I Prevail’s third album ‘Trauma’ has turned me into a fan. I’m not going to lie, I’ve largely ignored these guys and even scoffed at them for headlining over more established bands in the past, but I’m surprisingly into this album and I appreciate what they’re doing for the music scene.
These days there aren’t many metalcore bands that bridge the gap between heavy music and the rest of the world and we’ve lost a lot of bands who helped get younger fans interested in the heavier side of things. As much as we might not want to admit it, it’s an important role and without young personalities like Austin Carlile, Mitch Lucker, and Ollie Sykes I don’t think nearly as many young fans are getting into heavy music.
After going back through I Prevail’s discography, I actually like their second album, ‘Lifelines’, more because it’s solid metalcore, but I don’t mind how they incorporated pop, alt-rock, and rap into ‘Trauma’, especially if it helps them spread heavy music to a wider audience. “Bow Down”, “Hurricane”, and “Low” are my favorites because they stick to the band’s metalcore roots, but I don’t have much else to say about them. I think that’s a testament to how interested I am in the rest of the album despite the different styles.
The electronic backtrack in songs like “Rise Above It” may seem like a vain effort to appeal to pop fans, but it really isn’t all that different from what Dangerkids were doing (and they were basically just copying Linkin Park). “Paranoid” is structured similarly and I like the dynamic between the cleans and screams.
They even include a soft duet with a female singer. I don’t particularly love it but that’s how you build a diverse fan base and it makes me think of “You Had Me At Hello” by A Day To Remember. The softer side comes across as genuine because it’s always been a part of their identity.
It’s interesting to see how huge I Prevail has gotten because they really didn’t bring anything new to the table, but their polished combination of a bunch of other bands’s styles has paid dividends. Success in metalcore hasn’t really ever been about innovation so its not that surprising, but I think they might be onto something here and I look forward to seeing where they take it.