We Came As Romans – Cold Like War
Released: 20th October 2017
Joshua Moore // Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals
Dave Stephens // Vocals
Lou Cotton // Rhythm Guitar
Andy Glass // Bass Guitar & Backing Vocals
Kyle Pavone // Clean Vocals & Synth
David Puckett // Drums
After a quietly turbulent 2016 of trials and tribulations, Michigan natives, We Came As Romans, have given the world their fifth studio album Cold Like War, a commentary on adversity in it’s many facets that promises a good head bang or two. But is this a case of the phoenix rising from the ashes or the beating of a dead horse?
Cold Like War has a real talent for building atmosphere; opening track, ‘Vultures With Clipped Wings’ does this really well. It’s build up really gets you excited for the rest of the album and serves as a fantastic introduction… But like an over-enthusiastic hype man, the album struggles to maintain that excitement for the next nine tracks. The title track Cold Like War, stands out immediately; The mix of gang vocals with the larger than life guitars reflect what this album had the potential to be.
Tracks such as ‘Lost In The Moment’, ‘Foreign Fire’ and ‘Wasted Age’ are left sounding, honestly generic. The clean vocals consistently fall flat and provide no real interest and for songs that don’t have the same push from the guitars and screams, they suffer for it immensely.
… and then there is ‘Encoder’. I have absolutely no idea where the fuck that song came from. It’s literally made up of computer generated sample tracks that would have passed as EDM in the 90s. I had to check I was listening to the same album at first. But then you think maybe this is just the switch in the album’s tone and maybe everything else will have this sound?… Nope. The album goes right back to give you what you’ve come to expect at that point. This track is like a 3:27 minute fever dream in the middle of an album.
‘If There’s Nothing To See’, serves not only as a palate cleanser, but also a nice build in atmosphere. This is another stand out and it becomes clear the reason that is, is again the sparse clean vocals. A notion only solidified by the straight up pop song ‘Promise Me’, which honestly sounds like an attempt to be radio friendly.
Finishing with ‘Learning To Survive’, the clean vocals finally pay off. The tone serves as a saving grace to an ultimately confused album; with a hook that can be shouted at the roof tops and a generally “Bird flying the coop” subject matter that is sure to provide some relatable content for your average joe. If I were to pick, I think this is the one that’ll do really well on Spotify and probably make it’s way onto everyone’s workout playlist by 2018.
Overall Cold Like War is a bipolar roller coaster; with highs that show you the huge talent that comes from doing this for so long, but ultimately leave you even more disappointed when you come across the lows that are unfortunately, more common. It’s possible to appreciate the atmosphere the band builds, (excluding Encoder) the album approaches the whole adversity theme rather consistently; only with a varying success rate. The album is worth giving a listen to if you’re looking for some new stuff, but I wouldn’t put it at the top of your Must Listen.
We Came As Romans – Cold Like War tracklisting
1. Vultures With Clipped Wings
2. Cold Like War
3. Two Hands
4. Lost In The Moment
5. Foreign Fire
6. Wasted Age
8. If There’s Something To See (feat. Eric Vanlerberghe from I Prevail)
9. Promise Me
10. Learning To Survive