They came, they saw, and they conquered.
Michigan-based American rock band, We Came as Romans, returns with their second full-length album release, “Understanding What We’ve Grown to Be,” a work which in comparison to their debut, “To Plant a Seed” was described by the group as possessing a much darker tone musically and lyrically. However, although there is a darkness that is present through the heavy metal instrumentation and unclean screaming on each song, many listeners will be surprised what they stumble upon once they dig through the consistent characteristics of your common American rock band. Beneath the blaring vocals and high-pitched guitar riffs is a majority of musical content that is positive, uplifting, and inspiring, with a few moments of a human perspective that has lost hope.
The opening track, “Mis//Understanding”, was inspired by a feeling of incompetency by Joshua Moore, the lead guitarist. He states, “When I wrote this song, I was really feeling like whatever I was doing, just wasn’t enough… I struggle with this feeling of uncertainty… like we haven’t made difference. I’m just trying to reach out, trying to grab onto someone else.” This may be a familiar sentiment experienced by many individuals searching for their path in a society plunging in economic strife and a lack of post-graduate careers. Yet, as the band recognizes that this is a common emotion in the world today, they urge their listeners to “Stay Inspired” later on in the album, as Kyle Pavone sings, “There are greater rewards in stepping outside of your own comfort/Than there are in never breaking down the walls that you’ve built.” At this point, We Came as Romans has delivered a clear message and conveys that through their music, they aim to uplift and inspire people, despite what their circumstances may be.
It is easily understood why We Came as Romans may be mistaken for a Christian rock band at times. Their lyrics are designed to touch the spirits of the broken-hearted and weary as evidenced by the two aforementioned tracks. Yet throughout the remainder of “Understanding What We’ve Grown to Be,” there is the heavy metal element that many fans will surely find. Amidst all of that, it is the lyrical content that will leave an imprint on individuals everywhere.