Botch
We Are the Romans


5.0
classic

Review

by David Driver USER (78 Reviews)
September 13th, 2010 | 148 replies | 8,618 views


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Far and away one of the best metal albums of all time.

10 of 10 thought this review was well written

If you aren’t convinced that Botch was one of the most innovative metal bands of all time, consider this: "C. Thomas Howell as the 'Soul Man'" takes aim at former punk band Racetraitor, featuring current members of Fall Out Boy, for fabricating controversial attitudes solely for the purpose of gaining popularity. Now, if knowing that the guys in Fall Out Boy were tools before they even existed as a band isn’t ahead of the curve, I don’t know what is. And if we’re going to talk about being cutting edge, you don’t have to look much further than Botch’s last full-length, We Are The Romans: from the advanced riffs to the socially conscious concepts to the pioneering mathcore style, this album proves to be one of the most influential albums of the entire metal genre, and easily one the best metal albums of all time.

First thing’s first, what you can expect from Botch is a style that they constructed ten years ago, but is an effort that puts most current metal albums to shame. On We Are The Romans, Botch perfected their own complex version of metalcore, featuring numerous and unusual time signatures and time changes, and the result is flurry of towering, dexterous guitar riffs within a complex yet coherent structure. Highlighted by the versatile guitar wizardry of Dave Knudson, who squeaks, squeals, scrapes and screeches at any opportunity he gets, We Are The Romans hosts a flurry of punishing riffs with grooves deeper than quicksand. And if the sheer ferocity of the riffs swirling like a rollercoaster wasn’t enough, vocalist Dave Verellen’s forward-thinking growl and the rhythm section’s heavy anchor, featuring the fuzzy wet bass tone of Brian Cook, will keep you coming back for more.

To get a feel of the band’s ever-changing time signatures, ridiculously heavy riffs and intricate structures, “Mondrian Was a Liar” would be one of the better places to start: featuring constant shifts between 5/4 and 6/8, the intro features a back-and-forth chaos of guitar squeals, off-center bass and drum grooves, and ferocious screams. In the same vein, songs like “Saint Matthew Returns to the Womb”, “Frequency Ass Bandit” and “I Wanna Be a Sex Symbol On My Own Terms” will grab your throat with every twist and turn with the exotic ideas, shifts and changes coupled with the rambunctious and unrestrained riffs.

And as ruthless as Botch can be when they pile on the chaos, subdued elements and progressive tendencies also shine on We Are The Romans. “Transitions from Persona to Object” features a flurry of riffs in 5/8, 4/4 and 5/4 in the intro before the song smoothly shifts into a more stable melodic section and finishes off with a repeating guitar line drifting in and out of heavy riffs. The aforementioned "C. Thomas Howell as the 'Soul Man'" slows right down in mid-section before exploding at the end, and closer “Mann The Ramparts” features a more straightforward, free-form structure, and even takes the time to lay down some Gregorian chants within it’s ten minute length. It would have been a touch overbearing if Botch didn’t ease up here and there, and thankfully, We Are The Romans is as tasteful and creative as it is heavy.

Quite frankly, when you listen to We Are The Romans, you’ll be dumbstruck: not only do the riffs, progressions, structures and lyrics shine brilliantly, but they do so even ten years after the fact. It always amazes me how they can accomplish such a smooth flow and coherency amongst the merciless riffs and complex structures, and it’s ultimately a no-brainer that We Are The Romans should be considered as royalty within the metal community. There are no over-used formulas here, no rip-offs, no shameful imitations and no tired ideas: Botch has created a masterpiece that every fan of metal should absolutely check out, because, quite frankly, it deserves to rub elbows with the greats of the genre. Innovative, hard-hitting, and just far and away one of the best metal albums of all time.



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user ratings (1374)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
feelthemetallica (2)
Imagine a Between the Buried and me, crossed with a Converge that's vocals are the worstest you coul...

YetAnotherBrick (5)
Intelligent and abrasive, but never pretentious or obnoxious, We Are the Romans shatters the earth, ...

Ryan Flatley EMERITUS (4.5)
We Are The Romans is an Earth shattering album that fused hardcore and metal to create an album of t...


Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
September 13th 2010



12571 Comments


Good review. I guess I should listen to this.

Beauville88
September 13th 2010



216 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Happy 50th to me!

I'd like to thank all of those who repped (either positive or negative) and/or said a nice word to me through-out the year. I'd also like to thank the mods for giving me a couple of feature reviews here and there.

The next couple of reviews from me will be in the 4.5-5 catagory...seems like it's been a while since I've written a review for an album I'm truly enjoyed.

Here's to another 50!

ffs
September 13th 2010



4806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great review. this destroys

RosaParks
September 13th 2010



14592 Comments


ugh i love this album so much

drano00
September 13th 2010



47 Comments


great review. album rules face

crazyblinddude
September 13th 2010



3389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review. One of the few 'metalcore' albums I thoroughly enjoy.

DiceMan
September 13th 2010



7068 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Slays for days.

Bitchfork
September 13th 2010



7584 Comments


The intro may just be the best thing ever written. If this doesn't get you contrib nothing will.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2010



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album shreds, probably better than a 4 actually.

Digging: Ought - More Than Any Other Day

cvlts
September 13th 2010



8954 Comments


David Driver for Contrib.

Live
September 13th 2010



322 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Good review, congrats on the 50. Album destroys.

AbyssalCreation
September 13th 2010



2041 Comments


Yes.

that is all.

Digging: Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache

Enotron
September 13th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

fuck yes

TBliss
September 13th 2010



987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fantastic review for a fantastic album

ieatpuppies4dinner
September 13th 2010



209 Comments


am i the only one that doesnt like this?

qwe3
September 13th 2010



21353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yes





faggot

ieatpuppies4dinner
September 13th 2010



209 Comments


fuck you qwe keep showing up youre looking real good right now

qwe3
September 13th 2010



21353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

at least im not a liarfaggot

thats someone who is both a liar and a faggot


liarfaggot.

ieatpuppies4dinner
September 13th 2010



209 Comments


id rather be a liar faggot than a tree hugging bitch

HighandDriving
September 13th 2010



3261 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Botch is the best metalcore band, only faggots think Converge is better.

Digging: Nightmares - Suspiria



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