Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 13/3
The Fall Of Troy
Written by: PP on 02/08/2016 22:38:39
Eleven years separated from their career masterpiece "Doppelgänger", a chaotic piece of instrumental insanity coupled with deranged screams and unpredictable song structures that stands as one of the most unique releases in post-hardcore to date, The Fall Of Troy attempt to re-create former glory on "OK", their first studio album in seven years. Where 2007's "Manipulator" resulted in a radical stylistical shift towards a more proggy, latin-influenced clean vocal record inspired by The Mars Volta, previous album "In The Unlikely Event" attempted to fuse together the two styles into one. It was a great record that indeed combined the erratic nature of their early work with the ambitious songwriting of "Manipulator", and remains a criminally underrated record to date. But it was no "Doppelgänger" or 2003's "The Fall Of Troy".
That's something mastermind Thomas Erak has set out to re-create on "OK", and to an extent, he succeeds. Soundwise, the record is a proper throwback to the mid-2000s screamo/post-hardcore scene, when the genre delivered some of its most creative and experimental output to date (think Fear Before The March Of Flames' "Art Damage", or HORSE The Band's "The Mechanical Hand"). It is The Fall Of Troy returning back to their roots where blinding technicality, ferociously screamed vocals, and up-then-down fretwork never ceases to surprise as the band opt for a purposefully spazz-driven, frantic soundscape just like the old days. I feel like I've time-traveled ten years back in time, that's how authentic "OK" sounds to their early material, folks.
"Side By Side" impresses through its cacophonic screams. "Inside Out" sounds just like signature The Fall Of Troy material from the past with its spastic guitars spliced with charismatic, but wholly chaotic clean/scream dynamics of Erak and backup vocalist Tim Ward. The groovy "Auto Repeater" delivers some fine and dandy clean vocal work, whilst the magnificently piercing screams of "Your Loss" sound like Erak's pipes are being tortured with razor wire, constantly contrasted by clean passages and dynamic guitar wizardry that keeps the record interesting.
From a technical perspective, "OK" is about as mind-blowing and complex as "Doppelgänger" was back in the day. The non-stop time-signature changes and ridiculously complicated riffs are as awe-inspiring as they are impossible to learn without a decade's worth of tutoring at Yoda master level, and that's without the massive use of effects panels coming into play. Perhaps this is why the record has been released in three more versions: "OK#2", a rawer mix of the same record, and "OK#3.1" and "OK#3.2", the instrumental-only versions of "OK" and "OK#2", respectively, in case you don't want the manic vocals distracting from your next few years of re-learning what playing guitar really means. Still, if there's one thing that's missing from "OK" that was present on "Doppelgänger", it's that the songs aren't quite as memorable, neither riffs-wise nor vocally. Eleven years later I can hum the opening riffs of "I Just Got This Symphony Goin'", or the all-over-the-place vocal dynamics of "Mouths Like Sidewinder Missiles". I'm not sure we'll say the same about "OK" in 2027. But that being said, "OK" is arguably their finest hour since "Doppelgänger" even if "In The Unlikely Event" was excellent in its own right, and most certainly one of the unique screamo/post-hardcore albums this year.
Download: Side By Side, Inside Out, Savior, Auto Repeater, Your Loss
For the fans of: At The Drive-In, Fear Before The March Of Flames, Since By Man, Heavy Heavy Low Low
Release date 20.04.2016