We the release of self titled album in 2015, it looked like WE CAME AS ROMANS had their sites set towards more mainstream success. That album seemed to completely ditch the bands metalcore routes and the end results were entirely disappointing. The album was incredibly bland and seemed to really kill a lot of interest in the band. Now with their latest album Cold Like War it seems like WE CAME AS ROMANS are returning to the sound that first found them success.
Cold Like War initially makes a strong first impression, the atmospheric intro of Vultures With Clipped Wings set the scene nicely before the band hit the listener with some of their heaviest material yet. The title track is even stronger sounding like everything you could want from a more radio metalcore track. The chorus is huge and catchy whilst the heavier moments still pack plenty of punch. It’s just unfortunate that the album never tops this.
The rest of the 10 songs on this album certainly aren’t bad but most just feel like lesser versions of the title track. Wasted Age has a bit more pace but it still doesn’t stand out much. Encoder stands out a bit more as being the one moment where WE CAME AS ROMANS really experiment. The electronic beats and bouncy guitars give off a strong nu metal vibe and it’s a fun moment. The only other time they really change things up is on Promise Me which is more of a ballad and really ends up being the weakest moment on the album. Other than this the album just sticks to a formula.
It’s a formula We CAME AS ROMANS are certainly good at but heavier music has made huge strides over the last two years with bands really pushing boundaries. And it has just resulted in these sort of Warped Tour metalcore bands being left behind. Cold Like War definitely feels stronger what some of their peers have released in last years and is a step back in the right direction. There certainly isn’t anything offensively bad here, but there isn’t an awful lot to get excited about.
In terms of performances both Dave Stephens and Kyle Pavone deliver strong performances and it is nice to hear more of Dave’s heavier vocals after how much they were missing on the last album. The guitars deliver your standard metalcore chug but do manage to mix things up on occasion with some decent riffs. When it comes to synths WE CAME AS ROMANS have always incorporated them well and this album is no different, they never feel forced and only ever enhance the tracks.
In the end Cold Like War should certainly appeal to fans of the first three WE CAME AS ROMANS albums. The return to their heavier roots is a welcome one but it doesn’t feel totally regressive. It’s just a shame that they aren’t willing to push themselves more. If you’re a fan of the sort of metalcore bands you’ll see on Warped Tour every summer then Cold Like War will be worth your time. If you you’ll probably want to give this one a miss.
Cold Like War is out now via SharpTone Records.
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