Since I Prevail’s last album Lifelines, it has been a whirlwind of events. Touring the world, selling out shows and raising through the ranks of genuine metal contenders then, tragedy strikes. Firstly bassist Tony Camposeo and then drummer Lee Runestad leave the band, not long after, vocalist Brian Burkheiser blows his voice out and sidelined indefinitely.
So it’s no wonder that their new album is titled Trauma. Burkheiser is back, scarred but not beaten. There’s a new drummer in Gabe Helguera and there is reinforced drive from the band to make up for lost time. Having already graced our shores at Download, it’s time for new music.
Opening with Bow Down, the lead off track is a terrific piece of modern metal. The song ranges through all the styles this album will present you. Heavy, strong riffs and electronic beats laced with melodic vocals, it’s a gem that will move the earth when played live.
This whole album changes pace and styles from track to track keeping the listener engaged to what’s next. Latest single Paranoid slows it down while Rise Above It continues the new modern metal sound with EDM beats.
That’s not the only EDM influence on the album, with the arrival of Canadian Delaney Jane, who provides duelling vocals on the beautiful performed ballad Every Time You Leave.
Just when you think the band is heading down the Bring Me The Horizon rout, they ramp up the fire with the angry nu-metalcore punk track Gasoline which is two and a half minutes of exhilarating energy. Deadweight follows this suit and the band’s ability to switch vocals from scream to clean shows that Burkheiser/ Eric Vanlerberghe vocal duets are back.
The band can also drop straight out pop songs such as ‘Low’ and ‘Hurricane’, which if Miley was singing them, you’d be hearing them everywhere you go.
The ballads are where the band surprise though. Let Me Be Sad is everything the title says, beautifully melancholic and a proponent for the repeat button while I Don’t Belong Here channels some old school Manson melodies over a pop flavour to finish an album that flew by in a blur.
Trauma is the sound of a band back from its trials and tribulations, refined and streamlined. Lessons from the scars from the last two years have made the band stronger and smarter. The album goes everywhere musically and lyrically, to places that only when you experience Trauma you can go and you’ve got a front row seat to the bands glory.
Album Review By Iain McCallum