The Fall of Troy
Manipulator


3.5
great

Review

by KMHouldey USER (5 Reviews)
February 23rd, 2012 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The album doesn't immediately draw the listener in, but it later proves to be a solid album.

I am aware of the amount of hate this album has received over the years. As a result, I would just like to set the record straight – this is not a bad album. I concede that the album has its flaws, especially in comparison to the tightness and consistency of their sophomore venture, Doppelgänger. This is most prominent in the difference in quality between the two halves of the album, with the latter half proving to be much stronger and truer to the band’s chaotic formula. Songs such as 'Sledgehammer' and 'Ex-Creations' stick to a similar frame as their predecessors and yet they crank it up a notch. However, even the vastly different 'Caught Up' aids the latter half of the album by showcasing Erak’s singing ability, which was mostly lacking in their previous album. As an acoustic piece it’s very different to their previous work and yet it acts as a fitting breather between the frenetic vocals and guitar work of 'Shhh! If You’re Quiet, I’ll Show You A Dinosaur' and the album’s closer. In regards to this latter half, I agree, there are virtually no flaws (cringingly high vocals in 'Shhh!...' aside).

That said, the first half of the album has been sadly overlooked by many, myself included, due to its catchier and more formulaic nature. 'Quarter Past', for example, is the antithesis to any decent TFOT song in that it is slow and focuses more on vocals rather than the music. Yet despite this, 'The Dark Trail' features some of the best screams heard in a TFOT album with a catchy chorus to boot. The album opener features some lovely guitar and bass work, whilst 'Problem!?' provides an example of the band’s more manic nature, cramming itself into a tidy 1:56 minutes. 'Semi-Fiction' also stands out as another opportunity for Erak to sing properly without any expense to the band’s trademark progressive sound. Some funky space noises are also included during the interlude. Bonus.

The opening half is slower, granted, with a focus on catchier and distinguishable lyrics rather than the usual manic fretwork and crazed shrieks. I admit, it’s markedly different from the second half of the album, but the songs are by no means bad. I implore the haters to give the album another try. Listen to it again. From the start. It may take a few times to fully appreciate the songs, but there is always the chance you’ll find at least one song from the first half you can enjoy. The album isn’t perfect and yet after giving the album another chance I find myself listening to most, if not all of it instead of skipping straight to 'Sledgehammer'. It’s different, sure, but that’s what marks progression in a band. There would be no point cranking out variations of Doppelgänger every two years; it would be boring. Manipulator marks the band stepping out of its comfort zone for the first time, and in spite of what others have said, it is a worthy successor.

Highlights –
'Sledgehammer', 'Seattlantis', 'Semi-Fiction'


user ratings (1210)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
rufinthefury (1.5)
The fall of The Fall of Troy....

Maximilian Harkness (4)
Disappointingly tampers with one of my favorite formulas, on it's own its still a great, at times br...

John weathered old reviewer Hanson STAFF (3.5)
"Manipulator" plays like an avocado filled with chocolate; ugh at first, but has a delicious chocola...


Comments:Add a Comment 
KMHouldey
February 23rd 2012


28 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is my first review, so any feedback would be much appreciated!

Muse1748
February 23rd 2012


160 Comments


Solid first review; typically it's good to avoid the use of the first person, but other than that I thought it was a solid review, so I pos'd. Maybe just a bit more detail about why some songs do/don't work.

As an aside, I actually thought thought the same thing about the album; I didn't give it much of a chance the first couple of times I listened. A couple years later, I couldn't take it out of my car's cd player.

johnnyblaze
February 23rd 2012


2615 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. I wouldn't refer to "the haters" so much, but other than that it's definitely solid.

Album is good; this actually makes me want to listen to this again for the first time in at least 3 years. But God, how did they go from this to In the Unlikely Event!?

Cryio
February 23rd 2012


97 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review. I pos'd most of all of because it's a Fall of Troy review. And I'm a nostalgic bastard. I agree with the fact that the album is structurely divided in 2 parts, though, I seem to like the first part more than the second one [catchyness wins this time is seems]. Maybe I haven't listend enough of Semi-Fiction and onwords.

sniper
February 23rd 2012


19075 Comments


this album is way shittier than their stuff from before it and way better than their stuff after it. basically this was their future suck warming up for the suckfest of their next two releases.

ohfoxxxycole
February 23rd 2012


4353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

decent review. how would you rank their other albums

sniper
February 23rd 2012


19075 Comments


tfot
ghostship demos = doppelganger
this
poth
album which must not be named

johnnyblaze
February 23rd 2012


2615 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"album which must not be named"

lol. so true. it's such an abomination.

KMHouldey
February 24th 2012


28 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks a lot for all the positive feedback, much appreciated! In all fairness I haven't had much of a listen to their old stuff but I've heard it's gold, especially compared to their newer stuff. I've listened to PotH and found it to be mostly empty, especially Chapter 1 which features maybe 6 minutes of ambiance?

I haven't had a proper listen to the 'album which must not be named' but from the snippets I've listened to via Youtube I'm not impressed. It just seems completely lifeless and what you're saying definitely confirms this!

I'd definitely put Doppelgänger above this album in terms of consistency and overall 'likeability' but to be honest I really don't have too many complaints with this album at all.

sniper
February 24th 2012


19075 Comments


i don't have a problem with ambiance or anything but phantom just features much worse versions of songs from the ghostship demos, which many consider to be the height of their discography.

i highly recommend you look into the ghostship demos and their self-titled album, although be warned: the sound of those songs is raw in a way you may not have heard before. i know tfot has a tendency to be "baby's first hardcore band" for a lot of people and the self-titled may well blow you away if that's the case.

KMHouldey
February 26th 2012


28 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The self-titled is definitely amazing. I like it a lot!



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