If you had told me five years ago that I Prevail, the band that was just then breaking onto the scene with their cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space,” would be the album I was most looking forward to in 2019 I would have called you crazy. But, the signs were there. That cover was perfection. Heavy riffs, crisp and quality vocals, and seamless transitions to heavy screams are some examples.
In the years since, I Prevail has put out two solid albums with a handful of hits and had a few deeper cuts that I loved to sing along with. Finding a niche using the tremendous vocal ability coupled with a heavy backing, they created metalcore that flirted with pop, and it was good.
TRAUMA is a truly unique album. It is different than anything we’ve heard before from I Prevail, yet it is so true to the band. Pop music has evolved, and in this record, I Prevail took some risks (that I think paid off in a big way), using some EDM/hip hop bass lines to give a totally different feel. Tracks like “Breaking Down” have that new-pop feel while doing what the band does best and putting that heavy, metal vibe with screams and heavy riffs mixed in.
“Every Time You Leave” features EDM artist Delaney Jane and has a really appealing hook. “Rise Above It” features a straight rap verse from Justin Stone. This album certainly has the crossover appeal that has been evident since that first single, when the band covered Taylor Swift.
But what really gets me about TRAUMA is how the band has grown into the heavier side of things. The lead single “Bow Down” is an absolute masterpiece. The track is one of the most musical I’ve heard in years. It incorporates key changes, tempo changes and transitions from aggressive and in-your-face to calm and melodic in the breakdown. In the complete opposite vein, “DOA” gives a swerve from a poppy, EDM driven track to one of the heaviest breakdowns on the record.
My favorite track on the album, “Gasoline,” is short but aggressive. It picks up the pace five seconds in and doesn’t stop pushing forward until the end. The first time I heard it was in my way to work, and as pumped up as I was, I caught myself going *well* over the speed limit. “Deadweight” is another unrelenting, monster of a track featuring a very heavy bass line and has a crisp chorus that brings it back to a larger appeal. The track with the most star power may be “Hurricane.” The song is catchy with heavy transitions and a solid breakdown.
There are some really deep songs on the album as well. “Goodbye (Interlude)” brought me to tears during my first play through. It’s an emotional farewell to a loved one who committed suicide without saying goodbye.
I Prevail has grown a lot in the last five years. They aren’t a band who is known for covering Taylor Swift anymore, that’s for sure. I expect TRAUMA to be a huge breakout for a band that has been so close, for so long. The vocals are incredible, the hooks have a great crossover appeal and the album remains true to being heavy. Add that to an amazing live performance and it’s easy to see why I Prevail is doing big things. Make sure you check out TRAUMA, available now via Fearless Records.