It’s a rare occasion for me to go from completely disliking a certain sub-genre and most of the bands encompassed in said sub-genre, to being thoroughly impressed and pleased. Now don’t think I’ve become all soft and kind with my opinions because I have not. The real talk is still very much present, and even though my cold black heart IS candy-coated, sometimes my words don’t feel like being sweet at all.
I Prevail have somehow cracked open my perception of the genre they imprison themselves with by releasing a live compilation album, Post-Traumatic, that includes several live recorded tracks and a fresh tune straight from the hellish depths of 2020. In my usual ways, metalcore could be considered one of my most disliked genres in all of human existence, but a few things sway me about this release. I don’t like the genre, I don’t like the band, and I certainly don’t like the idea of every fucking metalcore band writing metal versions of pop songs and being uselessly catchy as fuck. However, we’ve been in a pandemic for nearly nine months and life without live music is one I nearly don’t want to live. Considering this heart wrenching show-less period of life, live recordings of pretty much anything make me feel things I miss feeling more than I could possibly explain with English words. Hearing the crowd cheering, voices singing at the top of their lungs, the band speaking to their devoted fans, and feeling the realness of what a live performance is, rips my heart out in the best of ways. It makes me hopeful that life will eventually return to its chaotic glory, and the things we as music nerds value more than most things in life will come back to us. It’s pretty hard to hate on something that almost makes you cry because you heard a band say how happy they are to be back in your city (and god damn it there’s a Montreal track, as if just to shove my words right back into my mouth). The sounds of the crowd talking and small instances of atmospheric quality drag you into the album, providing you with a little sample of what it’s like to experience the band live.
Artistically speaking, and I don’t want to sound too rash about this, this record really isn’t my favourite and will likely get lost in my browsing history. I don’t see much artistic value or genius in writing catchy melodies with uneventful song structure. The only possible goal to me is fame and selling t-shirts; without the boundary-breaking aspect, we can’t really say the art has more purpose than making people who are already comfortable in a certain realm feel comfortable. The instance that rubs me in the rightest way would be the live acoustic rendition of “Every Time You Leave.” This recording showcases vocalists Brian Burkheiser and Delaney Jane in a very true and honest form, and even though this might be rather simple songwriting, it is truly a beautiful song and recording, where the listener can feel all the great qualities of the artists’ voices to easily convey the emotion they feel with every word they sing. That’s the stuff I’ll happily play on repeat and add to my singing in the car playlist.
Needless to say, we need live music back. We’re drowning in what seems to be an endless nightmare of nothingness. So, as I stand my ground as an ultimate metalcore hater, I can’t help but praise the intention behind this release. Thank you to I Prevail for reminding me what a crowd sounds like, and what it feels like to be surrounded by a ton of people all feeling the same way you’re feeling. I can’t wait to get back to that.
Written by Talia Plante
*Edited by Dominic Abate