Outside of my family, music is easily my biggest passion. It always has been and always will be. I am forever grateful that I have been given a platform to talk about what I love and that there are a few of you out there willing to interact with those thoughts. It’s been a minute, but when I got the opportunity for an early listen to one of my favorite bands and see how they would follow up to Trauma, which is easily one of my all-time favorite albums, it reignited that flame.
I Prevail is one of the most talented bands in the world right now. They blend so many of my favorite styles together. I have been a fan of the band for awhile, but to me, Trauma was an awakening. I Prevail was always a good band. They had catchy songs, and regardless of what a few internet trolls think, pretty heavy riffs to back it up. Trauma took that to the next level, bringing a lot of heavy but keeping the core of the catchy hooks with strong clean vocals and even more crossover appeal. When I heard True Power was coming out this year, I was looking forward to the net phase in the transition, and it certainly does everything but disappoint.
“0-00” is a slow build intro that ramps up in just 40 seconds to transition into “There’s Fear In Letting Go,” which is an epic lead in to the album. The track starts with some quick, heavy hits behind some harmonies. I was in by the first hook, which is as catchy as they come, and the build keeps going into the second hook, which has so many extra layers, with a lot more full sound. This transitions right to the first absolute crushing breakdown of the album. In classic I Prevail fashion, it backs off a bit to a stripped down, softer chorus before exploding into a wall of sound to close.
Next up is “Body Bag,” one of the pre-released singles from the album. This song reminds me a lot of “Bow Down,” which was one of my favorite tracks from Trauma. I love the heavy bass line variations in the second verse — it hits as hard as a breakdown, and when you hit that level of fury in the middle of the song, you know it’s bound to pick up in the end. I could just tell “Self Destruction” was going to be heavy as hell from the first time the bass hit in the intro. This song takes a lot of different directions and is really unique. I Prevail usually gets heavy behind the spoken vocals/rap verses. They took a lighter approach with this track, but the heavy started to come out in the chorus. Just when I thought I had the vibe of this song down, it explodes into one of the heaviest breakdowns you will hear on an I Prevail track and I am here for every second of it.
This leads perfectly to the transition of “Bad Things,” the other pre-released track on the album. It has been one of my favorite songs of the summer, easily. The vocals are captivating — I love the melody in the beginning and it could easily be a hook that gets a crowd behind it, but the actual hook we get here is my favorite of the album. I love the layered singing over the heavy vocals throughout, and even though this is one of the tracks with huge radio appeal, it doesn’t spare us from an intense breakdown. The synchronous riff between guitar and bass is a nice touch. The different variations of the melody at the end are next level. This track is a highlight for sure.
“Fake” is another track that I think will have a lot of appeal to a broad audience. The dueling vocals are very prevalent throughout and it has a fun feel. The riff that drives the song is simple enough, but it really sticks out when it slows down and hits by itself in the breakdown. The entire solo reminds me of old school My Chemical Romance in the absolute best way before bringing back some of the heavy in the end. “Judgement Day” comes next and it hits exactly like I expected it to — this song is upbeat and heavy. It comes flying out of the gate with a ton of power. The tempo keeps going into the chorus, which is a big open wall of sound. I love the second verse where everything drops but drums and bass. This song has an awesome tempo, chants and group vocals in the chorus (which gets me every time), and a short but insane guitar solo followed by one of the hardest riffs on the album. This song gives “Bad Things” a run for my favorite on the album.
“FWYTYK” slows way down and leads in with straight heavy vocals and raps. This song hits a few heavy peaks as it goes through each transition. For me, the biggest stand out on this song is the guitar riff in the chorus that jumps out into the forefront. The breakdown hits like a wall of sound out of nowhere and is a really cool, unexpected twist. “Deep End” is going to be another track with big crossover appeal. It has a flowing melody and big vocals. The chorus is catchy and easy to sing along to. There are a few vocal effects used toward the end that remind me more of current pop music than the heavy, aggressive tracks from the beginning, but this just goes to show the huge range of this band.
“Long Live the King” brings us right back to the deep end (pun intended). This song has some really appealing heavy riffs and effects in the build. The track has a cool stop in the chorus where it almost sounds like the song is skipping (I actually thought it was the first time it happened, lol). It’s the kind of next level musical effect that sets I Prevail apart and makes their live show so unique. Next up is “Choke,” and the name says it all. I had a feeling that this was going to be a heavy track before it ever started and I wasn’t disappointed. Not to be stuck on Trauma, but this song reminded me a lot of “Gasoline” with the constant build and just unrelenting aggression throughout. This song hits hard. The solo bass riff followed by the long group scream in the breakdown may be my favorite single moment on the album.
“The Negative” is another song that I think is bound for success. It has all the hallmarks of the band’s best work: Great vocals, both clean and heavy, catchy hooks and an unpredictable explosion into a heavy breakdown early in the song. It blows my mind how easily these guys transition from clean, huge, almost pop punk appeal into crushing heavy riffs. “Closure” starts off as a more mellow, laid back track with clean vocals over clean guitar. It has heavy moments and a build to a powerful chorus with a few intense vocals and screams sprinkled throughout. The breakdown hits hard and heavy, if only to remind you who you are listening to, but then it ends as softly as it began. Another example of just how deep and diverse the catalog is for I Prevail. From the first riff, “Visceral” lives up to its name. The tone was set for this to be one of the heaviest songs on the record. The bass hits in the verse are a master class and the heavy vocals are chilling and executed to perfection. Unlike “Choke” there is a big, clean hook here that is engaging and adds that extra layer to this otherwise crushing track.
The final track on the album is “Doomed.” This one starts off with clean vocals over a piano — yet another unexpected twist. The pace stays slow and steady and the clean vocals are incredible, to say the least. About two minutes in, I was ready for the explosion trying to force the unexpected, but was greeted with another clean verse. And just like it started, it ends abruptly with the phrase, “until the music stops.” I got chills while admiring this track, for sure, but never got the explosion I was half expecting. This is my favorite thing about I Prevail — there is no expectation. Every album is different, every song is different. You never know what to expect because just when you think you have figured out the “formula,” they change it up again.
I Prevail are musicians on another level, without question. Make sure to check out True Power, available on all platforms from this Friday August 19, 2022 via Fearless Records!