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Review: Prevail – Without Control

by Miloš Šebalj

Prevail – Without Control

1. Ex Cineris
2. Feniks 72
3. The Judge
4. Za bolje sutra
5. Love
6. Život
7. Defiant Nation
8. The Scourge
9. Riding the Line of Time
10. San

Label: Miner Recordigs
Date: Decembar 8, 2018

A word about the music “business”. Sending the files containing your music, along with a “hello, we are band X and we have an album for you to review” makes you look lazy, to say the least. Furthermore, it makes me think you don’t respect the music you make as much as you should. So, why should I respect it? And then you have bands like Prevail. Physical release sent to my address with a personalized and signed letter. If I may suggest, next time you can add the signatures by all the members, and make it even more meaningful for the reviewer. Anyway, great job guys!

When a band shows respect for the people “behind the industry”, it almost guarantees a successful product, in terms of presented material. At least from my experience. And “Without Control” is another fine example. Although Prevail has almost a whole decade under the belt, this is their debut album, released 7 years after an EP that marked the start of their recording presence. Seeing the amount of time that elapsed since, it seems as if these guys had just about enough time to work out these songs and get them right where they wanted them.

The Croatian quintet dwells on the fine line between the Power and modern Thrash Metal. You know, Iced Earth kind of stuff. It is remarkable how there are not many decent attempts at sounding like the Americans. “Without Control” does so easily. You get the music that is driven by powerful rhythm section enhanced by the flawless production work to make the album sound full to the brim. Then the guitar work is exceptional, be it in the stern riffing, melodic leads or well-placed solos. Acoustic interludes are present to bring out a sense of melancholy (pun very much intended) when the theme of the track demands it. Musicians behind the instruments are obviously highly skilled in handling them. Vocals are probably the strongest point of Prevail, as Toni has a sturdy voice and some range to attempt (and succeed) variations in height and even stride into growl when necessary.

An important factor to such music is creating memorable compositions. Prevail again has “a card to play”. There is a fine number of guitar tunes to whistle, and choruses to sing along to. To my ears, they are better at their own language (especially when it comes to lyrics) though the English written tracks do not falter all that much. Considering most of their songs last for over 5 minutes, it surely takes a lot of creative effort not to make them boring.

Over 50 minutes of music is often too much in this day and age. However, Prevail managed to get a very positive result. Sure, they could use a bit better cover. Although the idea is very good, it seems that the execution might have been better. Still, it takes nothing away from this release. It shows a lot of hard work that eventually paid off. This is a very mature material, from a (discography-wise) young band. If you ask me, there is nothing but bright future ahead.

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