Metal-core outfit I Prevail garnered popularity with their EP “Heart vs Mind” that came out two years ago that sort of cemented how they were going to sound, but it wasn’t until they put out they cover song for Taylor Swifts Blank Spaces on Youtube in December 2014 that put them in the spotlight. Now the Michigan natives return with their debut record “Lifelines” via Fearless Records, armed with heavy arena filled rock choruses and violent breakdowns.
“Lifelines” is a staple metal-core album it has all the ingredients to make one, the dual vocals with screamer Eric Vanlerberghe and clean singer Brian Burkheiser mixed in with the synth playing underneath the guitars. This style is overly used with a lot of bands that are in the same scene as I Prevail, and they do very little to stray away from the rest, that’s the fundamental problem about “Lifelines” is that most of the songs are songs we’ve heard before the album opener “Scars” follows the same themes as Memphis May Fire’s Without Walls which is the bands as stood through everything and still stronger than ever before. The title track one of the highlights of the album, showing Burkheiser vocals high points his atmospheric voice is one of the saving graces that this record as a whole needs. Lyrically this album doesn’t do much move newcomers like me to listen again, in the songs “Come and Get it” and “Outcast” take nods right out of A Day to Remember’s playbook by saying “with the hate you spoke about me, I’m doing better than you”, which is overly done with these types of bands. The writing on this album suffers a lot by not stepping out of the safe zone, they have a lot of potential which one can clearly hear but the instrumentals and breakdowns make up for the album mistakes. “One More Time” taps into the bands pop punk side which is totally out of place, but yet is one of the better songs, it’s got a catchy hook and probably the best written songs on the record.
“Lifelines” is a good album but not without its problems by being very safe and subpar writing on most of the songs it suffers. They are a talented group, it seems like they need to tap more into their lighter side more for their next release. Some areas you could see they record going to high point then they throw in a random misplaced breakdown which could lose listeners who want something different. The instrumentals throughout the album shine, they don’t slow down until the last song. However on writing side they’ve taken inspiration from similar bands which could be the reason they’ve planned to be safe, on the other side tapping into their pop punk could benefit from them because those influences along with Burkheiser vocals shines the most. With progression and more time under the belt they could get better, “Lifelines” is a solid release that has a middle ground and something for everyone.
Get Lifelines at http://iprevailband.com/
Review By Raza Malik