Tuesday, July 23, 2013
We Came As Romans - Tracing Back Roots
Overview: We Came As Romans continues to trace half albums.
We Came As Romans are a metalcore band formed in 2005 and Tracing Back Roots is their third full length album. Now WCAR has always been kind of an odd band for me, I don't love them, I don't dislike them either. For both of their previous albums I've liked about half of each, looking back I like their debut, To Plant a Seed more than their follow-up Understanding What We've Grown to Be. So when this album was announced I wasn't excited for it but I was interested in hearing it, especially after "Tracing Back Roots", the album opener dropped and absolutely kicks ass.
The Positive: The band really stays in their lane without straying too much away from what they're good at. Screaming, catchy choruses and some breakdowns thrown in for good measure. This album is definitely more clean/melodic vocally driven which is good when it's pulled of well. The track "I Survive" is fantastic with the Aaron Gillespie of The Almost feature complimenting the song so well and I have to say this song may already be one of my favorite WCAR songs. "Ghosts" is a heavy hitting song that hits all of the right spots and exhibits what makes WCAR great when they want to be. "Present, Future, Past" continues that trend and is balls out heavy with some surprisingly good lyrics from the band. "Never Let Me Go" is a near completely cleanly sung song but still works and ends up being a good song, somewhat surprisingly. "Through the Darkest Dark and Brightest Bright" is a song about the band, they even say "this is our song to remember all of the places we have been" and on it's face it's a pretentious song but they get a pass because the song is pretty enjoyable.
The Negative: "Fade Away" is the only song I can really call 'bad', it's uninteresting and shows how cleanly sung songs can fall flat. The other 4 tracks aren't bad per say, they're just not good. They suffer from what for me, can be known as the WCAR syndrome where one half of the album completely outdoes the other half. In this case it's the first half winning the battle with 5 of the first 6 songs making it into The Positive while 4 of the remaining 5 make it into The Negative.
Overall: The band did alright, this may go down as my favorite of their 3 albums but don't let that fool you, that accolade really isn't saying much as I didn't totally love their first 2 albums anyway. If you're a WCAR fan you'll most likely enjoy this album, if not, this probably won't convert you but I'd give it a shot. At 11 tracks and clocking in at 40 minutes it's a pretty short album, there are 2 bonus tracks on the Target version but I haven't heard them so my rating does not cover those but knowing WCAR, I'd probably like 1 of them and not the other. There are better metalcore bands and albums out there but this one deserves a listen.
Number of Tracks Kept: 6/11