Sound — 9
It Prevails is a name that is slowly becoming more familiar than it was, say, 4 years ago when they released their first effort "The Inspiration". Back then, they were just a small band, recently signed to Rise Records. Soon after, they would be taken off of the Rise lineup and be unsigned until 2011, when they landed a deal with Mediaskare. During that time, in 2009, they self-released "Capture And Embrace", almost solely recorded by frontman Ian Fikes, with a bit of help from a drummer and an indie producer at Rain City Records. Capture took a bit of a different turn in the band's overall sound. They became more melodic, less heavy, and seemed confident with their approach. Now, in 2011, they're signed and have a new record, "Stroma", due for an August release. Many people are probably thinking, "Will it be different?" or "Are they just gonna sound like every other band now?" The answer to both of those, is no. I got a hold of an advanced copy of Stroma and am delighted that it stays very true to both "Capture" and their 2010 EP, "Findings". I'd even say that they're more melodic and even less heavy then they were previously in "Capture And Embrace". This album is fantastic! Everything about it is just as I thought it would be. They even included a new version of "Something More" from "Findings". The only thing I would say holding it back from being as good or better than "Capture And Embrace" is the production quality. The drums sound a bit lifeless and too "raw" and the guitar tone comes off kind of muffled. But, if you're looking for the next "Capture And Embrace", here it is. If you're a fan of "The Inspiration" but loathed "Capture And Embrace", prepare to be disappointed.
Lyrics — 9
What can I say that isn't already evident? Everything about the vocals is just amazing. Ian Fike is a pure genius. He can sing, he can do harsh hardcore yells, and can write amazingly well. His lyrics are probably some of the best I have ever heard, dealing with personal issues and problems he sees with the modern world. The only thing I would say is a downer about the vocals is that there are too many guest vocal spots throughout the album. They sort of detract from the band's sound.
Overall Impression — 9
As I said before, this album is right in line with "Capture And Embrace". Some who favored their first album, "The Inspiration" might be disappointed though. I'd say my favorite songs from the album so far are "Cage With Gold Bars", "The Task", "Hold On", and "Something More", but the others are great as well. While the production quality isn't the greatest, it surely shouldn't detract from your listening experience, and neither shall the plentiful, or possibly over abundant guest vocal spots. This album is still great. I'd highly recommend this album to already It Prevails fans, as well as fans of Shai Hulud, Misery Signals, Hundredth, and Crossbearer.