The Thirty Years War
Martyrs Among the Casualties



by Iluvatar EMERITUS
February 14th, 2007 | 20 replies

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.

Recent reviews by this author
Say Anything HebrewsWashboard Leo Thomas Louisiana Bluegrass
Crusades Perhaps You Deliver This Judgement...Against Me! Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Los Campesinos! No BluesArcade Fire Reflektor
user ratings (81)

Comments:Add a Comment 
February 14th 2007


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.

February 15th 2007


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?

February 15th 2007


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

February 15th 2007


Here you go Mr. Hanson:

I got it from this place:

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

Also, The fall of troy is good.

February 15th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

If anyone wants to hear this ep, it's on , TFoT's fansite. Good stuff.

February 15th 2007


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

February 20th 2007


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

The Jungler
February 21st 2007


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


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

March 4th 2007


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.

April 5th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

They were 16 when they recorded this.

January 6th 2008


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

January 14th 2008


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.

April 30th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

Excellent EP. For as young as they were to write something like this and play it as well as they did on this album is outstanding. And it's evident that Fall of Troy didn't come about from nothing.

June 24th 2008


Where can I find this? Help please!

June 24th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

3 words

Maybe She _______

Figure out the what word goes in the blank space then google it and TA DA.

June 24th 2008


Doesn't anyone else hear the similarities between 'What sound does a Mastadon make?' and 'The tears of the green eyed angels'?

Sounds like mastadon is the re-arranged polished version.

October 26th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

Very good album. Especially for an EP. I don't think this is better than any The Fall Of Troy albums, bet very god for an EP.

November 16th 2010


wow, it's crazy to see the regression that occurred with TFOT..

May 15th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

I'm bumping this to a 4.5 because I can't get tired of it, and it's amazing how all this music came from the minds of 15/16 years old teenagers.

Digging: Azusa - Heavy Yoke

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2017
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy