Best of 2016 Playlist

July 24, 2015

We Came As Romans - "Self Titled Album" Review

If you're a metalcore fan then you've at least heard of We Came As Romans. Formed in 2005, this band is currently performing on Warped Tour 2015. An electonicore band based out of Detroit, they have spent the last few years mixing up their sound. Drawing from a more diverse pool of influences, the band has made the switch to a more mainstream sound like so many other metalcore bands have (Of Mice and Men and Bring Me The Horizon in particular). 

The first single, "The World I Used To Know", showed a new side to the band. Many metalcore bands today are experimenting, and venturing into new grounds. WCAR isn't an exception. Having built a fanbase around their combination of electronics and traditional metalcore, the band shifted to a more alternative rock vibe for their first single. The track builds on opening synths and drum beats. Kyle Pavone's vocals are highlighted in the verses, while the choruses  

You'd hardly recognize Dave Stephen's clean vocals on some of the songs. His singing abilities have improved since their last album, and makes sure everyone knows. He's strongest on "Who Will Pray". But his unclean rap-singing in "Tear It Down" is a bit odd. The song overall is a catchy nu metal piece that is an acquired taste. For the right listener, it'll be their favorite track. But if you're like me, you find it a bit uncomfortable and wish he either growled the lyrics like in past albums, or let Kyle handle the verse. Otherwise, it is one of the standouts from the album. But again, it's an acquired taste so give it a few listens before you judge. 

Aside from various metal influences, the also album incorporates mainstream rock, pop, and of course electronic music. "Savior of the Week" is the best example of the band's new pop sensibilities. It has a certain Panic! at the Disco vibe to it, and makes me wonder if Brendon had a hand in writing this. You won't find a catchier song on this album, and I wouldn't be surprised if it found its way onto the playlists of pop radio stations. "Blur" is another pop infused track. A very, very upbeat, bright chorus with heavy verses and guitars, it's a very accessible post hardcore number. If there was any song that could become a hardcore crossover, it would be this one. 

"Memories" is the weakest song. A slow number that drags it feet, and never gains any real momentum. I had to force myself to listen to the whole thing because I just got so tired of it. It's the kind of song that you''d play during a break up montage in a rom-com. Not something you'd expect from WCAR. Their covers of "Glad You Came" and "I Knew You Were Trouble" are better than this song. Lyrics that are catchy and on point, but instrumentals that don't pick up the pace and energy. 

Summary -
Though a serious departure from their previous albums, the band doesn't disappoint with this release. They stay true to their metalcore roots with low tuned guitars, the occasional breakdown, the large presence of electronics, and Stephen's gruff vocals. A step forward in some ways, We Came as Romans has forged an even more unique sound that will have fans humming along, and new fans wanting more. The band continues the impressive legacy they started with To Plant A Seed 6 years ago, but with a new, and more accessible sound. Recommended for fans of newer Bring Me The Horizon, SECRETS, I Prevail and Our Last Night. 

Favorite Tracks - 
"The World I Used to Know" and "Regenerate" are the strongest tracks, and rightfully the two main singles. "Blur"and "Who Will Pray" are two of my favorites. And despite initial thoughts, "Savior of the Week" has grown on me (would really love to see a remix collab with Brendon Urie on this track). 

Rating -