Album Review :
Prepared Like a Bride - Overcomer

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Band: Prepared Like A Bride
Album: Overcomer
LabelFaction / Sony Music
Release: 2.7.14
Reviewer: Brody B
Tracklisting:

  1. Blood Red
  2. 2 A.M.
  3. Breathe
  4. 9.11.12
  5. Overcomer
  6. Ocean Tide
  7. Through Hell
  8. Alone
  9. 1955
  10. Unforeseen
  11. Silent Fear
  12. Liberty

I recall last year seeing cryptic images popping up on various heavy bands’ Facebook pages. Each picture depicted the vocalist of said band sporting a black hoodie and brandishing a flag with a symbol on it. Not much was said about these pictures other than a link to website where you were able to listen to a short and punishing breakdown.

Several weeks later, the cat came out of the bag that each of these vocalists were supporting the upcoming release by Australian natives, Prepared Like A Bride. I had little experience with the young group hailing from Gold Coast, but with the backing of some of my favorite bands, the intense sound clip, and the cryptic marketing strategy, I was instantly invested in what the group would offer.

“Overcomer”, the first full length album from Prepared Like a Bride, boasts an impressive mix of crushingly heavy and surprisingly melodic. All of this fronted by powerful vocals and immensely heartfelt lyrics.

Blood Red is one of the most punishing tracks on the record. The riffs are fast and frantic, the bass is punchy and more audible than most current metalcore acts, and the drums are tight and have plenty of variation throughout the track; a nice counterpart to most drummers who are content to merely smash their China to bits. However, as heavily as the opener pummels the listeners’ ear drums, there is plenty of melody to be added. The guys in PLAB are able to find a nice balance between melodic hardcore and post rock in these brief moments of solace.

2 A.M. follows much the same pattern as its’ predecessor, but where the track truly shines is in the vocals of frontman Ryan Bowles. The song fits in nicely with the title of the album, in that lyrically the song touches on the death of a friends’ father and having to comfort that person so close to the vocalist. The subject becomes obviously personal in the sheer intensity of Bowles vocals.

The title song, Overcomer, is a clear standout track on the album. This anthem finds Prepared Like a Bride throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the listener. Breakdowns, techie parts, melodies, a chilling chorus, and inspiring lyrics are what you should look to find in this cut.

Lyrically Overcomer encompasses everything the album is about; overcoming the tough things in this life and not letting circumstances or situations define a person. In the case of this song, the event to be overcome is the death of Bowles’ father in a tragic plane crash. Despite the tragedy the frontman faced, he proclaims, “It can’t rain all the time, it won’t hold us down. I am an overcomer. I will fight till the end, forever by your side. I am an overcomer.

Ocean Tide could musically pass as doppelganger to A Plea For Purging circa “Depravity”. Dischords and sweeps frantically storm the scene early on in the track compliments of Rummond Dassonville and Michael Purcell before giving way to soaring melody less than a minute later. This track is truly a testament to the dexterity each member possesses as numerous times transitions such as the aforementioned one take place, both vocally and instrumentally.

Through Hell hits me quite personally as it looks at a situation that happened here in the united states a short time ago. The Castro kidnapping case in Ohio is the lyrical inspiration for the track, taking the perspective of one of the women locked in the perpetrators house. Recently Bowles said he saw an interview with the women and could not believe their attitude about the situation which inspired his lyrics, “ I may have been through hell and back. But I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face,with my head held high. I’m free now. To live my life on the outside. I’m free now. I will not let the situation define who I am. I will define the situation.I will define.

The brutality and honesty found in Alone actually caused me some discomfort. Yes it’s that intense. Musically Alone is one of the heaviest on the record and beckons the listener to blast it on full power. The leads found on the track are mind numbing, while the rhythm section is satisfyingly crunchy. Drummer Jonny Bower has a standout performance as he breaks out a plethora of beats.

The lyrical side of Alone focuses again on Bowles’ father. This time he uses the song more as a venting method than a bold anthem about moving on. Bowles furiously howls, “How could you take my father from me? Were you jealous of our love? Did you watch us from above until one day you’d had enough? I can’t see your plan in this and I don’t feel your love right now.I don’t want to meet him as my brother. I just loved him as my father.”. The conclusion of the track, however finds Bowles in a more stable place as he finds some closure and proclaims, “I know I’ll see you on the other side…”.

Silent Fear is a personal favorite track of mine on “Overcomer” as it wraps the whole album up extremely nicely. The track has a hauntingly beautiful refrain of, “The fear of fear is what confines us. The fear of fear will not defines us”. The mixture of melody and heaviness present on this track are a great summary of what came before it all rolled into one satisfying closer.

The only real negative to be found on “Overcomer” was that occasionally the songs can run together. This issue was apparent especially when the album was spinning as background noise. When I would turn my attention solely on the music, oftentimes I was not able to pinpoint exactly which song was playing.

Overall: “Overcomer” is a fantastic addition to any metalcore fans’ music collection. The breakdowns are hefty, the melody is soaring, and no generic singing is present. Nothing but the meat and potatoes of a solid metalcore album. Be sure to watch for these guys to make their mark in the States any day now.

RIYL: A Plea for Purging | Architects | For Today

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