In 2014, I Prevail made its recording debut with the release of its first EP, Heart vs. Mind. Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” was a song the group from Michigan covered that became a hard-hitting metal favorite. It didn’t take long for it to become certified platinum with the Recording Industry of America. Since then, I Prevail has continued to make an impression on the fans with one hard-hitting hit after another as it takes on the world as unapologetically as it gets.
Since first forming as a band in 2013, vocalists Brian Burkheiser and Eric Vanlerberghe take center stage as the frontmen while guitarist Steve Menoian instrumentally has each song covered. At one point, Menoian did take a brief break from the band from 2015 until 2017. His replacement during that time frame was Tony Camposeo.
Jordan Berger and Lee Runestad were also part of the original lineup before Berger moved on in 2015 as bass guitarist and Runestad did the same as the band’s drummer in 2017. Taking Berger’s place has been Dylan Bowman while Gabe Helguera has replaced Runestad.
The success of Heart vs. Mind allowed the band to embark on a tour that had them open for Crown the Empire, Hollywood Dead, and Pop Evil in 2015. Shortly after this, there was a lineup change before it headlined the Strike the Match Tour during the summer of 2016. It was during this time they released “Scars” and “Stuck in Your Head” as singles from their upcoming album, Lifelines. Before it was officially released, “Come and Get It” was the third single from it to hit the charts.
This was the same song that became the opening theme to All Elite Wrestling’s All Out pay-per-view Supercard in 2019. The title track was also used as part of a video package featuring a couple of the wrestling league’s tag teams for the same event.
Before 2016 was over, Tony Camposeo chose to shift his musical direction as a producer instead of a performer. This left the door open for Steve Menoian to return.
In 2017, I Prevail took part in the Vans Warped Tour. This marked the beginning of the rock group’s impression on music fans on a global scale. In the meantime, there were lineup changes, along with an unexpected freeze to the band’s career when vocalist Brian Burkheiser was forced to give his singing voice a rest.
What happened to Burkheiser’s vocal cords was an abnormal growth of tissue grew in place that became severe enough to require surgery. Also referred to as a polyp, the removal of this unwanted abnormality placed Burkheiser in a situation where he needed to recover physically and spiritually. He and his bandmates were at the height of success as a metalcore band that was taking the world by storm. Because of this setback, they had to wait it out until they were ready to take on the world again. For many, bouncing back from what feels like the abyss isn’t always so easy to do.
After Brian Burkheiser dealt with his personal demons that threatened to end his musical career, he and his fellow bandmates made their comeback with Trauma. Before the album itself was released in 2019, three singles were already released from it. “Bow Down,” “Breaking Down,” and “Paranoid” each made their mark as hit singles and favorite music videos.
That year witnessed I Prevail hit the road again on a tour that would also bring them back to Australia. After this and after the inconvenience of the COVID-19 outbreak, I Prevail released True Power as the band’s third studio album in 2022.
Both Trauma and True Power have seen I Prevail add a fusion of musical styles that have broadened the band’s discographic portfolio which has since earned them a new collection of fans along the way. As life experiences have evolved for each of the band members involved, so has the music. We, as fans, are lucky enough to take it all in.
When the founders behind I Prevail thought of the perfect band name, they wanted to go with something that sent a positive message. Upon witnessing how people get through hard times, the band members agreed perseverance was the key to embodying the spirit to overcome even the toughest challenges.
Top 10 I Prevail Songs
#10 – Feel Something (featuring Excision and Illenium)
“Feel Something” was a song that was put together by the collaborative efforts of Excision, Illenium, and I Prevail. Released in 2020, this mix of soft and heavy music became a number nine hit on the US Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, marking the first time I Prevail had a hit on it.
The vulnerability behind “Feel Something” was simply a musical quest to go from the feeling of nothingness to something with feeling. While COVID-19 was still making its impact on society, depression was at an all-time high as there were so many uncertainties to contend with at the time. How can somebody feel anything when the world itself became so cold?
“Feel Something” was more than just a musical plea to climb out of a depressive pit. It was a reflection of what so many fans were also going through at the time. This is a phenomenal song if you’re looking for something spiritually uplifting that almost feels biblical.
#9 – Bow Down
Released in 2019, “Bow Down” was the first of four singles from the critically acclaimed album, Trauma. For I Prevail, this song earned its first Grammy Award nomination, specifically in the Best Metal Performance category. It also played a key role in the album itself also earning a nomination, specifically for Best Rock Album. Although I Prevail didn’t earn the wins, it was enough to put the music industry on notice that this is a world-class band.
“Bow Down” was also the first song performed by lead vocalist Brian Burkheiser after having surgery to repair his damaged vocal cords. For him, this wasn’t an easy road to recovery but it did serve as a source of inspiration for some of the best songs he’s ever written as a recording artist. The song itself dealt a blow against the corporate standards laid out by the music industry. While I Prevail hasn’t been the first recording artist to lyrically utter its criticism, “Bow Down” has certainly come across as one of the most dramatic.
#8 – RISE
Although not technically released as a single, RISE became incredibly popular after it was one of the songs featured on Microsoft’s racing video game, Forza Horizon 4. That game was released in 2018 and was included in its soundtrack release. RISE also comes from I Prevail’s debut studio album, Lifelines. In the song, it suggested in order to climb to the top of the ladder one needs to be aggressive enough to do so. It’s a great source of inspiration among rock fans, regardless if they’re racing about in a virtual racecar or applying this philosophy in real life.
#7 – Hurricane
Released in 2019, “Hurricane” became I Prevail’s first number-one hit on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. From the Grammy Award-nominated album, Trauma, this song also became a number ten hit on the US Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart and a number thirteen hit on the US Billboard Rock Airplay chart.
This was a song about dealing with personal demons that always seem to hit like a “Hurricane.” It also tapped into the realm of depression, a very real demon that deeply affected I Prevail and its frontman, Brian Burkheiser. Between Lifelines and Trauma, he and his bandmates went through hurricanes of their own as they went from riding a high then down to weathering a storm before riding the high again.
#6 – Breaking Down
“Breaking Down” was a single released by I Prevail in 2019 as the second of four hit songs from Trauma. On the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, it was a number three hit. It peaked as high as number nineteen on the US Billboard Rock Airplay chart and at number twenty-four on its Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart. As a Hard Rock Digital Sales seller, it peaked as high as number twenty-two on its chart.
This was a song that dealt with the realities of depression. For I Prevail, despite the band’s success, this rise to fame also meant having to deal with issues that have been the downfall of so many recording artists who were unable to handle it. Depression and other mental health issues often lead to substance abuse, as well as relationship problems, that ultimately drag down even the brightest stars who seem to have it all.
The timing of this song came after lead vocalist Brian Burkheiser required surgery to repair some damage that was done to his vocal cords. For him, the depression he experienced at the time nearly gave him cause to quit the band. Thankfully, he didn’t as he managed to overcome and move forward.
#5 – Stuck in Your Head
Before “Stuck in Your Head” became certified gold with the RIAA, it was a number seven hit on the Hard Rock Digital Sales chart, as well as a number thirty-six hit on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. On the US Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart, it peaked as high as number forty. It was the second song released from I Prevail’s debut album, Lifelines.
As a breakup song, the dynamic duo of Brian Burgheiser and Eric Vanlerberghe hammer home the message that they’ll be stuck in the head of a love interest that’s no longer going to be a part of their lives. This heavy hitter is catchy enough that it’ll be “Stuck in Your Head” for some time.
#4 – Alone
In 2017, “Alone” became an award winner for Hard Rock Song of the Year at the Loudwire Music Awards. For I Prevail, this was a crowning achievement as a heavy metal group that was banging down doors as a world-class rock band. From the album, Lifelines, “Alone” became a number six hit on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart, a number twenty-five hit on the US Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart, and a number twenty-one hit on the US Billboard Rock Airplay chart. On the Hard Rock Digital Sales chart, “Alone” peaked as high as number eight. In addition to these achievements, “Alone” also became certified gold by the RIAA.
As a song, “Alone” is absolutely beautiful. The reality check of having it all, then losing it all, musically played as a mid-tempo number that’s all too easy to get caught up in and experience the ride. “Alone” was a song that’s easy to relate to as the share of life experiences, as well as relationship issues, felt all too real to ignore.
#3 – Bad Things
From 2022’s True Power, “Bad Things” became the second song released by I Prevail to become a number-one hit on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. On the US Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart, it was a number thirty-seven hit. The Hard Rock Digital Sales chart witnessed this song peak as high as number nine.
“Bad Things” was a song that dealt with the love affair of the very things we’re not supposed to have anything to do with as people. However, with so much temptation in a world that feels upside down, it’s hard to resist. For I Prevail, this was a song that dealt with those issues, along with the complications that come with it. As a song, this is a great reality check that there is no such thing as a perfect person. No matter how good we each try to be, there is still that streak within us that wants us to do “Bad Things.”
#2 – Scars
From I Prevail’s debut album, Lifelines, “Scars” became the first hit in the band’s career that became certified gold in three different nations. Aside from the RIAA, it also earned this achievement with the Australian Recording Industry Association and Music Canada. On the official music charts, it was a number three hit on the Hard Rock Digital Chart and a number thirty-nine hit on the US Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart.
“Scars” was performed as a survival song by I Prevail that focused on learning how to get back up after getting scarred by unfortunate circumstances. The beauty behind “Scars” is using these permanent markers to our advantage when taking on a world that clearly underestimates what we can do.
#1 – Blank Space
“Blank Space” was I Prevail’s debut single that quickly became a favorite after it was posted on YouTube on December 1, 2014. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it peaked at number ninety while on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart it climbed up to number twenty-three. It later became certified platinum by the RIAA.
For I Prevail, “Blank Space” remains the best-selling single of their career. On the US Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart, it peaked as high as number nine. Of all the singles released by the group, it’s the only one that made an appearance on the Hot 100. This was the first song released by the band that criticized the corporate expectations laid out by the music industry. Those expectations included how to look, how to behave, and how to perform. Among genuine artists true to their craft, this is an insult. Instead of simply being themselves, they’re asked to fit a corporate image that often contradicts who they really are.
Feature Photo: Frank Schwichtenberg, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
10 Best I Prevail Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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