National MusicReviews

Album Review: We Came As Romans ‘Cold Like War’

Will This Record Bring WCAR Back From the Metalcore Graveyard?

Cold Like War

It seemed as though the Michigan metal core group We Came As Romans was following suit after most large successes of this particular scene. With a huge fan base from their thick, heavy first two releases, they were on their way to either a graveyard where bands go to die (same graveyard where you can find Attack! Attack! and Woe, Is Me), or morphing into a different genre away from metal. While they always remained a popular choice, their metal-hammer-yeilding supporters were losing hope. For 2016, they kept us waiting. They kept us shifting in our seats when their name came up. Finally, in October 2016, they dropped single “Wasted Age”. One thing was different with this six piece time time around, though. As fans had watched them lie on their sinking metalcore death bed, they refused to die. It had become clear that We Came As Romans were stacked and loaded with weaponry, later announcing new album Cold Like War, to officially bring them back stronger than ever.

The album that would have been the nail in the figurative coffin was no doubt their self-titled. As I said earlier, their talent never left, but instead was muddled, diluted and not within the genre they so strongly began in. Even with strong tracks produced by David Bendeth (Bring Me The Horizon, Of Mice & Men), We Came As Romans wasn’t what fans were searching for, and when their fame became lack-luster, the guys were backed against a wall. The first thing to reignite the success of WCAR was certainly the backing and faith from SharpTone Records. With success brought from previous Vice President of Sumerian Records Shawn Keith, the record label currently brags on a heavy metal core roster with the likes of Attila, Don Broco, Currents, Emmure and more. With this support, We Came As Romans were able to continue their career.

Keeping a solid, consistent lineup over the course of four albums and eight years is a feat (stunt, really) that deserves innumerable amounts of recognition. Unfortunately breaking that streak, We Came As Romans parted ways with long-time drummer Eric Choi and brought on former For Today drummer David Puckett, who would deliver a new sound and marvelous, humble talent into the mix, creating an atmosphere of a well-balanced group.

Although vocalist Kyle Pavone has always had EDM/dance influence behind his career as his personal favorite genre, the influences in WCAR records were subtle…until now. I can’t spoil the fun for fans, but “Encoder” is a unique mix. Instead of mimicking other electro/metalcore groups, Encoder” contains anthemic guitar riffs and incredibly solid cleans, while throwing off listeners with massive electronics, creating a full spin on the opening track. With a new spotlight on drums and allowing Kyle’s EDM side project to influence the record, Dave’s vocals break the previous lull in their sought-after harmony missing from past endeavors. The cleans are amplified in a way that perfectly blends with heavy Fs and in terms of melody, “Foreign Fire” takes the cake for the entire album. With echoing, almost haunting, backing female vocals, “Foreign Fire” is a track that places chills on every inch of the listener with “I swear to God I tried to come back home”. Throughout the entire fiery record, Cold Like War tells a story of hardship and struggle through a genre fans have been desperately searching for throughout the past years: fucking metal.

Cold Like War drops tomorrow, so be sure to grab it!

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