We Came As Romans

We Came As Romans

Written by: PP on 05/01/2016 10:43:12

The self-titled, fourth full-length album by We Came As Romans sees the band ditch the waning popularity of metalcore behind like rats from a sinking ship. In a drastic stylistic shift, electronics have become subdued, breakdowns are fewer, and screaming is all but thrown out the window, replaced by a modern emo/post-hardcore expression that has far more in common with Hawthorne Heights and Anberlin than the electronically-driven Rise Records style metalcore of The Word Alive, Attack Attack! and others like them.

Opener "Regenerate" might otherwise have you fooled. It opens with blistering breakdowns leading into dynamic, high-octane riffage, and ravaging screams that suggest nothing has changed in the WCAR camp. Sure, the chorus is more melodic and pop-driven than before, but it's not like they haven't done that in the past. But it's the secondary chorus section where we reach into whiny cringes Hawthorne Heights style where the first indication of a proper change arrives. Fast-forward halfway through the album to "Blur" or "Savior Of The Week", and the record finds itself fully in poppy emo/post-hardcore territory with distinctly alternative rock style riffs in place of metalcore leads and breakdowns. But to be honest, the pop-dance track "Who Will Pray?", that arrives right after "Regenerate" as its polar opposite with another emo-styled, dramatic chorus melody should already be a bitter pill to swallow for older fans of We Came As Romans. The contrast is radical to say the least and sees the band fully embrace a pop-driven style, thus abandoning any ounces of metal they had left in the process. Notably, the screams have been diminished to a supporting sing/scream combination for the most part, with few songs qualifying as screamed in the mind of any metalcore fan. In that sense, the change in style is akin to what we saw The Color Morale do on "Hold On Pain Ends" last year.

Is the change for the better? That depends on your opinion of their electronically-infused metalcore in the first place. "The World I Used To Know" is infectiously catchy, as is "Blur" and "Memories", but it's difficult to recognize them as WCAR songs. The emo/post-hardcore vibe is strong and surprisingly convincing as if the band had always been secretly desiring to play music of this kind instead of metalcore. But if you find the high pitched emo croons cringeworthy in the first place, you'll be likely to frisbee this one into the nearest bin available. How the band plans to integrate these songs into their live setlist should be interesting, given how different they are stylistically from the old material. One thing's for sure, though, and that is that "We Came As Romans" will almost certainly lead to a significantly younger fanbase for the band going forward.

7

Download: Blur, 12:30, The World I Used To Know, Memories
For the fans of: Hawthorne Heights, Anberlin, Senses Fail, The Color Morale
Listen: Facebook

Release date 24.07.2015
Equal Vision / Spinefarm Records

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