Lots of great albums have backstories like that of the Fall of Troy’s Phantom on the Horizon: A struggling band produces a demo that gets passed around at shows, and once they’ve built a fan base, listeners start pleading for the album that got the early adopters so excited. The new album by the Washington state–based prog trio was originally a self-released loose concept album called the Ghostship EP.Fan enthusiasm prompted the band to rerecord the tracks, but Phantom on the Horizon isn’t just for torrent-mad fankids; it’s a worthwhile listen for anyone looking to dip a toe a into contemporary mainstream prog scene led by Coheed and Cambria, blending screamo vocals and mathcore rhythms with punk antics and an art-school sensibility. That’s a lot to pack into a tune, and Fall of Troy has recorded plenty of inaccessible or just plain noisy music in the past. (“Whacko Jacko Steals the Elephant Man’s Bones,” from 2005’s Doppleganger, oscillates between cacophonous technical sections and tuneless, distorted interludes.) On Phantom on the Horizon, however, the band avoids gimmicky technique. Within a few seconds of the first track, “Introverting Dimensions,” which feels almost orchestral with its cymbals and haunting guitar lead, it’s clear that the trio prioritized nuanced melodies over manic shredding and break-neck syncopation, though there’s lots of that scattered throughout the disc. Broken into five “chapters,” the album has a nautical theme involving Spanish galleons, which are apparently stuffed with frontman Thomas Erak’s misery: “As the ship is going down/I look upon the captain’s frown…I see nothing but a broken man/I see nothing, nothing,” he sings on the opening track. The album functions less like an assortment of songs than as one dark suite, beginning with a plaintive, reverb-laden intro, moving onto Erak’s hair-raising falsetto on “A Strange Conversation,” some disconcerting atonality on “Nostalgic Mannerisms,” and the dissonant chorus of tremolo-heavy guitars that finally gives way to a single clean note that ends the closer, “The Walls Bled Lust.” Erak’s vocals are the album’s biggest shortcoming; though he can smartly emphasize the musical climaxes or double the guitar’s spry rhythm lines, often he’s straying down his own melodic path. But then, a great prog album with imperfect vocals is a familiar story too.