Just over a year ago, I wrote a feature on Troy-based nu-punks We Came As Romans for the now-defunct music website Grok. I forgot all about the thing until listening to the band recently. Thought you City Slangers might like it.
We Came As Romans
While there are Christians within the ranks of We Came As Romans, it would be a mistake to pigeonhole them as a Christian rock band, lumping them alongside the likes of Stryper and, more recently, Creed. To WCAR, their faith is an extremely personal thing and, while it inevitably finds its way into the lyrical content with regards to the positivity that shines out of the band’s music, they consider their religious views to really be nobody’s business but their own.
Rather, We Came As Romans are one of the new breed of post-hardcore bands, signed to Equal Vision Records alongside the likes of Sky Eats Airplane and the Dear & Departed, heavily influenced by screamo and post-hardcore bands like Alexisonfire and Boy Sets Fire. The band has two vocalists in their ranks – Dave Stephens and Kyle Pavone. Stephens provides the heavy, hardcore-style growling, while Pavone is the man responsible for injecting some sweeter melody. Put simply, Pavone sings while Stephens growls. Bassist Andy Glass, guitarists Joshua Moore and Lou Cotton, and drummer Eric Choi complete the band.
We Came As Romans formed in Troy, a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, in 2005, though they were originally called the Emergency. They played shows all over the Metro Detroit area but, when founding members Jonny Nabors and Sean N. Zelda quit, the latter to attend the University of Michigan, the band changed their name.
The bands first EP, Demonstrations, was sold online and at concerts during the early part of 2008, and is no longer available. Their first release proper was the Dreams EP, and was produced by Joey Sturgis (The Devil Wears Prada, Attack Attack!).
The debut full-length album, To Plant A Seed, was released in November 2009 to massive critical acclaim. Aiming for a symphonic, almost prog-rock sound, the album is an accomplished piece of work that at times brings to mind Tool, the Mars Volta, Coheed & Cambria and even Dream Theater, plus Norwegian black metal bands like Mayhem and Emperor. We Came As Romans definitely don’t shy away from their metal influences; the huge, monolithic guitar riffs contrasting beautifully with the intricate, almost classical musicianship elsewhere.
We Came As Romans have received huge praise for the fact that they built up an enviable international fan base by themselves on the web before landing a record deal. They’ve toured extensively and they aim to continue to do so, recently finding themselves out on the road with such like-minded bands as VersaEmerge, I See Stars, From First To Last, Our Last Night and Bullet For Pretty Boy.
As the stellar reviews continue to pour in and the band keep up their hard work ethic, while the friends count on their Myspace and Facebook pages continues to rise at a ridiculously rapid rate, there’s every reason to keep the message positive within the We Came As Romans camp.
“To Plant A Seed” and “We Are The Reasons”, both from the album To Plant A Seed on Equal Vision Records.
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