Thanksgiving weekend is officially at its end and with it so is the North American leg of I Prevail’s tour in support of its latest album, True Power, which was released Aug. 19 through Fearless Records. The band is scheduled to take the rest of the year off before heading overseas to Europe in March for the tour’s next leg, beginning March 7 in Zurich, Sweden. Tickets for that tour are most assuredly Christmas presents for plenty of fans, while for lots of others, the band’s new album might actually be its own present. The 44-minute presentation is sure to appeal to the band’s established audiences, as well as more casual audiences. That is proven through its musical and lyrical content alike, as is proven in part through the early entry, ‘Body Bag,’ which will be discussed shortly. ‘Judgement Day,’ which comes a little later in the album’s run, is another way in which the record’s musical and lyrical content comes together to make it worth hearing. It will be addressed a little later. ‘The Negative,’ which comes even later in the album’s run, is yet another example of how the album’s overall content comes together to make the record interesting. When it and the other songs noted here are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes the record worth hearing at least once.
True Power, the latest album from up and coming post hardcore band I Prevail, is an intriguing offering from the band. That is due to its combined musical and lyrical arrangements. The record’s musical arrangements bring together influences of Set It Off, Linkin Park, and Ice Nine Kills for a sound that is quite unique to say the least. It is a sound that oddly enough works as much as it would seem that it wouldn’t work. The lyrical themes that accompany that content makes for its own share of interest. ‘Body Bag,’ the record’s lead single, is just one example of how that combination makes an intriguing offering for audiences. The song’s musical arrangement opens with a distinct, heavy approach much in the vein of Slipknot what with its use of electronics alongside the guitar and drums and the screaming vocals. The use of the clean vocals alongside the screams makes for an interesting juxtaposition in itself that oddly enough, actually adds to the arrangement’s impact. The White Chapel-esque down-tuned crunching from the guitar in the break down adds even more to the whole.
The lyrical theme that accompanies that intense musical arrangement makes for its own interest here. That is because it comes across as that familiar message of being fed up with fake people, those ones who would rather live their lives in misery. This is inferred in the song’s lead verse and chorus, which state ,”There’s a million ******* reasons that you got it bad/But everybody’s leaving in a body bag/Go/Save your problems for somebody else who gives a damn/’Cause you won’t find me waiting at your promised land/No/Oh you think you got it bad?/I’m telling you to bite down and face it/You’re never gonna do much or change ****/When all you say is **** that and **** that/Don’t let them save you from yourself/Lights out/Embrace it/Your heart is beating faster/It’s racing/As we go on and on and on and on/Oh my God/Just shut your ******* mouth.” That content right there points to someone just being fed up with that other person being so miserable all the time and expecting others to cow tow to them. The second verse adds to that inference as it states, “Bring it down/Only one of us gets through/Two in/One out/And it’s not you/Run for your life/There’s nothing you can do/Necks snap when I show up/I say one word and it blows up/Run for your life/I’m taking what’s mine/and your time has come.” Now this imagery is somewhat violent, but that is all it is, imagery. This is not a threat of violence against anyone. Rather it is just some bravado meant to say that the subject is all business. It is kind of an over the top way to send such a message, but it is clear enough and is sure to appeal to certain audiences.
‘Judgement Day,’ which comes a little later in the album’s run, is another of those strong, overly direct songs presenting a message of proud defiance. In the case of this song, the arrangement is a stark change of pace. Instead of the odd hybrid collection of influences, this song’s arrangement is a full on metalcore presentation. The screams and the intense energy from the instruments immediately envelopes audiences, not letting up until the song’s end as the song’s familiar theme of defiance is delivered.
This time, that defiance is against not one of those self defeatist types, as discussed in ‘Body Bag,’ but against society in general. This is inferred in the song’s lead verse and chorus, which state, “I walked into the darkness/I set myself on fire/I stared into heartless/And I found out death is a liar/So burn it all to ashes/Drown them all in acid/Say *** pleasing the masses/Don’t blink/I’m going beyond your understanding/Beyond the unimagined/Be honest/Are you ready or not/Let’s find out right now/Oh, destroy yourself/Welcome to the end/I don’t care about what they say/Everybody’s sorry on judgement day/Nothing’s gonna break me/I’ve got ice inside my veins/There’s gotta be a better way/There’s greatness in my DNA/You’ll get yours on judgement day.” There is that pride and confident defiance of society and its standards, clear and present. It continues in the song’s second verse, which states, “I was born on the path to nowhere/Cast out/Not a *** **** thing to prove/No home/No thoughts and no prayers/I’ve got nothing to lose/So **** it/Burn it all to ashes/Drown them all in acid/I’m done pleasing the masses/You’ll see/I’m going beyond your understanding/Beyond the unimagined/Be honest/Are you ready or not?” Again, here is that sense of self determination and simply not caring about what society thinks of the subject. It is a familiar theme that is certain to resonate with audiences both in that familiarity and in the way in which it was delivered.
‘The Negative’ is yet another song that tends to show what makes I Prevail’s new album worth hearing at least once. The song only clocks in at two minutes, 21 seconds, but the energy in the song’s arrangement makes it so interesting here. The more melodic moments that lend themselves to works from Set It Off make for such an interesting juxtaposition to the heavier Motionless in White-esque moments in the verses. Somehow that pairing of influences work as they help to illustrate the emotion in the song’s lyrical theme, which finds the subject battling with himself internally.
The battle is a mental health combat caused by himself and by external forces. This is inferred in the song’s lead verse and chorus, which state, “I’m so sick and tired of the negative/I’m on the edge tonight/Closer to the ledge/You were right/Lost in my head tonight/I’m spinning in circles/And I can’t get out/Running from these thoughts that I can’t say out loud/I’m so sick and tired of the negative/Black and white/You’re right/I’m ******* over it/Patience is paper thin/And something’s gotta give/I’m so sick and tired of the negative.” The inner turmoil is further illustrated in the song’s second verse, which states, “Well, damn/I guess you’re the perfect person/Same day but a different version/Paint the picture/But you don’t deserve it/Color’s fading underneath the surface/So wear black everywhere you go/No take backs at the end of the road/No last chance when the casket’s closed/Your silence is worth more than gold.” This is an illustration of that external force causing that inner battle. There are so many people out there like the one described here. To that end, it makes this part of the theme all the more resonant for listeners. When the whole is considered collectively, that inner battle that the subject fights as a result of it all makes it another fully accessible theme for the band’s target audiences. When it and the other themes examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s lyrical themes, the whole shows that much more, what makes the record’s lyrical (and musical) content so important. All in all, the overall content examined here makes True Power an intriguing addition to this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums.
True Power, the latest album from I Prevail, is an interesting new offering from the up-and-coming post hardcore band. That is proven through its collective musical and lyrical themes, as is evidenced through the songs examined here. When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes this record a presentation that is worth hearing at least once.
True Power is available now through Fearless Records. More information on the album is available along with all of I Prevail’s latest news at:
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