Sound — 10
So here it is, the long awaited Phantom on the Horizon. I know I'd been dreaming about it. This album is a love-hate thing with me, with some amazing changes and additions and a few letdowns, but I'll get into that in a minute. First off, the sound quality. The Fall of Troy has always blown me away with how damn big they sound. POTH is probably the best example of this to date. Granted, they used a lot of layering and mixing this time around, but when they finally kick into Introverting Dimensions it's like the dam broke. My one beef is that sometimes Andrew's beats sound a bit too simple and weak, especially since I expect great things from this killer drummer.
Lyrics — 10
I go more into it with my song analysis, but I'll touch on some main points here. Thomas' improved voice is awesome, but I think he flaunts it a bit too much when he should be screaming. Still, it all fits the music and acts as more of an instrument than vocals. Frank has a great growl, and I can't wait to hear it on the new album. The lyrics, as before, help set the stage and reflect the mood of the music. I never get tired of coming along with the crew on their voyage through hell.
Overall Impression — 9
01.Introverting Dimensions: on my first listen, I was immediately thrown right back into the dark, grisly mood that the demos made me feel. They stretched the intro out a bit, but it builds up the tension even better. Then, like I said, they blow your damn ears off, and the added organ part give it an otherworldly feel. Thomas' singing is pretty much amazing at this point in his career, so gone are the underpowered slightly off vocals of before. The little echoes from Thom during the chorus are also a nice touch, adding more confusion to the attack. The "shoot to kill" section was kind of disappointing, as it was much more powerful in the demo, but it's not bad. The big climax/outro is where this track really shines. Tom's powerful voice is flat out awesome for the last line of the song, and the solo afterwards is a welcome addition. Overall, I'd say this is an improvement on the original. 9/10 02.A Strange Conversation: this demo had a special place in my heart because I knew how powerful it could be with some reworked vocals, thus it was the one I anticipated the most. It starts balls-out like the first one, and Tom is right on key with the vocals this time around. The chorus is even better since it's been tightened up, and the added octave on the "woah" adds to the creepy factor. My favorite part of this whole album is the "Let go" part, and it was the part I was looking most forward to hear reworked. The extra parts make this downright scary, and the "all of time!" line is god. Listen to it cranked, you'll see what I mean. Amazing. 11/10 03.Nostalgic Mannerisms: I never really listened to the demo of this one since the only ones you could find sounded like poop, so I didn't know what to expect. It's kinda poppy for TFOT, but learning from Manipulator (which was AMAZING despite what others say), you just gotta listen. The guitar part in the beginning is yet another great example of Tom's unique approach to guitar and completely disregard for "normal" song structure, instead leaving ideas to never return. The middle of this song (2:20 ish) takes me to the damn moon with how friggin epic it sounds. Holy balls Tom can sing. Do more stuff like this guys, it's amazing! The little interlude is a bit creepy, and the "guide me home" part is intentionally silly in my opinion, foreshadowing the protagonist losing his mind, and the part following it is just bad***. The stuttering, bending riff at the end meshes perfectly with the lyrics, and it sounds great. Great song, very different from the rest. 9/10 04.Enter the Black Demon: I'm sorry, but this track was just disappointing. They took out the two key elements that made the demo amazing: breakneck speed and desperate, crazy screaming. From the get go, I was excited for my favorite Ghostship. Then it got to the demon. What the hell did you do Tom!? This was some of the best screaming you had ever done and you destroyed it! This song lost it's balls. It doesn't have the intensity anymore. Every other part is about the same as the demo, minus a few bpm's. 6/10 05.The Walls Bled Lust: again, slowed down, but it doesn't bother me that much on this track. The new vocals in the verse are great, but they're a bit more choppy than the fluid lines from the original that I liked. I do love the added screaming in the funky breakdown, which still makes me wanna dance as much as the original. One thing they did improve on was the already epic "I've made up my mind" part. Again, Tom's improved vocals make this part soar. With the awesome triplets in leading into the crunching powerchords and The vocals, I feel pumped. The final breakdown is stretched out and about 50x more brutal. Awesome track and great way to end the album. 10/10 Loves - Tom's new singing prowess, Pt. II is amazing!, 2:20 in Pt. III, killer breakdown near the end of V. Hates - Sometimes slower tempo (and less intensity), Pt. IV is essentially ruined, some great screaming replaced with singing. I don't own a hard copy... yet. But when I do, if it were stolen I'd murder for it since this is the greatest band ever, and if I lost it I'd kick myself in the balls. Definitely one I'd replace. I was a little critical on this album, but damn, I've waited like 4 years for it, plus there are originals to compare it to. If it was fresh music I'd probably appreciate it more. I still love it, even though they killed a few good parts, it's still amazing. Doesn't replace the demos.