For Fans Of
“Eight years ago I admitted a dream. To chase it I had to give up everything,” screams We Came As Romans lead vocalist David Stephens on title track and album opener, ‘Tracing Back Roots,’ telling the story of the Michigan metalcore six-piece who never thought they would play outside of their hometown. Now, they’ve become one of the more prominent bands in the metalcore scene worldwide, and the band brings everything to the table on their latest full-length, producing the best album of their career so far, and one of the stronger metalcore releases this year.
One of the first things you’ll notice is that it is much more melodic than previous releases, largely given to the inclusion of both Kyle Pavone and David Stephens contributing clean vocals to the album, rather than solely Pavone. This gives the vocal lines a lot more strength than before, particularly on songs like ‘Never Let Me Go,’ and ‘A Moment,’ while the rest of the songs on the album all manage to have this play a part in some way. However, there is no point on the album where this comes through stronger than ‘I Survive.’ Featuring guest vocals from The Almost‘s Aaron Gillespie, the three vocalists come together to create a song full of incredibly powerful melodies and three-part harmonies that stand out among the rest.
The tracks are, for the most part, very catchy and memorable. For days after listening to them, you’re likely to have lines like, “Hold me close, and never let me, never let me go, in my lowest of lows, when I need you the most’" (‘Never Let Me Go‘), "To find a reason in a moment, in a moment…….." (‘A Moment‘), or even the whoa’s from ‘Through The Darkest Dark and Brightest Bright.’ After listening to the album, whether you like it or not, it’s pretty likely that you won’t be forgetting some of the melodies too quickly.
All of this isn’t to to say, however, that there isn’t anything here for fans of the band’s heavier side. In fact, right at the very start of title track ‘Tracing Back Roots,’ the band make it clear that they haven’t lost that part of their sound, with the first notes of the song coming right at you with full force, and this without even talking about tracks like ‘Ghosts,’ final track ‘Through The Darkest Dark And Brightest Bright,’ and ‘Present, Future, and Past,’ which is arguably the heaviest song in the band’s entire catalogue.
Dead Letter Circus have faced the all too common challenge of living up to the standards set by a standout album. For that reason, ‘The Catalyst Fire’ is a solid addition to the band’s collection of sounds rather than what can often turn out to be a bit of a disappointment.
- Tracing Back Roots
- Fade Away
- I Survive
- Present, Future, and Past
- Never Let Me Go
- Tell Me Now
- A Moment
- I Am Free
- Through The Darkest Dark and Brightest Bright