Live Review: We Came As Romans w/Alazka, Polaris & The Plot In You @ Camden Underworld 08/05/2018!

It’s a sold out show tonight at Camden Underworld, such is the anticipation of a huge four band line-up taking a step away from the Impericon Festival dates to gain further exposure. Tonight marks We Came As Romans last show on this European run and whilw the rest of the bands will return to the European Mainland for a few more shows, WCAR will head home to the states.

A large percentage of a younger crowd are already inside the venue by the time  The Plot In You [4/10] take the stage. It’s apparent from the very start of the their set that their slow burn, almost nu-metal sound is enjoyed by some, with a good sing-a-long feel and straightforward lyrics for the most part. The problem is that as good as Landon Tewers clean vocals are, the band don’t match his talent with musical variety. Instead, while there is a vague attempt at building atmospherics and dynamics, the music ends up sounding very samey very quickly. It’s something that hampers new album “Disposed” and is even clearer in the live arena. That’s not to say that as a band during the day time of a big festival that they wouldn’t be good, they’d suit something like Sound Wave really nicely, but in a packed and sweaty club, it doesn’t work because there is a lack of energy.

Sydney, Australian natives Polaris [8.5/10] are an entirely different animal. Tearing through a fair piece of stunning album “The Mortal Coil” with bounce, energy and verve, they leave no audience member unmoved with their music. Crossing over between the Tech-Metal of the brilliant “Consume” through a fusion of Metalcore to “Remedy”, the band will surely be headlining shows like this in 12 months time. When the audience are chanting “one more song” at the end of a support bands set, you know you’re onto a winner. Frontman Jamie Hails adds stark contrast to bassist Jake Steinhauser’s melodic tones and the energy they bring to the live arena is second to none. When Hails asks the crowd to start a circle pit around one of the iconic Underworld pillars before a song even starts, let alone kicks in, you know he has command.

Its hard to know what to make of Alazka [5/10]. The German 6 piece are clearly popular and there is plenty of crowd surfing with sing-a-long choruses and clean vocalist Kassim Auale clearly has some pipes but unclean vocalist Tobias Rische often comes across as being out of place given the over all sound of the band. A painfully cringe worthy moment occurs towards the end of the set when Rische delivers some Deathcore inspired growls over thr tamest of breakdowns. There is a lot of melody going on with expansive guitar work designed to give the clean vocal overlays space to breathe and what you end up with is a very poor man’s We Came As Romans. There are even hints at some of the lesser material that the likes of Tyler Carter’s Issues might deliver. That’s not a slight on the musicianship or song writing abilities of the band as much as their choices when it comes guitar tones and production value. They clearly have talent, they just aren’t unique enough to make the most of it.

Its been a while since We Came As Romans [8.5/10] were in London and with storming album “Cold Like War” returning the band to their promised heights after a period of draught, things are looking up for the Detroit Michigan Metalcore crew. A large number of cuts from said recent album appear on a set that opens with “Vultures With Clipped Wings”, “Cold Like War” and “Wasted Age” while the rest of the set is peppered with older material to keep the die hard fans happy. There is big energy in the Underworld tonight and We Came As Romans capture that and spin the room with circle pits during “Tracing Back Roots” and an extended intro version of “Encoder”. After the “one more song” chants, we get an encore of “Hope” that raises the roof. Their set might be shorter than we had hoped tonight but We Came As Romans know how to put on a show.

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