Review Summary: WCAR craft an album that has some interesting parts, but generally just falls flat.
(First review ever, so please, be gentle.)
We Came as Romans is just one of those bands that I’ve tried to get into, but never succeeded. As a follower of the “scenecore” bands, I’m always looking for new bands that follow the exact same pattern, mildly talented guitar players, invisible bass players, filler drums and whiny vocals; I simply really enjoy this combination.
Though I did listen to earlier WCAR releases, I barely remember them, besides a general feeling of not enjoying them, so, with a new record incoming; I thought it would be a good time to try to get into them again. Unfortunately, I certainly didn’t enjoy this album.
Lead single and opener “Tracing Back Roots” starts heavy and doesn’t really let go until 2 minutes into the song. It’s a nice representation of the whole album, chugging guitars, good drum-playing that never really does anything interesting and some average vocals. If there’s something to be noticed here is that the screamer hasn’t been doing much. He’s not bad, but he has certainly not improved since Understanding.
Second song “Fade Away”, despite being one of the earlier songs released can be considered filler and I would gladly skip over it, if not for the lyrics. Simply put, they lack creativity, for example, rhyming away with, guess what, away, and down with down on the chorus.
“I Survive”, despite featuring an interesting appearance by metalcore god Aaron Gillespie, is uninteresting. “Ghosts” is one of the best WCAR songs to date, having a great guitar intro (and one of the few instances in which you can clearly hear the bass), it remains heavy until at the 2 minute mark, it stops, follows up with some whispering, soft guitar chords and bowed-instrument backing (Sorry! I’m not good at telling you what it is).
“Present, Future and Past” has some great lyrics, but not much else, and “Never Let Me Go” pretty much falls flat on its face, with a bored performance by the clean singer. “Hope” is carried over from the Deluxe Edition, which is just lazy if you ask me, since it was a bonus song there. It features some cringe-worthy woah-ohs, which feel pretty out of place.
“A Moment” contains some horrible electronica backing during the softer parts, which just ruins them. This track and the subsequent track, “I Am Free”, feature one of the largest appearances of the screamer doing some clean vocals. Album closer “Through the Darkest Dark and Brightest Bright”, despite having some really cheesy lyrics (This is our song to remember, woah-oh, woah-oh!) is a good song, until it’s again ruined by horrible electronica at the 1 minute mark. Thank goodness, this part is short. It ends with some screaming and guitar fade-out, and I’ll tell you, I was thankful about finally getting through this album.
If there’s one thing that really annoyed me, is the singer. A lot of times he sounds off-key, and his voice is completely over-produced and auto-tuned (despite this, he’s still not good), to the point where I was begging for the screamer to sing more. The screamer is certainly good, and his cleans are pretty great, certainly much more enjoyable than the singer. The rest of the band is just average. Despite having both a lead and a rhythm guitar, it just never features an interesting part, for example, there wasn’t a single solo during the album. The drums are interesting, but pretty much follow the guitars everywhere and the bass player should turn into a superhero, because he’s invisible during the whole thing.
In short, if you’re looking for a good post-hardcore/metalcore album to listen for, look elsewhere. This band certainly has talent, but they are just not showing it in this album.