We Came As Romans, Tracing Back Roots (Equal Vision)
Five years ago, no one had heard of the Michigan metalcore group known as We Came As Romans. They had only released one EP so far, they had a lineup that was in flux, and they had no major touring experience. Fast forward to 2013, and the picture could not be any more different. 2011’s Understanding What We’ve Grown to Be peaked at number 21 on the Billboard charts, and the album stuck around on the charts for months (we here at MetalInsider often joked about the fact that they would never depart from the ranks of Metal By Numbers). On top of that, the band has toured all over the world, earned their place as a headlining band, performed at countless festivals, and grown to become a leader among the newest wave of American metal bands. How did they do it? Was it some magical formula of marketing, label support, and cash? No, it was hard work, relentless touring, and never losing sight of a dream. We Came As Romans deserve acknowledgment just for that, and their success is a testament to how important those things are in such a hostile music industry.
Fight or Flight, A Life by Design? (Warner Bros.)
What happens when musicians get nostalgic for playing, writing, and touring? The best ones start doing those things again, ideally, and that’s exactly what Disturbed guitarist Dan Donegan began to do recently. Reports are conflicted about whether Fight or Flight began in 2011 or 2012, but regardless, the seeds of the project were sown when Donegan began writing songs on his own, following Disturbed’s hiatus that is currently still ongoing. Donegan eventually reached out to Dan Chandler, vocalist for Canadian alternative rock group Evans Blue, and the two began putting songs and lyrics together for an eventual recording. Rounding out the lineup are Disturbed drummer Mike Wengren, Ra bassist Sean Corcoran, and Bellevue Suite guitarist Jeremy Jayson. Although Fight or Flight may not be getting the same media attention that David Draiman’s side project Device received, the group is still highly talented and worth the attention of fans.
Also being released this week:
Serj Tankian, Jazz-Iz Christ (Serjical Strike)
Misery Signals, Absent Light (Basick)
Black Tusk, Tend No Wounds (Relapse)
Counterparts, The Difference Between Hell & Home (Victory)
Phinehas, The Last Word is Yours to Speak (12th Street)
All Pigs Must Die, Nothing Violates This Nature (Southern Lord)
Quest of Aidance, Misanthropic Propaganda (Pulverised)
Hesitation Wounds, Hesitation Wounds (Deathwish, Inc.)
Grandexit, The Dead Justifies the Means (Lifefore)
The Tangent, Le Sacre du Travail (Inside Out)
Armed for Apocalypse, The Road Will End (MRI)
Star & Dagger, Tomorrowland Blues (MRI)
True Widow, Circumambulation (Relapse)
Blinded, Harm’s Way (Deathwish, Inc.)
Alpha & Omega, No Rest No Peace (Bridge Nine)
Baroness, Live at Maida Vale: BBC (Relapse)
Ulver, Live at Roadburn (Outer Battery)
Hypocrisy, Penetralia / Osculum Obscenum [Re-issue] (Nuclear Blast)
Next Week: The new face of American heavy metal delivers the first of two albums expected for this year. Who is it? Find out in seven days!