"Trauma" (I PREVAIL) - NEW ALBUM REVIEW
ALBUM: Trauma // ARTIST: I Prevail
American metalcore heavies I Prevail serve up a healing whallop of booming brutality with their brand new full-length 'Trauma' due out this Friday.
Borne from a period of trials and tribulations, 'Trauma' marks a new and exuberant chapter for the Michigan quartet; with nearly half a billion streams, hitting gold in America and spending two years touring sold out shows (including Australia in 2017), I Prevail were unstoppably blasting to the big time before an adverse vocal injury in 2017 for clean vocalist Brian Burkeiser spiralled the group off course. But fittingly, I Prevail routinely continued to live up to their own name, with Burkeiser pulling through some dark times and the group on a whole forging ahead to create an album without any outside input - enter 'Trauma'.
Straight out of the gate, 'Trauma' establishes its menacing wares with one of its lead singles 'Bow Down' - all down-tuned drones, soaring melodics and a controlled burn of scalding savagery. Burkeiser's clean vocals in particular resonate as he ruminates amid the heavier moments and brings a welcome sense of victory to proceedings. 'Paranoid' drops in next to whip up some trappy tones. Leaning its head into more electronic waters, 'Paranoid' sets the scene for 'Every Time You Leave' which drapes a softer wash of simpler textures and anthemic choruses, proving the I Prevail lads can do so much more than just smash and bash (and featuring the delightful Delaney June on guest vocals).
BOW DOWN (I PREVAIL)
'Rise Above It' continues its electronic love affair atop hypnotic grooves, launching into a booming and bombastic trap-fest that hurls syncopated riffs to the wall before dissolving with a gentle lilt. Fellow lead-single 'Breaking Down' appears next, coated in glitchy hip hop decor and the occasional churning riffage that contrasts the heartfelt lyrics bubbling at the core.
BREAKING DOWN (I PREVAIL)
As the second half of 'Trauma' unfurls, the I Prevail status quo is pretty well established - flitting between spitfire jams ('Gasoline', 'Deadweight'), towering melodic moments ('Hurricane', 'Low') and some ambient gems ('Let Me Be Sad', 'Goodbye', 'I Don't Belong Here'), there's enough light and shade to keep your attention, but also transfix you into the very personal world that I Prevail have drawn us into.
While the album overall may flit swiftly between genres and styles, it's a significant release for a band unafraid to innovate and exacerbate - those expecting a roaring, brawling time may find themselves wanting as the group have truly delved into their most vulnerable and contrasting recesses. But it's this sense of catharsis and unpredictability that grabs and retains your attention as I Prevail journey between heavy metal, alt rock, hip hop and electronic soundscapes - an impressive feat considering the battle it took for the band to create and unleash this new material.
Ultimately, I Prevail have created something refreshingly unique with 'Trauma' - a personal yet universal beast that has tamed any sense of self-conscious angst without losing the ability to run wild.
I PREVAIL'S NEW ALBUM 'TRAUMA' IS OUT THIS FRIDAY MARCH 29TH THROUGH CAROLINE AUSTRALIA AND FEARLESS RECORDS. FOR PRE-ORDERS, HEAD HERE.
FOR ALL OTHER I PREVAIL INFO, HEAD HERE.
BY TIANA SPETER