We Came As Romans - Self Titled (Album)

Formed in 2005, We Came as Romans are from Michigan, United States. The group has released two EPs and three full-length albums with this eponymous release being their fourth.

“Regenerate! Regenerate this life!” Hell yeah! Regenerate opens the album in fine style with all the immediacy you could expect. A mean but melodic song with an urgent feel. The dial is turned down for the next track, Who Will Pray has a more modern Stadium Rock sound and no dirt under it's fingernails but it's still a passable effort. Oh dear. The World I Used To Know and Memories seem to be from the school of the nondescript. In fact, an artist like Rihanna (!) could do as reasonable a job on these as We Came As Romans. But then Tear It Down redresses the balance with it's posture posing Rock/Rap crossover approach – maybe on the clich√© side but let's not complain about that, after all it's not anachronistic (an unforgivable sin). Throw those shapes dudes! Blur covers the same ground although the chorus tends to rankle with it's pop sensibilities. No matter how much the guitars rock on this song you can't escape that 1D(imension) feeling. Jesus wept! Saviour Of The Week must have been penned by Jessie J (I'm as shocked as you about the knowledge of pop, apologies). Some dignity is amply clawed back with Flatline, back with the Stadium Rock but with added symphonic instrumentation. Back with some dirt in the guise of Defiance, a blessed relief. Shouty, angry vocals and energetic execution along the same lines as the opener but at a slower pace. Epic sounding 12:30 closes the proceedings. Deceptively gentle but with a punchy hook-line. If only more of this could have been introduced with the more commercial sounding songs.
There is a clear split in approach: one is raw and imaginative, the other is commercial and comes across as a compromise with a view to greater popularity (which they have increasingly attained with their last two albums). As such, this won't appeal to everyone into Melodic Metalcore/Post Hardcore but the highlights stand out as having a charismatic edge which draws the listener towards them. At least they're not standing still but they could easily afford to push back into murkier waters and still retain much of their fan-base – many artists are too afraid of this but We Came As Romans are an act that are deserving of such a move. Ultimately, this is disappointing because there is more than a suggestion of strong ideas.