The Fall Of Troy – Manipulator (2007)



Manipulator is my proudest discovery (actually, it was The Great White Gypsy’s discovery) of 2007 and maybe the entire decade.  I haven’t heard a combination of musicianship, energy, lyrics and raw emotion this cohesive since Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness. And I’m fully aware that comparing three kids barely old enough to drink to Billy Corgan in his prime maybe a little unfair. But if anyone is up for taking up the mantle of Rock for this generation, it has to be The Fall of Troy. They are that good.

The amount of sound they produce is, in itself, extraordinary for a three-piece band. Thomas Erak absolutely shreds on the guitar. He plays the most technically difficult guitar parts with amazing accuracy, while adding incredibly diverse vocals. He can begin a song with the darkest of growls and transition seamlessly to Coheed-like melodies and then hit you with full out screams. The rhythm section is unbelievably tight. Incorporating everything from double-bass pounding to syncopated jazz beats, they drive the album forward. Maybe more impressive than their considerable musical talent, is their age. Thomas Erak and drummer, Andrew Forsman are 22-years old and bassist, Tim Ward is only 21.

It’s hard to put a label on The Fall of Troy. I’ve heard many different names thrown out there—mathcore, metal, post-hardcore, punk, prog-rock, experimental. But I don’t think it’s fair to limit them to any one genre. Manipulator encompasses so many styles in the span of 12 tracks. Semi-Fiction opens with a classic punk guitar riff and whispered vocals. Then it goes directly into anthemic chorus, proclaiming, “She was nothing more than a game to me anyway.” Immediately after that, we hear a shouted verse with dissonant guitars and a punchy bass line. Three styles. One song. Amazing.

There is even a jazz ballad on Manipulator, Caught Up. It features just Erak and his guitar. The song starts simply and builds into one of the more emotionally charged songs on the album.

Here’s a video of them performing Caught Up.

I don’t think I can hype this band enough and still do them justice. They are the best thing to come out in a long while. This album in particular showcases their creativity and song writing. Their older albums (2003’s Fall of Troy and 2005’s Doppelganger), while good in their own right, can’t compare to Manipulator. Their growth and maturity is evident throughout the album. Be sure to check them out.

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