Review Summary: Joey Sturgis must die.
I have to admit that up-and-coming metalcore bands have it tough. Most modern metalcore acts rehash the same ideas over and over, and while they all try to bring something new to the table, it doesn’t always work that way. We Came As Romans take everything about this dying genre and do their best at being original.
Everything in this band seems to be required for today’s hardcore scene; lots of breakdowns, some synth, and lyrics about Jesus (thank you Underoath). Album opener “To Plant A Seed” wastes no time describing what the next 10 tracks are going to offer. They take everything that we have grown to associate with modern metalcore and actually throw in some pretty original twists in the form of guitar work. The breakdowns don’t do too much to help their cause, but around the halfway point of this song, we hear chugging guitars and double bass kicks followed by the vocalist roaring “Our visions for this world will not die when we are dead.” Cliché as it may be, there is no denying that the throaty, surprisingly gruff screams stand out in the wave of same-ness in metalcore.
With so much to work with, one might wonder why this album has been ridiculed and torn apart all over Sputnik and other various websites and magazines. It’s simple: Joey Sturgis must die.
The same monster that is responsible for the catastrophe that was Someday Came Suddenly, Joey Sturgis ruins a band’s potential once again. Production is the only thing that gets in the way of this band’s originality. Just when they kill you with a jaw dropping harmonic lead or well thought out synth section, a hideous autotuned bridge follows, making you shake your head. The true problem is that this album has been layered with generic vocal harmonies and autotune (Which make the clean vocalist’s voice nearly unlistenable after a few times through), as well as effects that make the guitars sound clean and lifeless. Not to mention the bass is inaudible.
Many of these problems can ruin a genuinely good record. When you produce it so much that the songs themselves lose personality, it can destroy potential. This band is good, and this album is good (maybe flattering a little too much), but it could have perhaps been more than that. If they broaden their horizons a little more and choose a producer more carefully, We Came As Romans could be a band to look out for one day.
Good vocals (screams)
A splash of originality
Overproduction ruins the record
To Plant A Seed
An Ever-Growing Wonder