I Prevail plays sold-out show at The Clyde
Michigan band playing songs from new album at Clyde on Oct. 7
Detroit area rockers I Prevail have solidified themselves as a top-tier metal band with the recent release of their third full-length album, True Power.
Unique, powerful, and innovative, they will bring their energetic live show to The Clyde Theatre in Fort Wayne on Oct. 7 with special guests Pierce the Veil, Fit for a King, and Yours Truly.
Solidifying metal status
The band’s 2019 album Trauma garnered two Grammy nominations for Best Rock Album and Best Metal Performance for “Bow Down,” and thrust I Prevail onto the short list of elite “up and coming” metal bands.
Their followup album, True Power, released in August, shows that Trauma wasn’t a fluke. It is packed with consistent, quality songs that break down many barriers of the hard rock and metal genres, allowing them to shed that “up and coming” qualifier. It’s clear they should now simply be known as one of today’s top metal bands.
With 15 tracks, True Power, has a lot to offer, from the nu-metal influenced “Fake” to the melodic “Closure,” and the raucous, headbanging “Body Bag.” For good measure, you can even hear a beautiful piano piece in closer “Doomed.”
It could be said that True Power simply continues the journey that began with Trauma since the album doesn’t show a drastic change in sound or approach, but there’s no doubt there is an evolution. The band sounds more cohesive, more driven, and more in sync, with a seemingly common mission of producing aggressive music that also has soul.
“As much as this is a rock and a metal record, I feel like this is our heaviest record to date,” singer Brian Burkheiser told Upset Magazine in an August interview. “It still does have a very, very diverse soundtrack.”
Venturing into new territory
The band have become known for their heartfelt lyrics, which may seem like a dichotomy given the aggressive nature of most of their music, but I Prevail make it work while forging ahead into new territory. With subjects like mental health, relationships, and even the pressure of putting out a new and similarly successful album are subjects the band approach.
“We’ve never really done anything like this before,” Burkheiser said. “Trauma was the first record I felt like we were able to take ourselves and really just be that core, small group and put it together.”
While that album was a huge success, it also raised expectations for the band, and many wondered if they could replicate the formula.
“I think coming out of Trauma, there was a side kind of pressure, just having the Grammy stuff and things like that floating around in the back of your mind,” guitarist Steve Menoian admitted to Billboard. “But weirdly, for me, this was pretty much the most confident I felt making a record, even in how much the stakes had been raised and everything that we’ve got to try to live up to. Even through the ups and downs, and how long it took us to make it, I always felt very confident.”
The extra time granted during the pandemic helped them produce exactly what they wanted and allowed them to try out new ideas and out-of-the-box concepts. Basically, they had time to breathe.
“This is a record I’ll look back on and just think how fun it was to be so creative and have so many different aspects to it,” Burkheiser said.
Getting back on road
Getting back on tour and supporting True Power’s release was something the band really looked forward to since the feeling of bringing the music to the people energizes them in a way nothing else can. Outside of a few festival appearances and a short Australian tour, I Prevail hadn’t been on the road regularly since the start of the pandemic in 2019.
Kicking off Sept. 9 in Las Vegas, the True Power Tour has been well-received.
“I am so excited,” Burkheiser said. “We’ve been waiting so long. Australia was incredible, to be like, ‘OK, we’re on tour.’ We actually had a set of seven shows in 10 days, or whatnot. It was so good just to do that little stretch, but we were so, so, so excited to come back to America. With this new record leaning into the heavier side. These crowds are going to be crazy. We can’t wait.”
That road appears to have been paved with gold since I Prevail exploded onto the scene in late 2013 with an adrenalized cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space,” a song that became a viral sensation that hit No. 90 on the Billboard 100 before going platinum.
Despite critical acclaim, chart success, and a fast-growing, rabid fan base that devours everything the band does, I Prevail still see themselves as a work in progress, not yet fulfilling the potential they know they possess. According to Burkheiser, that’s what drives them to keep forging ahead, never resting on their laurels.
“We’ve got a mission to try to continue progressing the genre forward,” Burkheiser said.