Manipulator review by The Fall of Troy

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  • Released: May 1, 2007
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (114 votes)
The Fall of Troy: Manipulator
3

Sound — 9
This album, though great, is different from The Fall of Troy's other albums. More chords are used in songs and the instruments are less technical than other Fall of Troy albums. This really shows off Thomas Erak's singing skills. Sadly, he used a couple of tracks to show off his singing skills alone and not his godly fingers upon a guitar neck, namely Caught Up (track 10). This song is not a Fall of Troy song, but is instead a Thomas Erak solo track. His voice is great, but isn't good without Tim and Andrew. That track threw off the album somewhat, but that was really one of the only tracks that really bothered me. In terms of how it was different than the other albums, it was heavier. There were more "chugs" and heavy breakdowns that sounds like As I Lay Dying. One of my favorite parts of the album is track 11, A Man A Plan a Canal Panama. About 2:30 in, a familiar breakdown came in. Anybody who saw them with their tour with Tera Melos and Portugal the Man will notice that this is what they played at the very beginning of the tour. This is one of my favorite breakdowns ever. I broke a ceiling fan in joy (and hardcore dancing). This part combines the complexity of The Fall of Troy and the hardcore breakdowns that sometimes get a little bland. The album features breakdowns throughout that, though fall short of the one I speak of, still sound great. So to summerize, it sounds heavier and is more of really really good hardcore music and less of progression metal.

Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are somewhat hard to understand at first, but after whipping out the unusual inner slip from the jewel case and reading the lyrics, they are still hard to understand. They are complex. Rush complex. Some of it sounds like it is about sex, while other lyrics are just f**ked up. I can just say that The Fall of Troy did a great job messing with my mind just like they did with other albums. Thomas Erak's voice has changed a lot. He sings way more in this album, not to mention has a solo track (which I've disregarded for this review, since I hate it). In the song Shhh! If you're quiet, I'll show you a dinosaur, he does this strange singing screaming thing that ends up sounding really cool. I can't remember where I heard this, but he said he was working on his singing a lot for this album and it really shows. His voice for this album really expanded the genres that The Fall of Troy explore. I'm not even sure about their genre now.

Overall Impression — 10
If there is an emotion, this album will fill you with it. Songs like A Man A Plan a Canal Panama and Ex-Creations will fill you with rage, but a good rage. It will energize you. If you want to feel mopey and sad, listen to Caught Up. Seattlantis and Shhh! If you're quiet, I'll show you a dinosaur are almost relaxing, but intensify. Those tracks are good for new listeners of The Fall of Troy. They ease you into the music. Seattlantis was a great track. I've heard the live version they put on their Myspace profile and was afraid that the album version would suck. I was wrong. The album version captures a mood I never thought The Fall of Troy could capture: relaxation. The song Oh! The Casino?! is great because it has punk rock and some math metal in it. It is not overly complex, and yet has an irregular beat at first. It transforms into what sounds like good Green Day. Overall, this album is not a dissapointment to me, a great Fall of Troy fan, and is great for Fall of Troy veterans or those who just heard about the band. Buy this album and make sure not to break your ceiling fans like I did.

35 comments sorted by best / new / date

    LetsImpeachBush
    Alright. First of all, I thouroughly enjoyed this cd. I have been an avid TFoT listener ever since i first heard Whacko Jacko Steals The Elephant Man's Bones and have never ceased. Doppelganger was the first cd i bought of theirs and instantly, I was entranced by how the band could move seamlessly from catchy licks and choruses to brutal ball-breaking breakdowns. Not to mention constant shredding from Thomas and Tim (especially in Mouths Like Sidewinder Missiles, everyone plays their best in that song)After the s/t was re-released, i immediately ran out to buy it and was glee-stricken to to hear what my favorite band started like, and to hear the old versions of some of the songs on doppelganger. They truly are a PROGRESSIVE band because which each cd, they re-define who they are. On the s/t they were a raw band who prided themselves on doing multiple things at once. Next came doppelganger where they were all about instrumentation and harmonizing and getting everything down to a science. But overall, one theme stayed from s/t to doppelganger: They were a band who did exactly what they wanted. That theme is even more evident on the transition from Doppelganger to manipulator. They took elements from Doppelganger and the s/t THAT THEY ENJOYED, NOT THAT THE FANS WANTED OR ASKED FOR. After reading the interview with Thomas i think it's safe to say this album was made for TFoT not for anybody else. IN SHORT. Stop bitching about how you were disappointed by the band who is known for their overall randomosity and crazyness because they're doing what THEY want and they deserve your respect. If the album isn't your cup of tea then don't listen to it! and don't see them live because these are songs they like to play so they will probably play them! Piggypoptart is on the right track, as is acousticaddict. P.S. GREAT album, great progression, TERRIFIC band and for the love of god people stop judging an album by it's worse song. Unless we had an album of "Caught Up"'s or "Oh! The Casino!?"s there really wouldn't be a problem. Those songs are meant to be breaks from the chaos that is Maniupulator and well. TFoT. P.P.S. Anyone who tries to pin a label on any band (ESPECIALLY TFoT) shouldn't be allowed to listen to music. Music is about LISTENING or NOT LISTENING. DO ONE OR THE OTHER. DON'T LUMP EVERYTHING INTO IT'S OWN CATEGORY OR THE MEDIA KNOWN WHAT TO MARKET YOU AND WE'LL HAVE ONLY FALL OUT BOY AND MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE TO LISTEN TO.
    s_o_mercury
    ProgIsGood wrote: By the way, does anyone know where to hear demos for the Phantom on the Horizon, or know a release date for it?
    The demos for Phantoms are the Ghostship demos; they're redoing all of them (including the elusive Ghostship III!) and adding two more, for a total of eight (Semi-Fiction off Manipulator is Ghostship VI). The album is due for release late this year or early 2008. Erak described the album as "one song separated by tracks." I can't wait!
    Noach101
    Not as intense as doppelganger. Better structured and more diverse songs though. And remember guys, most of the songs on DG were being perfected for years.
    J_truant
    I find it funny that most of you keep raving about how amazing doppelganger is when Thomas Erak himself personally loathes the album. He finds it so apalling that he would like to rip it from existence and never have it played again. Don't believe me? Go read the article yourself. It's in last months AP issue. With that being said, each album is amazing in it's own right. You can never compare any album to the artist's previous or future albums. You just can't. It never works out due to the fact that the album was written at a specific point in time when the band was someone that they honestly no longer are. It's true for every band. People change. Some for the best others for the worst. I personally think that Manipulator is an amazing album... in its OWN right. It just shows that TFoT can Kick Your Ass in different ways. Long live the cumshot Queen!!
    kirk179023
    I personally loved this album to pieces. Doppelganger was an amazing album but for some reason the songs were just a little to hardcore for me to listen to while Manipulator had much less screaming and the songs were more diverse in my opinion, but I know I'm going to be ranted at about this opinion of course.
    blink182plus44
    I've never heard TFoT on the radio where I live, do any of you guys hear them? BTW, I love this CD.
    SWENCE_32
    for someone who is not a big fan of prog and even metal of any kinda for that matter, i love this album. Doppleganger is still one of the greatest albums ive ever heard. Erak's playing blew my mind the first time i heard it. id never heard someone with so much percision but at the same time reckless abandon on the fretboard. as i said, this album was a little more up my alley. Eraks voice is amazing and his ablity to scream also makes him one of my favorite singers. i love quater past with its blusey intro riff. Problem is great also. u could almost call it "rock". not metal, ROCK> great album
    ProgIsGood
    This album doesn't really do anything for me, but from what I hear The Phantom on the Horizon will sound different from both Doppleganger and Manipulator. I really admire that about them, constantly wanting to evolve or go in a new direction. That is the true meaning of prog, and TFoT are about as prog as it gets. By the way, does anyone know where to hear demos for the Phantom on the Horizon, or know a release date for it?
    The Spoon
    311DEF wrote: if you think about how great doppleganger was...you'll understand how it might be hard to measure up to it...i really dont mind the songs its the recording that got me...its very raw and untouched...it doesnt have that BIG sound that doppleganger had...
    I completely agree, but i kind of like the feeling this record gives off with this raw-er recording
    moobox
    any one who is a true fan of music will ignore the " >:Oits not doppleganger!" remarks and just wait and see a live show. i just saw them last night for the first time and before that i wasnt really a fan.. but Ojebus they blew me away, the albums and videos dont do justice to what happens when they start having fun right in front of you. stop complaining about this not being what you wanted, it was never meant for you, they write for themselves.. wait a tick.. if they asked fans what they wanted to hear and did exactly that then would they become more like the instruments they play? oh well, little kids are gonna complain that time moves forward and the leawves fall and their back pocket band changes plays different stuff.. please go see them before you hate... please ..
    HeavyDT
    well i have to say its not like its horrible but its nowhere as good as doppleganger which is a classic in my book this cd just dosent cut it their next album had better go back to the roots because this new path they are taking isnt good
    justchillin21
    Definetly nowhere near the greatness of doppelganger, but "A man. A plan. A canal. Panama" had more guitar strumming in the first 15 seconds of it that other songs from other bands do on entire songs. Erak and company keep on makin' bad ass music. Can't wait for the Phantoms album.
    JWILLYOFFSPRING
    This album was a bit of a downer, but the more i listened to it, the more i fell in love with it. it took time, but the fall of troy is easily one of the most unique bands out there. i love their experimental sound they get. erak's fingers just bounce right off of the neck everytime he hits a note to get that pull off effect and make it sound different and edgy in a sense, no one else does that. Erak is brilliant, as is Forsman. Hopefully Frank Black will contribute to the band the way tim did. I'm dissappointed that fcpremix blew up the way it did, but the fall of troy is incredible nonetheless.
    !normajean!
    derekrck wrote: agreed. in a way it was alot like the He is Legends new CD. They tried changing their sound but it could never measure up to the second album "I AM HOLLYWOOD"
    i agree. He Is Legend's latest album has NOTHING on I Am Hollywood. Doppleganger owns this album.
    takana456
    to the guy who wrote the first review... Tim only screams at, "Just because", and "This is where we stand". Its on the video.
    acousticaddict
    Just STOP comparing it to doppelganger. Its not supposed to be doppelganger, its a NEW ALBUM. Just listen to it in its own right and enjoy it. They're just branching out and not stuck in the "music has to be stupidly to be good mindset. Take a look at the quote on their myspace "Fuck it, we play what we like", thats what they're doing. I think this entire album is great.
    311DEF
    good point...i think they were going for radio play with this album...like doppelganger you couldnt pick a song that could of been on the radio...it would of been to harsh for the radio...unlike this album where a couple songs could be played on the radio
    MylesPetro
    I like how people are right pissed off that it's not like Doppelganger. I doubt if they made the rest of their albums like Doppelganger, you'd all be whining that they didn't do anything different.
    PDMChubby
    futurejmmy102 wrote: You just gave it a good rating a couple of posts ago.
    I know, I never said in that post that the songs were bad, I said it wasn't fit as an album, the songs are great seperate. Read the post again, I never said that the songs disappointed me, just that it couldve been set up better.
    futurejmmy102
    MLaMotta5992 wrote: Who cares. this band only has like one good song.
    then why are you reading this?
    cutsman_8x
    To anyone who said they were disappointed with this album, I'm in the same boat you are. I mean, this album does have it's highs and lows for sure. I think the lowest low is "Oh! The Casino!?". I do like that new high pitched scream Thomas does in a few songs, but I really think he tried to make everything too melodic and catchy. I'm just afraid they're gonna get a little radio play and then go to shit.
    piggypoptart
    Manipulator is mayyybe TFOT's best album in my opinion, duh. I think it's going to be one of those cd's that everyone is like "o yah it sux compared to dopelgangurr" and then after time you (if you're smart) realize how great the cd actually is, and you learn to appreciate it more. The Fall of Troy's new cd isn't going to sound as awesome as Doppelganger or their debut album unless they put the same songs on it. As artists, of course they are changing the way they sound, because they don't want to give their fans the same shit every cd. Also, just because they make the radio doesn't mean they're not good anymore, it just means they're more popular, and isn't that what you want your favorite band to be? If you didn't share them with anybody, nobody would know about them and since they didn't have any fans, they would stop playing music altogether and then guess what OMG no more Fall of Troy. I'm going to see them on May 18 in San Antonio. hell yeah.
    piggypoptart
    LetsImpeachBush great speech, until the end of it. this thread's about The Fall of Troy, remember?? but other than that, hurrah.
    piggypoptart
    p.s. Shhh!!! If you're quiet I'll Show You a Dinosaur is my favorite song ... on Manipulator
    willingwellIV
    definately problem!? is the best song on the cd. the lyrics are awesum and his voice is really sick. and then guitar work is just incredible, on this cd, in a whole
    piggypoptart
    i swear if somebody tabs shhh!!! if you're quiet i'll show you a dinosaur i will give you a job.
    LetsImpeachBush
    Know's what to market to you** my bad. and i apologize for throwing in that mini rant at the end. I'm just so sick of the labels. Just listen to what you like, talk about it with your friends and enjoy yourself. :]
    awfulGoodness
    This album is terrific... I mean c'mon... It has so many different sounds that most anyone could find a song they enjoy. The best part about this cd is Thom's voice. If he could've sang like this back when doppleganger was made, then yes, maybe this cd would've been disappointing, but only a little bit. I mean just listen to The Dark Trail (favorite song)and you get feel for his new voice in all aspects From his screams, to his falseto... falseto? whatever... to his badass vocal skills... okay...
    Hanzi_G
    I love Manipulator. Personally, I'm not a big fan of hardcore, so this CD really works for me. It dips into many different genres and experiments with tons of different sounds, unlike Doppelganger, although an absolutely incredible CD, was more of a straight-forward hardcore sound. Also, from a musician's point of view, this album is a big upgrade from the previous albums, as its more complete and well rounded. Each song has its own unique aspect and quality, due to the different sounds, feelings, and tempos that they toy with on this record. So yeah, Manipulator is ****ing sick, just like every other TFOT record!