Undeniably popular and pedaling what is a rather dependable flavour of melody verses muscle, there has always existed in We Came As Romans‘ sound a frustrating lack of grit and the volatile bombast which has seen so many of their peers outflank them. It is therefore something of an unforeseen marvel that ‘Tracing Back Roots’ delivers perhaps the jewel in 2013’s metalcore crown with an unabashed display of europhic hooks and upbeat stomp.
Indeed, it’s swiftly apparent that the Michigan sextet have benefited tremendously from an upsurge in melody. Lead singles ‘Hope’ and ‘Fade Away’ drop choruses as colossal as anything in recent memory, yet in all honesty there’s barely a track here which doesn’t impress with a majestic refrain or a clean singing break. What’s most important, however, is that these songs veritably beg for crowd participation and it’s difficult to see how the infectious caliber of ‘Tracing Back Roots’ could fail to hit home in a live setting.
Of course, there’s no absence of the habitual chug and bounce, such as in the white hot hostility of the opening title-track and ‘Present, Future And Past’‘s buoyant groove, yet what sets ‘Tracing Back Roots’ apart is a constantly jubilant atmosphere which manages to permeate even the record’s most aggressive moments, and elevate the tracks to something beyond the cookie cutter chug-a-lug posturing.
Brimming with glistening electronics, mammoth melodies and familiar clout, We Came As Romans have taken a favourable step up. Perhaps edging dangerously towards the more restrained end of the metal spectrum for many, those of us with a penchant for chest beating sing-a-longs and call to arms anthemics with be having far too much fun to notice.
Written by Tony Bliss