Wednesday, April 11, 2007

It Prevails - The Inspiration CD Review

After seeing the title of this album, the obvious direction to take this review is down the path of making use of the album’s name, The Inspiration, as a springboard to talk about this band’s inspirations, what other acts they sound similar to, and what they probably should have used for inspiration instead. That’s the easy route, yet it is the only logical route to take as the influences that It Prevails play to are far too strong to go without mention.

Countless comparisons have been made between the sound of It Prevails and Shai Hulud. There is some resemblance between the two bands, but it isn’t nearly as solid of a connection as some other reviews would want you to believe. This band also doesn’t sound a thing like the three bands emblazoned onto the “For fans of” sticker on the CD case — Hatebreed, Comeback Kid, and Bury Your Dead. Rise Records is marketing this band to the wrong crowd and many of the people in the press are perpetuating this off-the-cuff classification. I know that genre classifications are often subjective and can spawn message board feuds longer than The Brothers Karamazov, but it’s definitely worth pointing out that It Prevails may sound remotely like the aforementioned bands, but they are so much more similar to the wall of sound metalcore powerhouse Misery Signals and the now defunct Beloved with a little Poison the Well rounding out the edges.

Of the 10 tracks on this record, only 8 are actual songs, giving the effort a light feel, but to make up for the lack of content It Prevails did not make a single one of their songs filler material. Not one track clocks in at over four minutes, giving each an appropriate amount of intensity and immediacy. “An Anomaly”, the second longest track on the album, shifts between barraging walled-up metalcore, punishing hardcore beats, and Hopesfall inspired atmospherics without the song feeling too self indulgent or, in the other direction, underdeveloped. The transitions are seamlessly pulled off and executed flawlessly, never once leaving the impression that the band haphazardly put these songs together.

Even with their quality song writing skills on display throughout this album, the overall lack of content does affect the entire listening experience. By the time “The Inspiration” has ended, the album had just hit full stride, so there is an aura of emptiness that stems from the abrupt end to the direction that the band was traveling down on The Inspiration. Had there been a couple more songs to round out the album, this could have easily been one of the top shelf metalcore releases of this year.

It is hard to knock a band that is obviously talented and has some great song writing chops, but for possessing these abilities, they didn’t put them to enough use. The Inspriation is one hell of a building block that It Prevails should use to solidify their position in the metalcore world, and once they’ve established themselves, it is essential for the band to put all of their talent to work on their next release. If they can do that, there will be no stopping them.

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