Sound — 8
Fall Of Troy have always had different sounds on all their CDs. Their debut put them on the radar and the follow-up, Doppelganger, impressed fans and critics alike with it's virtuoso guitar skills and great song-writing. Manipulator, the trio's third album, was a change in direction and incorporated more progressive elements, and even included a blues song. Fan who had loved the screamo madness of doppelganger felt betrayed and looked anxiously to their fourth for a return to the screaming. In the unlikely event is another change in direction, and has a poppy element amongst the post-hardcore songs. The opening track, and song released first, is 'Panic Attack!', beginning with a wah filled riff and launching into a catchy chorus, this is definitely a strong starter to the album. 'Straight Jacket Kneehauled' is an all out attack on the senses with the bassist's, Frank Black, beastly scream yelling 'recover'. This song is reminiscent of 'Rockstar nailbomb' and shows that FoT can still do fast paced screamo. 'Battleship Graveyard' is pure Fall Of Troy, beginning with great singing by Erak and a punishing breakdown in the middle. 'A classic case of transference', despite it's catchy chorus, is the first weak song on ItUE with some cringeworthy lyrics, and one of the more poppier songs of the album. 'Single' is amazingly catchy and begins with a catchy riff and chorus before going into another breakdown, and returning to the chorus. 'Empty the clip, the king has been slain, long live the queen' and 'People and their lives' are pretty mediocre, with odd chants and choruses making the songs feel odd to listen to. 'Dirty Pillow Talk' is one of the best songs on the album, with an effect-ridden riff and Rody Walker lending his vocal talents to the track. Both the band and Walker shine on this track, with tight playing and great vocals. 'Nobodies Perfect' is definitely pop, but at the same time still has the catchiness and great guitar playing that make FoT shine. 'Webs' is a very bluesy song that has is relaxed and has lyrics similar to 'Caught up'. Great guitar playing also helps this track go into 'Walk of Fame', a song that is definitely FoT. The singing is pretty good and the drummer, Andrew Forsman, is great on this. The album finishes on 'Nature vs Nurture', a pretty good song, with a spoken part in the middle by Erak that works pretty well. It's a departure from the 7ish minute long gems found at the end of the other Fall of Troy albums.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics in this album are a bit hit and miss, they fit in with the music fine, as do most Fall of Troy songs, but the actual words in the lyrics are decent at best apart from 1 or 2 exceptions. The lyrics in past albums were great, but in this album they are not so much. The singing is basically spot on all the way through, Thomas Erak is a great vocalist/screamer and can hit the right note almost all the time. 'Single', 'Battleship Graveyard' and 'Nobody's perfect' have great vocal moments.
Overall Impression — 9
This album is difficult to compare to Fall Of Troy's past efforts. It definitely has more developed and mature song-writing than 'Doppelganger' and their debut, yet lacks the kick that 'Manipulator' had in lyrics and musicianship. I love Erak's vocals on this album yet some of the lyrics undermine that. The guitar playing is still great and shows Erak's impressive mastery of singing whilst shredding away on guitar. The rest of the band are tight and the production of the album is pretty awesome. All the instruments come out clearly to me and it sounds great. This is a strong album from The Fall Of Troy, albeit some weak points. It definitely lives up to expectations, despite some concerns about where the Fall of Troy were heading musically. I look forward to seeing how this performed live and what they will produce next.