We Came As Romans “Tracing Back Roots” a pleasant surprise.

I like surprises. They keep life interesting and smack you with a dash of of the unexpected.  For anyone who likes metal, whatever that actually constitutes these days, I’ve been rather pleasantly surprised with the new We Came As Roman’s album Tracing Back Roots.  In fact, I was somewhat blown away since my expectations were so low. 

Now before the metal elitists jump on the fact that I just dropped WCAR’s name and metal in the same sentence, let me remind you that Slayer hasn’t released a good album in 20 years, Gwar still sucks, and Megadeath is getting up there in years. The  newest wave of metal is “somewhat” here so get used to it. 

To you Deathcore/Beatdown advocates, perhaps bands have finally started to realize that vocalists who sound like a garbage disposal sucking down silverware with their “brootal” unintelligible screams doesn’t make the band sound bad ass. In fact it makes you look like you are still in high-school doing black metal poses and throwing in pig squeals for supposed good measure.   No, adding base drops to it doesn’t make it any better or heavier. 

Seriously, where did this album come from? A pleasant surprise indeed.

WCAR has improved on all fronts. Yea, I’m still shocked. Dave’s screaming is legible but still badass , the bass can actually be heard, and Kyle has finally learned to sing inside his range.   The band has somehow managed to put alot clean singing into Tracing Back Roots while still accenting it perfectly with plenty of screaming to give it that right handed K.O. power they’ve always possessed.  Songs like Present, Past, and Future, Ghosts, and I Am Free are still surprising me. 

Kyle’s improved vocals are of note here. Luckily he didn’t go down the I See Stars path where the tenor is so high that only dogs can hear it and there is not even the slightest hint of the Kellin Quinn voice that plagues my ears with unmanly pitches. 

The lyrics on this album just aren’t inspiring, they are also quite catchy to scream/sing along to. In particular these few lines really grabbed my attention:

Change the way you act, not just the way you think
Change the way you live, live the way you claim
Words are just words, until they’re put to work
And it will be actions, not words, that change this earth.

I see myself playing this album quite a few times as there might not actually be a bad song on this album and that’s something I can’t say about alot of albums. Did I mention how they actually sounded GOOD live at Warped Tour this year? I didn’t expect that easier.   To all upcoming music releases for  this year; keep surprising me. It feels good.