To Plant A Seed review by We Came As Romans

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  • Released: Nov 3, 2009
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.7 (83 votes)
We Came As Romans: To Plant A Seed
3

Sound — 8
We Came As Romans' full-length debut record To Plant A Seed in many ways follows in the footsteps of past tourmates The Devil Wears Prada, but the Michigan natives opt to take things up a notch more in an epic direction. Incorporating several synth sections that are meant to mimic orchestral sections, the 10 tracks heard on To Plant A Seed are larger than life and several times reach that coveted wall of sound. For such a young band, We Came As Romans demonstrate that, although they still might not click with all listeners because of spastic switching between death vocals and clean vocals, this is one group of players that still shows plenty of promise for it's chosen Christian hardcore genre.

Not surprisingly, To Plant A Seed was produced alongside Joey Sturgi, who has made a name for himself via his work with The Devil Wears Prada. The production value is sleek through and through, and the most exceptional aspect of the album is the seamlessly interwoven layers. There's plenty of going on, and more than a few times (particularly in the track Dreams) you'll be bombarded by harmonized guitar lines, growls, synth, and intriguing drum beats. For the most it works and the guitar team of Lou Cotton and Eric Choi stand out track after track.

Highlights include the slightly gothic sounding I Will Not Reap Destruction, which for the most part follows relatively same musical format as the other 9 offerings on the record, but includes some haunting piano lines that create a moodier vibe. That particular track also features clean vocals within a big chorus, which also happens to be one of the most memorable melodies on the CD. Both Broken Statues and Intentions are satisfying for the arrangements rich in distortion-rich guitar, the breakdowns that seemingly come out of nowhere, and the presence of the band's epic side. Big, orchestral synth lines and effects-laden vocals a la Yes actually enhance the arrangement and make Broken Statues the best offering on the album.

Lyrics — 9
While there are some Christian hardcore and/or metalcore bands that don't always make their religious beliefs known within their lyrical content, We Came As Romans don't necessarily shy away from their personal stance. Given all the ambiguity in lyrical content in the music world, it's actually refreshing to have a band a little more overt in its message. The word God isn't inserted into every track, but you most certainly will hear messages about keeping the faith, living in love, and feeling compassion.

Overall Impression — 8
To Plant A Seed in many ways is overflowing with interesting musical sections, and it will just be a matter if you're the kind of listener who likes a wall of sound to be thrown at them in pretty much every track. We Came As Romans keeps a fairly decent balance between the growling and the clean vocalization, and at times you almost wish that they dedicated at least a few songs to one or the other. Granted, this would be steering them away from their chosen genre, but there are just some incredibly moving moments (whether aggressive/metal or clean/progressive) that do deserve to be explored further. Even so, To Plant A Seed is one debut that shows a great amount of promise.

77 comments sorted by best / new / date

    CLib
    EpiExplorer wrote: Christianty + heavy metal = fail. Because of the views of the christians, not mine. Plus, if its like TDWP its gonna be lame..
    as i lay dying anyone?
    Clayton777
    henkka_potku wrote: Eurasian_C wrote: There seems to be a very big uprising in Christian metal/hardcore bands as of late. Which is reeeeeally lame.
    I'm sry, but why should you care? Dont like it? Dont listen to it.
    Alec Shea
    THIS BAND IS FUCKING AWESOME, christian bands have a knack for beign just that, these guys remind me a bit of oh sleeper
    .Joker.
    lol ionXdissonance...what a tool you're favorite music MUST be what is original, I dunno what I was thinking listening to what I enjoy
    brocmartens90
    why dont we all just say that there is good chriatian metal/hardcore, and there is the bad? its as simple as that.
    awsomeguitarguy
    EpiExplorer wrote: Christianty + heavy metal = fail. Because of the views of the christians, not mine. Plus, if its like TDWP its gonna be lame..
    TDWP is amazing, especially live. As I lay Dying is even more Amazing. This band is alright but theyre not as good as the other two. Im not saying this becuz im christian, Im an atheist and I think a lot of christian metal bands are really good... until they start preaching
    Shirate
    xl999 wrote: Citizen7 wrote: @xl999: Right back at ya. If an album sounds good because somebody used a computer to make it good, then it's not really a good album. It's a computer produced album, and not an example of what the musicians can really do. The facts that they have a weak live performance and heavily edit are completely relevant, and those things always go together (see bands like Dragonforce for an example). Not every band edits like that. Try Ulcerate's "Everything is Fire." They didn't use electronic editing to make their music better. In fact, you can watch the raw drums tracks for a couple songs on YouTube (
    ), and it's absolutely incredible. Real bands play. People who care about music play. People who just want to sell albums or "preach" use computer to create something the resembles music, but isn't as genuine as the real thing. It's like imitation vanilla extract - yes, it's similar to vanilla, but it just isn't vanilla. Sorry dude, I still disagree. True musicianship lies in creativity, not skill. To copy/paste a chorus in a song does not make something computerproduced music. To edit drums does not make it a computerproduced song, nor does it make those musicians bad at what they do. They are merely tools. It just makes them have a different approach at how they create their songs that what you would choose. Plus, what consitutes a bad band? thats a matter of popinion, so not worth arguing about. My reaction was aimed at the fact that some people feel the need to vent their opinion here while they have most probably not achieved anything musically. Armchair musicians I call them. I have been producing bands for 15 years and each and every one of them has been better off by using computers and editing tools. Not because they were bad musicians but because it saved time, money, effort, and was simply more convenient. and this: "If an album sounds good because somebody used a computer to make it good, then it's not really a good album." Is a perfect example. Its a lousy statement. What's 'good'? And how do you know when it was the use of the computer that made it 'good'? It's all nonsense buddy, it really is. It's the 21st century. Editing is done and it doesn not subtract quality from music. All of the above in the friendliest of tones off course
    Umm... I believe the definition of musicianship is skill with your instrument. That being said, a great musician can be a terrible artist. What you're really trying to say is that these guys are good artists. And to the guy that says Christian Rock fails, look at Red, they have one of the best albums of the year. Easily top 5 or higher.
    MeltMyFaceOff
    Christianty + heavy metal = fail. Because of the views of the christians, not mine. Plus, if its like TDWP its gonna be lame..
    August Burns Red Anyone? I'm not christian but those guys are some talented musicians.
    Regression
    EpiExplorer wrote: Christianty + heavy metal = fail. Because of the views of the christians, not mine. Plus, if its like TDWP its gonna be lame..
    Most christians don't have a problem with metal. Tom Araya is catholic I believe, yet he sings songs like "God Hates Us All". Will check some of this stuff out, I'm not a big fan of the Devil Wears Prada but it might be good.
    Slapfunkah
    Someone once told me Flyleaf was metal. Oh how I cried from laughter that night.
    ratracekid111
    Dental Boy wrote: thats funny cuz im goin out to get the new flyleaf album today and they to are christian metal type of music. this, is a fail
    300%
    Shredder Guitar wrote: all of these people saying christian metal can't be done, have you heard of For Today? The lyrics are a bit preachy, but the guitarists and drummer are very talented.
    YES!!!
    Dental Boy
    thats funny cuz im goin out to get the new flyleaf album today and they to are christian metal type of music.
    this, is a fail
    RoxyDub
    I appreciate why people don't like this stuff, but to be honest, christian metal sounds no different from non-relgious bands of the same genre. Don't avoid them because of their beliefs, even if they are a little deluded . Also, DevIl Waars Prada are one of the tightest bands i have ever seen, they're ****ing unreal.
    swordsofplague
    Slapfunkah wrote: Someone once told me Flyleaf was metal. Oh how I cried from laughter that night.
    Yeah can we please stop calling these guys, "metal??" Death, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, etc. is metal. this is HARDCORE. Big difference.
    williammckk
    ionXdissonance wrote: how about everyone here goes out and buys the new between the buried and me? most of the bands mentioned in this post are ****ing terrible. we came as romans is that another one of those myspace bands that again, dont show any real musicianship, sounds repetitive, and leaves you wondering whos going to give you that hour of your ****ing life back. tdwp have a 3rd cd! awesome! sounds like numbers 1 and 2..they even had a ****ing RERELEASE of a cd? Are you serious? for what? how much plastic and time and cash spent for that or any of this other crap people listen to. granted, this is my opinion as is everyone elses here, i mean shit, its a review. and i have gotten off subject but its all relative. this cd is terrible. myspace has a genre now and all these bands fall into it. no originality what-so-ever. some bands people should listen to: portugal the man veil of maya rx bandits minus the bear and classics such as, the gza "liquid swords" and christianity? hahaha what a joke. ****ing america.
    btbam bitch! wooo weee
    ionXdissonance
    how about everyone here goes out and buys the new between the buried and me? most of the bands mentioned in this post are ****ing terrible. we came as romans is that another one of those myspace bands that again, dont show any real musicianship, sounds repetitive, and leaves you wondering whos going to give you that hour of your ****ing life back. tdwp have a 3rd cd! awesome! sounds like numbers 1 and 2..they even had a ****ing RERELEASE of a cd? Are you serious? for what? how much plastic and time and cash spent for that or any of this other crap people listen to. granted, this is my opinion as is everyone elses here, i mean shit, its a review. and i have gotten off subject but its all relative. this cd is terrible. myspace has a genre now and all these bands fall into it. no originality what-so-ever. some bands people should listen to: portugal the man veil of maya rx bandits minus the bear and classics such as, the gza "liquid swords" and christianity? hahaha what a joke. ****ing america.
    DudeI'mOnAlesse
    idk why people are complaining about there live show, i saw them about a month ago with blindwitness and they were solid
    Force Reaver
    lol I went to school with these niggas. lol they lived right down my hall. Not really my cup of tea as far as music goes but man were they fun to party and drink with.
    Citizen7
    Shade7777 wrote: Obviously, you haven't seen Dragonforce live lately... Don't know why everyone is still saying this because they improved their live performances immensely the last few years. And about this band... meh... don't like it that much.
    You're right about that. Maybe I'll have to go see them again.
    avengedEVANfold
    awsomeguitarguy wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: Christianty + heavy metal = fail. Because of the views of the christians, not mine. Plus, if its like TDWP its gonna be lame.. TDWP is amazing, especially live. As I lay Dying is even more Amazing. This band is alright but theyre not as good as the other two. Im not saying this becuz im christian, Im an atheist and I think a lot of christian metal bands are really good... until they start preaching
    all those bands SUCK. expect ABR. thats how real metalcore should be done.
    avengedEVANfold
    HellsAdvocate wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: Christianty + heavy metal = fail. Because of the views of the christians, not mine. Plus, if its like TDWP its gonna be lame.. Christianity + heavy metal = fail? Tell that to Woe of Tyrants...
    and Demon Hunter?
    Notoriousdoc
    This shit it terrible. Unimaginative, shit vocals, fringes over any discernible musicianship, christian message.
    chasemoreland
    wcar arent even a christian band... i saw them on my 21st bday and dave gave me free shots and a few beers in their van lol. they even wanted to come party with us after the show and i asked them if they were a christian band and they said they werent.
    emerica1184
    eric choi is the drummer, not the guitarist. tards. josh moore is the other guitarist. i would know he lives like 2 streets over from me and his sister sits next to me in class.
    invaderzim447
    i think its funny how people sit here and reaed all these comments. If your so compelled to make better music than go buy a mixer and use garageband to make better music than them. That's what im doing! Hahaha well trying to.
    HKSR33
    umm one question, how can you call a band Christian if they aren't making Christian music? If member(s) of the band is Christian but the music is general, then its different theres no religious agenda anywhere. big difference guys.
    tatatotfolife
    I personally don't think any band should be classified under a religious label. Music has always been categorized by the SOUND of the music, not the lyrical messages. I think that any band that labels themselves Christian, only does it because they think they're better than everyone that's not christian.
    Citizen7
    tatatotfolife wrote: I personally don't think any band should be classified under a religious label. Music has always been categorized by the SOUND of the music, not the lyrical messages. I think that any band that labels themselves Christian, only does it because they think they're better than everyone that's not christian.
    I tend to agree with you, except that there is a very specific sound that is "christian metalcore." Perhaps this should be called "SolidState Metalcore" after the label that most of the bands are on, but since SolidState is a Christian label, most of the criticism can be applied to Christian metalcore. I'm not saying that all Christian metal bands sound the same, or that they're even all bad (As I Lay Dying & Becoming the Archetype are two good ones that spring to mind). I sometimes even feel like listening to SolidState metalcore. But most of the music on that label is nearly all the same, and that's the kind of music people usually mean when they say "Christian metal."
    Jsteele1408
    ionXdissonance wrote: and christianity? hahaha what a joke. ****ing america.
    Thank you for saying "America" and not "Americans." Not all of us enjoy the bible-thumping nature of our country. Also, I agree the new BTBAM album is quite amazing. In regards to We Came As Romans, it's just more generic garbage. Those clone vocals that all these bands seem to have, cliche breakdowns and riffs. Not worth the time.
    Shirate
    Wow..... I decided to listen to some of the bands listed earlier in the thread, you know, try to expand my view of music. I just listened to the 2 immanuel tracks on For Today's new album..... Jesus Christ, I can't stop laughing, it's a joke, right? The instrumentation of To Plant a Seed isn't bad, I kinda like it, but the vocals are lacking.
    the*matt
    Im not religious in any way but im pretty sure that most if not all people who listen to those sort of bands dont know theyre christian until someone tells them. They dont usually give much away. Plus I hope that person wasnt saying that BTBAM are christians... theyre just vegans
    MotörHeadFan22
    henkka_potku wrote: Eurasian_C wrote: There seems to be a very big uprising in Christian metal/hardcore bands as of late. Which is reeeeeally lame.
    yes, yes it is
    hairy-southpaw
    A metal band consisting of Christians is fine. But a band with a Christian agenda is annoying and preachy.
    mespinos
    Lt.DanHasLegs wrote: oh boy I've got a few comments. First of all, to mespinos, you're offbase if you think he's being unfair by telling you you're wrong. you are. cause its from a computer means the guy was less of a guitarist or drummer etc maybe, but not less of a musician. Also, their live show in my opinion was great. I think I was at the same show as you possibly, Few weeks ago at the Emerson with the chariot? also, sometime like a year ago at the gear. or a month or so ago, my friends in Forevermore opened for them... but thats besides the point. I thought their show was great, it involved the crowd, they had a few just fun songs with the techno stuff added in, and they were tight. So we've got differing opinions so yours isn't valid in an argument.
    Lt.Dan-- I don't really have beef because of how "studio" the album was, I was just saying that I think it put a dent in their live show. There was too many loops live that could have easily been played on drums or the keyboard. To me, that has nothing to do with the studio album. I feel like you have to draw the line somewhere. Why not just press "Play" on the album and jump around at a show with your instruments out? Not saying they did anything to that extent, but I feel like as a musician, I would have enjoyed them much more seeing them play every part of their songs. In my opinion, that is part of your musical expression from a performance standpoint. It would be different if they were short musicians, but they keyboardist just qued loops while he stood there and headbanged. I saw them in Attica and Lafayette, I believe. I don't think they suck (They have talent for sure), but I do think they are way over hyped locally.
    Vince0707
    That's funny, I clicked on this to hear what people were saying about this album, because I'm pretty sure this is an album review? I don't want to read a religious debate between people who don't know each other. throwin in my 2 cents here but I have no problem with bands with a "chirstian" agenda. Its funny cuz when bands decide to preach their political agenda or anti-religious agenda, no one seems to have a problem with it. But the second the word "christian" gets thrown around, people take offense to it and discredit the band. I wonder if all the chirstian metal/hardcore bands said they were atheists...would people be so quick to negatively judge them? hmmmmm
    sunnytx
    Firstly I would like to bring the attention to a few corrections needed on this review: 1. Lou Cotton and Joshua Moore are the guitarists. Eric Choi plays the drums NOT the guitar. (Dave Stephens - screams, Kyle Pavone- vocals, Andy Glass- Bass). 2. The thing you all seem to be arguing most about here is from misconstrued information so listen closely: [b]WE CAME AS ROMANS IS NOT A CHRISTIAN BAND NOR HAVE THEY EVER DEFINED THEMSELVES AS SUCH. [/b] I'm not sure if the author of this review based his information off false websites that also seem to become tangled in false assortment of genre (such as wikipedia which will be fixed soon) but it is what it is and that is... FALSE. We Came as Romans is a band made up of 6 boys who have faith in human kind and show it through positive influence of lyrics and an assortment of uplifting song construction. YES, some of the boys are Christian and they urge you to speak with them about it if you ever have a chance to see them live BUT others, although they may believe in a higher being, are not of christian faith. This band is a mesh of positive energies and would not like to be categorized into a category that limits their music in being reached, heard and accepted by others. This album, TO PLANT A SEED, was named because they wanted to plant a seed into their listeners. A seed of positivity and accepting one another as brothers and sisters while establishing hope and peace with one another. The title was not meant to be interpreted as installing the seed of the lord. During the end of live sets Dave does talk about treating each other with respect and kindness and that's exactly what the band is trying to represent: Respect and Kindness. Whether or not that's the reason people have been judging the band as Christian I've got one sentence for you to suck your teeth into: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE CHRISTIAN TO FIND RESPECT AND LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER. Everyone has the ability to love one another and I think it's a beautiful thing that a band is trying to spread a positive influence without branding themselves. It's the fans that are branding them and spreading false information. To top this off, I think everyone should see the music for what it is rather then debating on whether or not religious music is "badass" or a "fail". I think a good music listener should see the music for the formation of the composition and the simplicity on whether or not it SOUNDS good. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. That's the beautiful thing about life, but basing your opinion on whether or not a band is in a specific category (aka Christianity, Satanic, etc.) is a lack of better knowledge for the reviewers as well as listeners. Just thought I'd clear up some misinforming.
    EpiExplorer
    Christianty + heavy metal = fail. Because of the views of the christians, not mine. Plus, if its like TDWP its gonna be lame..
    henkka_potku
    Eurasian_C wrote: There seems to be a very big uprising in Christian metal/hardcore bands as of late.
    Which is reeeeeally lame.
    Shade7777
    Citizen7 wrote: @xl999: Right back at ya. If an album sounds good because somebody used a computer to make it good, then it's not really a good album. It's a computer produced album, and not an example of what the musicians can really do. The facts that they have a weak live performance and heavily edit are completely relevant, and those things always go together (see bands like Dragonforce for an example). Not every band edits like that. Try Ulcerate's "Everything is Fire." They didn't use electronic editing to make their music better. In fact, you can watch the raw drums tracks for a couple songs on YouTube (
    ), and it's absolutely incredible. Real bands play. People who care about music play. People who just want to sell albums or "preach" use computer to create something the resembles music, but isn't as genuine as the real thing. It's like imitation vanilla extract - yes, it's similar to vanilla, but it just isn't vanilla.
    Obviously, you haven't seen Dragonforce live lately... Don't know why everyone is still saying this because they improved their live performances immensely the last few years. And about this band... meh... don't like it that much.
    -tempest-
    Lt.DanHasLegs wrote: oh boy I've got a few comments. First of all, to mespinos, you're offbase if you think he's being unfair by telling you you're wrong. you are. cause its from a computer means the guy was less of a guitarist or drummer etc maybe, but not less of a musician. Also, their live show in my opinion was great. I think I was at the same show as you possibly, Few weeks ago at the Emerson with the chariot? also, sometime like a year ago at the gear. or a month or so ago, my friends in Forevermore opened for them... but thats besides the point. I thought their show was great, it involved the crowd, they had a few just fun songs with the techno stuff added in, and they were tight. So we've got differing opinions so yours isn't valid in an argument. As for those knocking christian metal, or more relevently, heavy music like underoath or august burns red... really? how stupid do you have to be. take away the satanic aspect that accompanies most metal because of its roots. There's no reason. Further, I've never heard a more passionate vocalist than someone singing about the pain of being seperated from God. whether or not thats a legit pain isn't the point, the point is, there is nothing more passionate than someone's precieved battle for salvation. Also, TDWP is good, and their live show is great. Just cause the Hot Topic crowd latched onto them is no reason to not look past that and see the that the music is legit. its fairly repetetive though, I won't say its amazing in my opinion, but they do what they do well and people like it. Finally to the We Came As Romans... I thought the album was bad. All the songs sounded the same to me, plus the lyrics were absolutely terrible. Like, the guy would be screaming words that weren't intense at all. If you're going to use such an aggressive vocal styling, lets have something important to say... wow thats a long post.. I wonder if anyone read it...
    i agree with you on a lot of your points sir.
    andyycho
    Hmm, this is new (Christian/Metal) - I personally believe it wont end well though :O
    mespinos
    xl999 wrote: Don't you just love how easy it is to be judgemental on a forum. I've seen people have opinions on this bands: -musicians -faith -engineering skills -means of producing -live performance all in the space of 12 posts. Fucking pathetic. Until you get to a point where you have earned the right to an opinion you need to shut up. Everyone edits in the studio. It ddoesn't say one thing about the quality of the music. All the means to an end man, a killer album is a killer album. And no, i'm not a fan of this band at all but either you like them or you don't. I really don't understand why people always feel the need to fire their fringe opinions off at random.
    Out of curiosity, why do you get the right to have that opinion, and nobody else? Their studio stuff does not sound bad, but I don't think they did a good job pulling it off live. I'd rather see the keyboardist play a keyboard part instead of que a loop. I'd rather see the drummer play a beat than the keyboardist que a drum loop. Other than that, its just people jumping around live.
    mespinos
    These guys play local to Indiana all the time, I really was not impressed. Lots of drum and synth loops seemed to put a dent on their live set. They just seem to be one of those bands that makes noise and jumps around. I'll have to check out their studio recording I guess.