[10 January 2010]
Four albums into its career, the Fall of Troy still experiments with its sound. In the Unlikely Event throws together a smorgasbord of heavy styles in the hopes it will gel somehow as a coherent album. It doesn’t even come close, leaving each song to stand or collapse on its own. To the band’s credit, the songs work more often than not. Thomas Erak is a nimble and creative guitarist, and he manages to coax an astonishing variety of sounds out of his guitar throughout the album. As a singer, Erak is solid, with a mid-range tenor that handles melodies well, but he still insists on doing hardcore-style screams a good chunk of the time, and it rarely serves the songs well. Drummer Andrew Forsman and new bassist Frank Ene round out the band with solid rhythm work that nicely supports Erak’s riffing.
This leaves the songwriting, which unfortunately still seems to be one of the band’s weak spots. Despite coming up with some good and great guitar melodies plus the occasional catchy lyric, the band has a hard time arranging these elements to work as memorable songs. However, this isn’t to say it never happens. “Single” is a strong three-minute hard-rock-radio song, and the melodic power ballad “Webs” works precisely because it doesn’t rely on technical guitar pyrotechnics to get its point across. Even with its songwriting issues and clashing song styles, though, the Fall of Troy provides enough interesting music to make a worthwhile listen for fans of post-hardcore and melodic heavy metal.