

This album's alright, never been a massive TFOT fan though anyway.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 3rd 2008



20856 Comments


Tom, I do not want to know what was on your mind when you wrote the following:
"...whilst the half-sung half-raped chorus of Chapter IV..."

AtavanHalen
December 3rd 2008



17927 Comments


Well, the singer IS a little crazy.

RevengeSoldier
December 3rd 2008



295 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I THINK it uses BB code.

SwallowARazor
December 3rd 2008



77 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ANOTHER Phantom on the Horizon review? Good grief.

I'm so sad that my preorder hasn't come in the mail yet, because I still haven't heard this.

lacesoutalex
December 3rd 2008



23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

tfot definitely redeemed themselves with this album and although i dont think like alot of the changes on the cd like tempo change, layered vocals, sung instead of screamed vocals, this cd gives me a better hope for their future.

i dont agree that andrew has better drum parts. the only cd that man has had the spotlight was was the self titled and maybe doppelganger.

something is still missing?

marksellsuswallets
December 3rd 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Davey I think he meant rapped...at least I hope so...

bustyagunz
December 3rd 2008



911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

nah he meant raped, cuz just about everyone on this site thinks that song was raped.
but it would be nice if he meant rapped.This Message Edited On 12.03.08

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 3rd 2008



20856 Comments


Yeah, I know what he meant guys, but come on... what a word to mis-spell & what a way to mis-spell it. Freudian slip maybe!

RevengeSoldier
December 3rd 2008



295 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I personally thought Andrew's drum parts were quite significantly better, just something seemed tighter and just plain better about them.

tombits
December 4th 2008



3470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I know what he meant guys, but come on... what a word to mis-spell & what a way to mis-spell it. Freudian slip maybe!

Wow. Oh well, rapped and raped both work in that context anyway, I might just leave it.
Explain the emotional side rather than simply say it improves the record.

Yeah, I sort of rushed that and the concluding paragraph, i'll edit it tonight. Thanks.
Any clicks on that "Yes" button above are much appreciated. This Message Edited On 12.04.08

tombits
December 5th 2008



3470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I finally finished editing this. Any comments/criticisms?

tombits
December 5th 2008



3470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh, I didn't notice that typo. Thanks!

any14doomsday
December 13th 2008



679 Comments


Im one of the few people who thinks they have actually gotten better with each album, and this is no exception. Im not sure what im going to rate it yet, but im thinking 3.5 maybe 4

tombits
December 15th 2008



3470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think Doppleganger was their most consistent release, but everything they've done is pretty good.

tombits
December 21st 2008



3470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So this has grown on me to the point where I enjoy all of the songs more then the original demos, besides Part IV for obvious reasons. What about you guys?

Tetrad
December 22nd 2008



1 Comments


To be honest, I still like the original demos more than Phantom, but its growing on me.

This review arouses me, by the way.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
December 23rd 2008



4927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

to be honest, as far as the album is concerned, at times it's a really big mess. In fact, the singing and overall songwriting can be considered questionable, but I find myself listening to this mess at least once a week. They make it work well, as ridiculous as that might sound.

tombits
December 23rd 2008



3470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have to agree with you there, it's especially true for Chapter 3.

How was the review by the way?



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