13 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After gaining notoriety with their 2014 cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space,” I Prevail made it clear early on that they’re not your typical metalcore band. This follow-up to 2016's debut LP Lifelines pushes the extremes of their sound further, often within the same song: Witness “DOA,” an amalgam of crushing riffing, pop production techniques, and wild synths. “Goodbye” floats on skittering electronic beats, and “Rise Above It” incorporates dubstep and guest vocals from Ohio hip-hop artist Justin Stone, contrasting with the thundering riffing, brutal metalcore breakdowns, and tortured vocals of co-vocalist Eric Vanlerberghe in “Bow Down.” TRAUMA is aptly named given that Brian Burkheiser, who handles all the “clean” vocals, was diagnosed with a vocal polyp in 2017 and contemplated leaving the band before mounting a full recovery from surgery. The episode compounded his existing battles with depression, as essayed in songs such as “Low” (“Even when I’m high I still feel low”) and “Breaking Down,” which concludes with Burkheiser whispering, “I don’t really like myself.”

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics. Apple Digital Master

EDITORS’ NOTES

After gaining notoriety with their 2014 cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space,” I Prevail made it clear early on that they’re not your typical metalcore band. This follow-up to 2016's debut LP Lifelines pushes the extremes of their sound further, often within the same song: Witness “DOA,” an amalgam of crushing riffing, pop production techniques, and wild synths. “Goodbye” floats on skittering electronic beats, and “Rise Above It” incorporates dubstep and guest vocals from Ohio hip-hop artist Justin Stone, contrasting with the thundering riffing, brutal metalcore breakdowns, and tortured vocals of co-vocalist Eric Vanlerberghe in “Bow Down.” TRAUMA is aptly named given that Brian Burkheiser, who handles all the “clean” vocals, was diagnosed with a vocal polyp in 2017 and contemplated leaving the band before mounting a full recovery from surgery. The episode compounded his existing battles with depression, as essayed in songs such as “Low” (“Even when I’m high I still feel low”) and “Breaking Down,” which concludes with Burkheiser whispering, “I don’t really like myself.”

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics. Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
288 Ratings

288 Ratings

Inkspade816 ,

Beauty

Unless the lyrics of this album hit home for you like some do for me, you may be quick to discard some of the songs that aren’t heavy and fast. Bow Down and Gasoline are outstanding, but Breaking Down, Paranoid, and Let Me Be Sad are deep cuts. When I heard them I thought it was insane that many of the things I deal with were right here in some of the very music I love. Give this album a real chance, for Brian, and the rest of us that struggle with our mental health.

Baseballl Dude ,

Amazing

I Prevail are back in a huge way. Songs like Bow Down and Gasoline bring a whole new level of aggression, and their use of rap and electronic sharpens the contrast in songs like Paranoid and Rise Above It. Lifelines 2.0? No way. Trauma is a completely different beast, and I'm digging it!

CiViiL ,

Yep

Good album. Bring me the horizon needs to listen to this for a lesson on how to innovate their sound without turning into trash.

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