We Came As Romans
Cold Like War


4.0
excellent

Review

by Shamus248 USER (66 Reviews)
October 20th, 2017 | 46 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "I'm starting again to return to form."

We Came as Romans fell prey to the attraction of commercializing their sound with their self titled release back in 2015. The album did have some catchy bangers here and there, but far too many tracks just oozed wasted potential and a want to receive airplay. While I enjoyed tracks like "The World I Used To Know", seeing that track's music video on MTV felt fairly out of place for a band rooted in aggressive metalcore, known as an exponent for underground music. Thankfully, the band saw the error of their ways. This foray into pop rock has been both forgiven and ripped to shreds with the group's newest album, Cold Like War.

That's not to say, however, the group didn't take valuable lessons from their brief commercial senescence. We Came as Romans has always been accessible and unafraid to take chances and create new opportunities. Clean vocalist Kyle Pavone's voice is perfectly suited for this brand of accessible metalcore. It creates a clean, glossy edge, but takes nothing away from the group's overall sound. Dave Stephens, meanwhile, is back to assaulting the microphone with his superb unclean vocals and the instrumentalists are back to ripping through the speakers. And for a band willing to give up some mainstream spotlight to focus once again on making quality music in this day and age is without question, a risky proposition. But, We Came as Romans sees this plan pay off time and time again throughout this record.

Album opener "Vultures with Clipped Wings" begins with ninety seconds of ominous synths that entertain the notion that perhaps We Came as Romans are going further down the road their self titled album took them. But, when Stephens roars "I never found peace, but now I'm fighting a war" and the instrumentals kick in, quite the contrary is present; We Came as Romans as we know them are back and better than ever. Kyle Pavone croons his way through a chorus full of symbolism that perhaps embodies how the group feels about where they've gone with their music and how they're starting over.

This allusion is reiterated immediately in the following title track. "I will never betray me again", Stephens proclaims while Pavone sings of the "consequences made in this failure." The two trade lyrics of a "future undefined" and one can't help but surmise the group is directly alluding to the mainstream experiment they released via Equal Vision Records just two years ago. One thing's for certain - the album's title track is damn good. Stephen's uncleans are at optimal quality and David Puckett's recorded debut on drums for the band pays off as he helps maintain steady pace to pair with Joshua Moore's lead guitar and Andy Glass's smooth bass work.

The album does undergo a few hiccups. "Two Hands" and "Lost in the Moment" wouldn't be out of place on the group's self titled project at all. Sloppy breakdowns and misplaced uncleans can't save either track from the sloppier basslines, annoying vocal distortion and choppy synths. Dave Stephens still has a lot of work to do as a singer, but his uncleans are great and that creates a bit of a saving grace. Last year's single release "Wasted Age" combines the raw heaviness of We Came as Romans' earlier discography with the glossy shine of their most recent work. It makes for a very cohesive track and an album highlight.

"Encoder" doesn't deserve one second of Stephen's uncleans being this electronically tinged dubstep ripoff it tries to be and while it's heaviness is enjoyable in the second half, the track's opening is just God awful. "If There's Something to See" writes the ship by further harkening back to the group's older sound and I Prevail's Eric Vanlerberghe offers a solid guest appearance. "Promise Me" and "Learning to Survive" both close the album in solid fashion, both Stephens and Pavone closing out Cold Like War to the best of their ability.

Despite some absurdly bad hiccups every once in a while, Cold Like War is We Came as Romans' best album to date. The group returns to their heavier roots and is better than ever in this incarnation. They take what worked about their commercial experiment, but a few misfires hitch their way onboard in the process. That can be forgiven, though. Too many songs on this record are too good to not enjoy. Dave Stephens is the MVP of this effort. Kyle Pavone is fantastic, but Stephens steals the show by once again assaulting the listener's ears with his godly uncleans. Not the best release of 2017, but We Came as Romans should be commended for the otherwise excellent job they've done. Cold Like War is an album all genre fans must hear at least a few times.



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user ratings (76)
Chart.
3.3
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
bloc
October 19th 2017


47155 Comments


Might give this a listen to remind myself of my university years lol

These guys do have a few songs that still slap

Digging: The Presets - Apocalypso

Shamus248
October 19th 2017


339 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

was actually never a huge fan of these guys until this album cycle lol

Digging: Montgomery Gentry - Here's to You

SteakByrnes
October 19th 2017


6763 Comments


I've enjoyed the singles, gonna listen either tonight or tomorrow because I have it downloaded and ready. I doubt they'll ever top UWWGTB, but this is very promising after that last album

Digging: Coletta - Mind and Time

Shamus248
October 19th 2017


339 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

like i said, it's got some reeeeally bad songs. stay away from "Two Hands", "Lost in the Moment" and "Encoder". but do enjoy the rest of the album. kicks all kinds of ass

Hawks
October 19th 2017


53644 Comments


I've only ever heard the debut. It's decent, but nothing special. Kinda wanna check this though.

Digging: Rur - Rur

Storm In A Teacup
October 19th 2017


22632 Comments


the singles from this were really bad and didn't seem like a return to form at all. brb. gonna check out the album and hope it all isn't as bad as the bland singles.

Storm In A Teacup
October 19th 2017


22632 Comments


you know what....nevermind.....this makes me want to avoid this at all costs

sempiturtle
October 19th 2017


1310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Encoder is cool as fuck man.

Beardog
October 20th 2017


1724 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really wouldn't call this a return to form, just a pretty nice popcore record. Singles were good and if you are into risecore etc you will really enjoy this.

Storm In A Teacup
October 20th 2017


22632 Comments


well tell all the mother fuckers who keep saying it's a return to form to shut the fuck up. i liked every album from them and every single including the one before this. there was nothing wrong with the direction they were going. this just seems like it's trying to placate when there was no reason to and the fanboys who act like it was needed can go make their own fucking music if they want something in particular.

sexpoi
October 20th 2017


647 Comments


Although I do really like Dave's screams, I would say "godly" is a really hefty claim. Good Review though

ExhaleTheLight
October 20th 2017


365 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Get rid of Kyle and this band would be in a lot of better shape.

SteakByrnes
October 20th 2017


6763 Comments


Are you ok Storm? Do you want some tea to calm down?

Storm In A Teacup
October 20th 2017


22632 Comments


as long as half of the tea is lemonade :-)

SteakByrnes
October 20th 2017


6763 Comments


I have some half and half arizona in the fridge just for you bb

Shamus248
October 20th 2017


339 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Turkey hill strawberry kiwi is what you need storm

Storm In A Teacup
October 20th 2017


22632 Comments


steak, that's exactly what i drink, lmao

MayhemWithMercy
October 20th 2017


8663 Comments


Since when were these guys "aggressive metalcore"?

Digging: Stars of the Lid - The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid

Storm In A Teacup
October 20th 2017


22632 Comments


reviewer is probably a kid so it's forgiveable

MayhemWithMercy
October 20th 2017


8663 Comments


Haha yeah. I mean even ABR is more 'aggressive' metalcore than these guys' old stuff.



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