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Tracing Back Roots

We Came As Romans

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Album Review

Hailing from Troy, Michigan, brutal metalcore act We Came as Romans followed up their successful 2011 effort Understanding What We've Grown to Be with third album Tracing Back Roots. The album features more straightforward, un-effected vocals from singer David Stephens, who prior to this album focused more on distorted screaming vocals, leaving the clean singing to band keyboardist Kyle Pavone. Along with their regularly pummeling melodic metalcore sound, We Came as Romans also incorporate soaring anthem-like pop into their songs, taking tunes like the title track and "Ghosts" all over the map stylistically, from harsh breakdowns to almost emo-pop chorus harmonies.

Customer Reviews

Where Do I Start?

A lot of my disappointment cannot be expressed in words, but I will try my best. I'm just going to start with saying this: the vocals are better than ever. The lyrics still hit really hard, and Dave does a great job doing cleans. I also do not have a problem with bands going softer. That's okay, as long as they do it right. This sadly is NOT an example of that.

You remember those riffs that the first two albums had? Gone. You remember the epic keys on the older stuff? Gone, and replaced by extremely out-of-place synths that scream through the mix in the worst fashion ever (see the closing track). All the awesome drumming that went beyond just following the guitar rhythms? Now they do that exactly. There is almost nothing to redeem in the instrumental part of this album. There is no reason for them to even credit two guitarists because there is virtually no lead guitar besides maybe harmonizing the chords in the chorus. It's awful, and inexcusable.

The production on this album is mediocre at best as well. The guitar tone is very "flubby" for lack of other words. The bass drum seems to make the mix quieter every time it's played fast, causing an odd change in volume on the guitars during breakdowns. It's over-compressed garbage. On top of that, the bass guitar is not distinguishable in the slightest bit. The production on the first two albums was excellent (thank you Joey Sturgis), and it doesn't have to be the same as those, but this is a huge step down.

The vocals also have some embarrassing moments, too. They use "woah" so many times that it's nearly impossible to find a chorus without them. While Kyle has improved a lot as far as pitch, Dave's clean vocals have an extensive amount of pitch correction on them. This could be a production issue, and it's only clearly present in songs like "A Moment" and "Never Let Me Go".

In all, this album represents a band who was either unable to perform their material live and wished to move towards a fundamentally "easier" style to pull off, or just pure laziness. Either way, it does not excuse how mediocre this album is in comparison to previous efforts. Even though both older albums weren't the most creative things in the world, they are masterpieces compared to this album. If you're a fan of over-produced pop choruses with distorted guitars and some screaming, get this. If you're a fan of music that's a little more intelligent (at least instrumentally), stay away from this.

A good change

These guys have definitely changed their sound and I love it. Dave contributes with some clean vocals but yet also screams. Kyle stopped using auto tune and now it's just his voice which amazes me. Tracing back roots is a great intro song that I believe shows Kyle's change. Fade away introduces Dave's clean vocals and the band's true change. Keep it up WCAR, keep making music!

Dear god they are back

Holy s*it this is who we came as Romans truly is! The vocals are off the charts with the clean singing and hard screaming make it so perfect! Buy this

Biography

Formed: 2005 in Troy, MI

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

We Came as Romans hail from Troy, MI, an upscale Detroit suburb that gave birth to the band’s blend of post-hardcore and melodic screamo. Guitarist Joshua Moore, bassist Lou Cotton, drummer Eric Choi, guitarist Lou Cotton, and vocalists David Stephens and Kyle Pavone headlined shows in the Michigan area before graduating to the national circuit, where they opened shows for the likes of Our Last Night, Gwen Stacy, and The Number Twelve Looks Like You. We Came as Romans took time off in September 2008...
Full Bio

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