“A new age is here. We Came As Romans are back.” – Rock Sound
It was early 2021. We Came As Romans fans hungered for news about the band’s next album, the first material since 2019’s pair of well-received singles, “From the First Note” and “Carry the Weight,” and the eclectic Michigan metalcore group’s first full-length since the 2018 death of Kyle Pavone.
“I cried today while tracking a song. If that gives you any insight as to how emotional this is for us,” lead guitarist and primary songwriter Joshua Moore wrote in a Tweet. He added: “No shame.”
No shame, indeed. Since the release of the milestone debut album, 2009’s To Plant a Seed, diehard fans depend on We Came As Romans to deliver intimate, confessional, and autobiographical anthems, each one challenging, triumphant, and passionate. Roughly a month after Moore’s missive and subsequent Tweets, bassist Andy Glass posted a lengthy and heartfelt update on Instagram.
“We came together and put every ounce of energy into making something truly beautiful for Kyle,” he wrote. He talked plainly about grief, the new album’s role in healing, and the importance for anyone in similar situations to take care of themselves, too. “Be kind and gentle to yourself.”
The band’s collective loss plays a significant role throughout the lyrics. Still, they were careful to choose songs that address different emotional needs and reflect varied aspects of the grieving process. Equally essential to the record are the leaps and bounds of growth in Stephens’ vocals. “Before, I was strictly screaming; always aggressive. I was never the guy singing the soft, emotional parts that express sadness in a song. I was always doing the high energy, angry parts,” he points out.
Each record marks a moment in time, a stage in the process of continuing evolution, none more so than Darkbloom. The band’s first album as five-piece balances the robust optimistic vitality of their earliest work with the stark realism of later records. It is an album, and a band, shaped by struggle, singing anthems of inspiration and survival. Like a flower fighting up through concrete, We Came As Romans continue to symbolize the transformative power of perseverance through struggle.