Review Summary: Pure mindful and melodic madness, without any fancy, unnecessary outer shell.The Fall of Troy
– The Fall of Troy
At the time of recording, The Fall of Troy
Thomas Erak – Guitar, Lead Vocals
Tim Ward – Bass, Backup Vocals
Andrew Forsman – Drums
After Mike Munro left The 30 Years War
to focus on his schoolwork rather than expand his artistic capabilities, Tom, Tim, and Andrew faced the challenge of converting into a trio and writing music sans one guitar. The three high-school students quickly dropped their old name for the current The Fall of Troy
, and in a few months had recorded and released a self-titled debut under Lujo Records. The album and band’s sound consisted of a heavier post-hardcore blended with occasional progressive elements, and it was executed nearly to perfection. Add to this the sheer amount of energy crammed into each and every song without the album ever feeling excessive and you’ve got yourself one heck of an album.
A common misconception with The Fall of Troy
is that they are simply using their entire instrumental proficiency to overwhelm the listener. Yes, they are a truly remarkable group of young musicians, but there is stellar songwriting ability present within The Fall of Troy
. While many songs here will begin with the all too common verse-chorus-verse-chorus, the band will mix it up a few minutes into the songs, instead of eventually boring the listener with repetitiveness. Whacko Jacko Steals the Elephant Man’s Bones
begins like so, but ends with the bridge taking a multitude of twists and turns to better the song’s overall formula. It is a nice and substantial 4:51, but 90 seconds through you won’t here anymore of the brutal chorus. Due to this, one can’t complain that this is just a bunch of intricate sections sloppily stitched together, but one also cannot say that the format is too basic. To add another positive to the album’s continuous list, every instrument will be heard here. Whether it’s taking charge during F.C.P.S.I.T.S.G.E.P.G.E.P.G.E.P.
, or setting the pace for the ludicrously intense I Just Got This Symphony Goin’
, the bass is evident and prominent here. Andrew Forsman rocks the drums as well as any other young talent out there, and then of course there is Thomas Erak on guitar. I hate to venture into the first person, but he is in my opinion one of if not the best guitarist in the genre. While he is constantly blowing listeners away with a plethora of intricate riffs, he is also the lead vocalist and is nothing short of superb. A sense of urgency or anguish is always present, and for those with lighter musical tastes, he backs this up with some very impressive singing. It is evident minutes through the album that this production is raw as flesh, and does little for his voice, so essentially everything you are hearing is as real as can be.
The few setbacks this album has really don’t hurt it musically, rather they keep this from being a masterpiece of the genre. The lyrics mostly pertain to love and sex, so they aren’t deep or groundbreaking in any way, but give the band some credit for them, simply because they are always well-written despite the youth of the group. Perhaps one of the top three tracks on the album, The Circus That Has Brought Us Back To These Nights (Yo Chocola!)
, contains an influence from a very significant band of the genre’s earlier days that is all too apparent. After listening to this song, give Relationship of Command
a spin. You’ll notice a pretty heavy similarity within the first minute or so of Arcarsenal
, but overall the band is rather original and manages to create a signature sound without overdoing any musical aspects. Many will take offense to the harsh vocals here, because it is honestly hard to understand what Erak is saying most of the time, but because it isn’t blatantly obvious to fans of more severe vocals that they are bad, whether or not you will like these is all a matter of taste.
In the contemporary hardcore (and all sub genres) music scene that is unfortunately full of distasteful garbage and tedious imitators, The Fall of Troy
stand among the very few to mix the right amount of talent, songwriting skills, and surprising maturity to produce magnificent music. Don’t be turned off by the somewhat alarming vocals or the absurd song titles (only absurd to the naked eye, though), or even the bizarre album artwork, enjoy this album to the fullest extent. There is something for everyone to appreciate here, whether it is the more intense moments, the long yet enjoyable vocal-free sections, the undeniably raw production, or the pure enthusiasm expressed by the band in recording this album without any lack of effort. It is easily one of the best albums of its year and a landmark that kept the post-hardcore train chugging strong through the early 21st century.
Songwriting and creativity
Incredibly unrefined production
Somewhat naïve lyrical content
Some may not enjoy the vocals, but that doesn’t take away from their excellence
Some Recommended Tracks:
The Circus That Has Brought Us Back To These Nights (Yo Chocola!)
What Sound Does A Mastodon Make?
I Just Got This Symphony Goin’
Whacko Jacko Steals The Elephant Man’s Bones