Isabella Ambrosio dissects I Prevail’s newest release, TRUE POWER, and the boundaries they push on the new album.
I Prevail took the rock scene by storm in 2014 with their US certified platinum cover of Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’. Hailing from Michigan, the group of five have released four albums since their formation in 2013. Since then, I Prevail have been nominated for two Grammys, both back in 2019 for their third album TRAUMA in the category of ‘Best Rock Album’ and their lead single, ‘Bow Down’ in the ‘Best Metal Performance’ category.
TRAUMA was an excellent album, taking the influences from technology and electronics and merging them with the typical metalcore rough riffs and double kick drums. The anticipation ahead of their newest album, TRUE POWER, was palpable. TRAUMA felt like one of those albums that couldn’t be topped, so how was I Prevail going to follow up? Would they go more electronic? Would they go heavier? Would they stay with the same thing?
The ‘vibe’ of the album, for lack of a better term, somewhat straddles the line of a concept album with post-apocalyptic electronics and sound effects and the line of really well done metalcore
By the second song on the album, ‘There’s Fear in Letting Go’, it’s obvious that while they stuck to similar roots from TRAUMA, they have taken it to another level. The ‘vibe’ of the album, for lack of a better term, somewhat straddles the line of a concept album with post-apocalyptic electronics and sound effects and the line of really well done metalcore. I Prevail show the vast understanding they have of the genre and the importance of keeping it alive, while still remaining modern and evolving without losing the basis of the genre. By the bridge of ‘There’s Fear in Letting Go’, I was sat there with my mouth wide open, listening to Brian Burkheiser, the clean vocalist, belt over the sound of, again, for lack of a better term, ascension, and it was absolutely incredible.
I Prevail continue in this manner throughout the album - showing their understanding of their base genre while adapting attributes from rap, hip hop, and even trap. The fourth track on the album, ‘Self-Destruction’ is a beautiful example of a trap sounding track at the beginning of the song, balanced with a heavier riff, adapting the style and flow of vocals throughout the song. The song will have even chronic-people-pleasers singing the line, ‘Tell me that you hate me / And I’ll tell you that I f*****g love it.’ It holds the catchiness that trap, hip hop, and rap songs often have while fusing it with the energy of rock music.
The catchiness mentioned is prevalent in more songs like ‘FWYTYK’, which goes hard, and is a good song to feel like the main character walking down the street while wearing heavy boots. ‘Fake’ is a really fun track, ripping apart the idea of being a ‘fake’ person. I Prevail’s ability to write melodic choruses is insane, always striking just the right chord, pun intended. But, they know how to balance these upbeat, intense songs with melodic, somewhat sad songs like ‘Bad Things’, which discusses addiction. ‘Deep End’ refers to struggling with mental health, ‘Closure’ talks about the negative impact of a breakup, and ‘Doomed’ is a track about the difficulty of living with mental illness.
TRUE POWER is balanced, well produced, well engineered, thought-through and beautifully written. I spent the entirety of this album review listening to each song, refusing to skip ahead even when I had finished my thoughts on each one. You simply can’t stop listening.