I’m a bit late to the “post-progressive hardcore party,” but good music never goes out of style. Good music is exactly what this album from post-hardcore band The Fall of Troy is. Released in 2008, “Phantom on the Horizon” is a re-recording and altered version of Fall of Troy’s first EP, “Ghostship.” The difference between the two versions is primarily the sound quality, being mixed and mastered better and cleaner, and overall sounding more professionally made. That’s the difference you get from self-releasing an EP and studio releasing an EP, which “PotH” was.
As well as the performance being stronger and the production being higher quality, there are also two more songs that didn’t make it into the original EP, increasing the length and fleshing out the story more. When I say story, I say that very loosely. If you really take the time to look at the lyrics, consider the instrumental that plays as you hear them, and decipher what any of them mean, then MAYBE you can understand what story the band is trying to tell you. All I’ve gleaned from it is that there’s a ghost ship, it shows itself to someone, that person boards the ship and the rest is their experience on it before departing, assuming they ever depart.
I’m running out of space, so I should probably talk about what makes this album so good. To put it bluntly, it’s just an incredible performance from all members. The vocals trade off well by being clean and screaming between members Thomas Erak and Frank Ene, the guitarist and bassist respectively. Andrew Forsman does an awe-inspiring job on the drums, especially in the first and third songs. Speaking of the songs, they’re titled as chapters; this further supports the story idea the band is trying to present.
Normally I try to recommend music for all to enjoy, but I’m fully aware that The Fall of Troy, and this album, are NOT for everyone. People who enjoy heavy or hardcore music and haven’t heard of “Phantom on the Horizon” or The Fall of Troy in general (which is hard to believe, as they’re really some forerunners of the genre) should definitely give it a listen. There are only five songs to listen to, but they’re all over five minutes long except for Chapter II. The melodies are beautiful, the riffs are heavy, the vocals are intense, the drums are banging, and the solos are crazy.
“Phantom on the Horizon” is an album worth listening to by all fans of the genre, and I guess if you’re just curious then you should also give it a listen. No promises you’ll love it, though.