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Music / The Fall of Troy

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The Fall of Troy’s original formation (from top down): Andrew Forsman, Thomas Erak and Tim Ward
The Fall of Troy is a Progressive Rock and Post-Hardcore band from Mulkiteo, Washington. It was formed by Thomas Erak on vocals and guitar, Andrew Forsman on drums and Tim Ward on bass and backing vocals (usually screams). Tim was temporarily replaced with Frank Ene until the band's hiatus, but is now back.

Originally a four-man band, including second guitarist Mike Munro, called The Thirty Years War. The band got their name name by flipping randomly through a history book. After Munro left due to personal reasons, the remaining three continued, renaming themselves to The Fall of Troy using the same method as before, after finding out there was another local band with the name The Thirty Years War.

The trio is known for their complex guitar riffs, unusual time signatures and combination of clean singing and screams.

The band broke up in 2010, but reunited in 2013. Thomas Erak confirmed work on a new album in 2014, and also noted that the band's work from that point onward would be released freely and that shows would be booked based on fan demand.


As the Thirty Years War

  • Martyrs Amongst the Casualties (2002)
  • Live at the Paradox - 12/21/2002 (2002)
As the Fall of Troy
  • The Fall of Troy (2003)
  • Ghostship Demos (EP, 2004)
  • Doppelgänger (2005)
  • Manipulator (2007)
  • Phantom on the Horizon (2008)
  • In the Unlikely Event (2009)
  • OK (2016)
  • Mukiltearth (2020)

The Fall of Troy provides examples of:

  • Album Title Drop: "Sledgehammer" off Manipulator:
    "Manipulator, we jammed your radar!"
  • Concept Album / Rock Opera: Phantom on the Horizon. Originally self-released as demos as Ghostship EP. Tells the story of a ship at sea being attacked by a ghost ship from another dimension.
  • Darker and Edgier: Instrumentally, In the Unlikely Event took a lighter, more poppier tone; lyrically, the songs are much more dark and depressing than previous albums.
    First words off the first song on the album, “Panic Attack!”: “I fucking hate myself!”
    • Manipulator was lyrically darker than Doppelgänger; as stated below, it was partly inspired by loss of friends, due to drugs. But instrumentally, much of it was lighter than Doppelgänger. It seems the band had a trend of lighter instrumentals with darker lyrics.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Phantom on the Horizon ends this way on the very first track, and only gets worse from there, only stopping temporarily because of divine intervention.
    As the ship is going down
    I look upon the captain’s frown
    I see nothing but a broken man
  • Epic Rocking: Most albums have at least one example. The Self-Titled Album has the 7:13 “What Sound Does a Mastodon Make?”; Ghostship Demos has the 6:53 “Ghostship I” and the 6:40 “Macaulay McCulkin”; Doppelgänger has the 8:06 “Macaulay McCulkin”; Manipulator has the 6:02 “Sledgehammer” and the 8:21 “A Man. A Plan. A Canal. Panama.”; and Phantom on the Horizon has the 10:51 “Chapter I: Introverting Dimensions”, the 7:52 “Chapter III: Nostalgic Mannerisms”, and the 8:08 “Chapter V: The Walls Bled Lust”; In the Unlikely Event has the 6:18 “People and Their Lives”.
  • Fun with Acronyms: “F.C.P.S.I.T.S.G.E.P.G.E.P.G.E.P.” is rumoured to stand for “Fuck Condoms Premarital Sex Is the Shit Get ’Er Pregnant Get ’Er Pregnant Get ’Er Pregnant”. The band hasn’t confirmed what it means, but they have said that the title has nothing to do with the content of the song. Then again this is nothing new for The Fall of Troy.
  • Fun with Palindromes: “A Man a Plan a Canal Panama”.
  • Gratuitous Panning: Blatantly apparent on the Martyrs Amongst the Casualties EP when they were the Thirty Years War, but used a lot as well in the Fall of Troy days.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Part 2 of Phantom on the Horizon is all about the survivors of the Ghost Ship attack running out of supplies on the sea, going insane and eating each other. This includes the protagonist, who has a My God, What Have I Done? moment in Part 3.
  • Incredibly Long Note: In “Chapter III: Nostalgic Mannerisms” of Phantom on the Horizon, Thomas lets one out.
  • Last Note Nightmare: “Sledgehammer” ends relatively chill for Fall of Troy standards, until a random series of notes are hit. Also doesn’t carry over well to the chill intro to “Seattlantis”.
  • Laughing Mad: Done in “Chapter III: Nostalgic Mannerisms”.
  • Loudness War: Most of the band’s albums are mastered pretty loudly. In the Unlikely Event is the most dynamic record of the band’s main discography at DR8, followed by Doppelgänger at DR7. The others are DR6. That said, the clipping is much worse on some releases than others (strangely, Ghostship and the self-titled don’t have much clipping, despite being louder than some of the others; it was with Manipulator that the band’s music started to be badly clipped. Moreover, this stopped with their reunion; none of the releases of OK clip much, either).
  • Miniscule Rocking: The 1:15 “Spartacus”. Several other songs by the band are just barely over the two-minute limit.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Most of their song titles have nothing to do with the songs or their lyrics.
  • Self-Titled Album: The Fall of Troy
  • Shout-Out: A lot of the names of their songs are references to pop culture, though the songs generally have nothing to do with their namesake:
    “The Adventures of Allan Gordon” is about the book, The Iceberg Hermit.
    “Cut Down All the Trees and Name the Streets After Them” was on the bumper of a car the band saw on their way to a recording studio.
    “Laces Out, Dan!” is quoted from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
    “The Last March of the Ents” talks about the Destruction of Isengard from The Lord of the Rings
    “Mirrors Are More Fun Than Television” is a quote from from Max Payne.
    “Whacko Jacko Steals the Elephant Man’s Bones” is a reference to the Urban Legend of Michael Jackson buying Joseph Merrick “The Elephant Man’s” bones and dancing next to a claymation of him in the Thriller music video.
    “When the Strength of Men Failed” is quoted from The Lord of the Rings
    “You Got a Death Wish, Johnny Truant?” and “The Hol[ ]y Tape” are quotes from House of Leaves.
    “Tom Waits” is named for, well, Tom Waits, because he has a song called “The Fall of Troy”.
    “A Man a Plan a Canal Panama” is a reference to Theodore Roosevelt and the construction of the Panama Canal. The palindrome was originally coined by Leigh Mercer.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: Every song transition on Phantom on the Horizon does this, with the exception of the side division on the vinyl, which fades out. Erak describes the album as “one song separated by tracks”. There are really arguably nine movements on the album, but the instrumental transitions between chapters (which are very distinct from the songs that precede and follow them) aren’t actually given their own track divisions.
  • Soprano and Gravel: The band mixes screams with clean singing.
  • Spoken Word in Music: Once about halfway through “Chapter III: Nostalgic Mannerisms” off Phantom on the Horizon by Ryann Donnelly of Schoolyard Heroes. Again in “Nature vs. Nuture” off In the Unlikely Event.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The narrator of “Macaulay McCulkin”. Given that his narration ultimately devolves into Yandere and If I Can't Have You…, it’s arguably also a Villain Song.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: “Caught Up” is just Thomas Erak’s clean vocals and a guitar.
  • Uncommon Time: Frequently!