We Came As Romans
We Came As Romans
July 24th 2015 – Spinefarm Records
02. Who Will Pray?
03. The World I Used To Know
05. Tear It Down
07. Saviour Of The Week
We Came As Romans were always destined to be massive. Ever since the release of their 2009 debut To Plant A Seed, their somewhat unique take the already stagnated metalcore genre breathed life back into something that could easily have died off. Flash forward to 2015 and they’re at it again; this time their approach – as with the previous release – steps further away from their metalcore roots and into the realms of alternative rock. I mean this in the loosest sense; they’ve not lost their balls and gone full on Nickelback – not quite yet.
Instead, their self titled opus contains ten tracks of pop-infused melody, packed with hooks straight up imploring you to throw down. Album opener “Regenerate” couldn’t be more apt for this vibe; it feels fresh and instantly reinvigorated, crushing riffs instigate full on chaos with Dave Stephens’ harsh, cutting vocals taking the lead. The lyrical content is insightful and self reflective.
“The World I Used To Know” screams radio single right from the off. Its simplistic synth intro and poppy yet fiercely infectious chorus is the first example of the alt-rock sound that flows throughout the whole record. This follows into “Memories” a track that commits to neither being soft or heavy. It feels as if it’s coasting, and whilst it’s not a bad track, it’s not a particularly memorable one either.
Wading into the pool of nu metal structures comes “Tear It Down“, bringing back the heavy in a classic style; interspersing breakdowns into almost rap metal choruses makes for a striking contrast between old and new. The following tracks “Blur” and “Saviour Of The Week” fall into that radio single bracket once more. Whilst the former begins with some bite, the choruses – whilst being massively catchy – also feel somewhat uninspired.
“Defiance” packs that punch that older fans of the band might have been waiting for. The riffs are meaty and the harsh vocals play a larger part in this cut. Its synth undercurrents feel like classic We Came As Romans, and this paves way perfectly for final track “12:30“. Whilst this last one flits between the soft and heavy elements this album has on offer, it has riffs in abundance and the bite to match it, including one hell of a final breakdown. It’s a perfect way to finish up, reminding us of what the band are capable.
Whilst it’s understandable that all bands need to progress or they will die off, I’m unsure as to whether older fans of the band will be on board with such a bold transition. The riffs and attitude are still there, but it feels at times as if the sparkling production makes the album feel both contrived and convoluted. The record also suffers from pacing issues, failing at points to flow from one track to another, and that is a shame as it makes some of the offerings feel superfluous.