It is clear right from the very first second of Lifelines that I Prevail are back even angrier this time. It instantly seems the Heart Vs Mind EP was the band just warming up as first single Scars displays its meaty punch. The record is kicked off with an arena-sized breakdown introduction with a melodic verse which starts the alternating pattern between Brian’s clean lines and Eric’s raw power throughout the tracks to follow.
This album displays especially effectively IP‘s ability to mix melodies with brutal metalcore to create a blended, well-rounded record. Tracks like Stuck In Your Head and Alone display Brian’s strong vocals and the control of the band to adapt to his voice, especially so in the latter where the tempo drops right off and the instruments seem to be formed directly around the vocals.
Perhaps the standout track from the EP in many people’s eyes My Heart I Surrender makes a reappearance as the penultimate track on Lifelines, and contrary to popular worry the band have reworked it delicately to refine it further. More reverb is placed on Brian’s lead vocals and there are more layers to the backing which has also changed slightly in its harmonising melodies, though there is no more instrumentation to build the song into a full-band track. If you are looking for a version that is fully true to the lyrical meaning and brings out the rawness of the emotion then listen to the EP version, but if you are looking for an emotional yet polished acoustic track with huge layered vocals then this is the version to hear.
For people wanting the heavier or more punchy moments of the record, have a listen to Chaos, Already Dead and Lifelines. Having said that, all of the tracks have some seriously heavy elements with the exception of My Heart I Surrender and Alone so give the whole record a listen to decide for yourself.
Notable mentions for “best track” go to singles Scars, Stuck In Your Head and Come And Get It which all set a fantastic example of the record pre-release but the standout track is – almost surprisingly – right at the end of the record. It is titled Worst Part of Me and is very much encompassing of the entire feel of the album: a very refined, dynamic, heavy song with contrasting melodies and mixing that takes away any possibility of a sludgy or messy sound. A fitting end to the record, that is for sure.
Overall, I Prevail have succeeded in their quest to top anything they have done before with this album. The heaviness is all there and while it is no death metal release, there are moments that will make anyone want to just get into a pit with no thought. Lifelines has a track for everyone: old or young, hardcore or acoustic fans, even pop fans. Giant chorus melodies intertwined with the breakdowns are what have set the band apart from the rest within the scene in the past and this record just cements them into the very top of the melodic metalcore game at the moment.