For Fans Of
When a band sets out to present a self-titled album well into their career it becomes a statement for what they want their sound to be synonymous with. Many bands release self-titled albums when they believe they’ve reached a point in their development when they are at their peak, which they believe will go down as their signature work, see Metallica, The Beatles and even Dream Theater. American melodic-metalcore band We Came As Romans have just released their latest, self-titled full-length album. On this LP the boys continue to grow out of their heavier metalcore roots and move towards a more alternative metal, melodic direction as seen on their last album ‘Tracing Back Roots’.
Surprisingly, the opening song is a blistering metalcore anthem featuring excruciatingly heavy riffs and a solid breakdown. ‘Regenerate’ is, therefore, noted as one of the heavier songs on the album, a callback to some of the band’s earlier material, perhaps? The record continues to grow softer and softer, as you hit lead single ‘The World I Used To Know’ the sudden change is quite dramatic. While it is a decent song, it does ring a little cheesy, and somewhat radio-friendly. This is followed by yet another ballad-style song, ‘Memories’, which holds the album in a sadly tedious place. Fortunately, it is the shortest track in the collection and We Came As Romans quickly return to pace with ‘Tear It Down’, a hardcore track that punches you straight in the gut. The album continues in a welcomed, heavy pace for basically the remainder of the record – excluding of course ‘Saviour of the Week’ another soft ballad, which unfortunately drags the album back down to its cheesy state. Had this song been sung by a modern pop singer or even a radio rock band it actually would have been very enjoyable, but you can’t offer a song like ‘Blur’, featuring some of the heavier moments on the album, only to go into a ballad.
We Came As Romans have put their eggs in quite a few baskets here. While they show a softer, more melodic side, they also continue to churn out heavy, breakdown-centric tunes showing influence from everything from modern metal to electronic music. At times, the album can seem a little awkward or transitional – the first half of the record seems as if the band is trying to find their groove, but when they do the full-length begins to flow seamlessly. The instrumentation is consistent and true to the WCAR sound. While being very melodic, the guitars still manage to have a crisp edge when they call for it thanks to axemen Joshua Moore and Lou Cotton. Vocally the self-titled record offers the same dual-delivered material that WCAR are known for, and while, at times, the vocals can be kind of underwhelming (especially during their softer songs) the tracks that feature harsher vocals, soaring clean choruses and even boast solid harmonies (see “Flatline”) are unmistakable highlights. Equally, the production doesn’t allow any instruments to fade into the background – the guitars sound extremely heavy and the drums provide a solid backbone for the rest of the album.
Spanning ten tracks and thirty-three minutes, the album is not a juggernaut by any means, it keeps itself short and sweet leaving you content with what has been delivered.
Overall the album is solid, memorable at times and continues to develop a more mature sound for We Came As Romans. While it can often be lacklustre and even mediocre, it’s hard to look past the obvious highlights of the record. WCAR deliver on a decent album that can be appreciated for what it is; an honest rock record.
2. Who Will Prey
3. The World I Used To Know
5. Tear It Down
7. Saviour of the Week