Review: “Cold Like War” by We Came As Romans

We Came As Romans went looking for a new record label to make their home and got turned away a couple of times. SharpTone Records came to their rescue and soon after new song “Wasted Age” appeared. That was last summer and the band have been playing it live since. It’s a solid but by no means stunning track from a band that have always flattered to decieve. On the one hand you have the Metalcore side. Chugging riffs and breakdowns with unclean vocals and soaring cleans over melodic choruses. On the other hand you have melodic meandering that long time fans have come to expect and are very much like Marmite. You either get into it over repeated listens or you give up and skip to the heavier stuff. It’s something that’s always divided their fan base. So in order to reassure long term fans, SharpTone cleverly started early and released three singles before the release of the album. “Lost In The Moment” was the first of these and like “Wasted Age” is solid without being stunning. Buried electronics and beats mixed with the music add extra elements and layers to the overall sound without taking away from the core sound – something the have struggled with in the past. Then we had the title track, “Cold Like War”. An absolute banger. Probably one of the best tracks if not the best track the band has ever produced. A Metalcore track for 2017 and an anthem of sorts. It’s everything a fan of WCAR wants. On the eve of the album appearing, “Foreign Fire” appeared. That’s the fourth single from a ten track album. Again a solid song and enough to make you want to say you’ve heard three decent tunes and a stunner, the album is worth checking out. And it is exactly that. Opener “Vulture with Clipped Wings” has an electronic intro that on first listen sounds slightly out of place. It cuts and then the track kicks in and it’s… Surprisingly heavy. The intro actually makes sense on the second time around because it wraps the final track to the first which is a neat tick even if it has been done before. “Two Hands” may find you thinking you’ve heard it before. You have. If you play the first thirty seconds of “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weekend and then play the first thirty seconds of “Two Hands” you’ll realise the similarity is uncanny but different lyrics. Clearly the Punk Goes Pop has been a bigger influence than expected. It’s still a really good song and clever in what it does. “Encoder” is something that will catch you off guard. It’s an industrial track that sounds as if someone has remixed one of the bands songs and then thrown it into the middle of the album. It’s brave and new ground like nothing you’ve heard from them before. If it was on the end then it would be passed off but slap bang in the middle and it stands up and grabs your attention with crushing guitars and chemical beats. “Promise Me” is the weak link in the albums chain and good flow, being a mid tempo song with the guitars dialed back. If it was the closer it would be labelled a filler. Overall, it’s a great album and surpasses expectations while living up to hopes. It’s the album fans wanted, high energy, bounce and verve throughout with melodic meanderings dialed back and Metalcore elements toned up. One banger and eight solid other songs on a ten track album that proves the band still have it. It’s not going to set the world alight or gain that many new fans but it will bring back the old fans and give them something to smile about while also dusting off older releases. It’s a perfectly timed release for the band. It does for WCAR what “Ashes of Empires” did for Machine Head. [4/5]


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