Since their comeback in 2012 and resulting ‘Carved Into Stone’ album, Prong have gone from strength to strength. Both studio albums, and even a covers LP, have been barnstormers. Their live shows have blown our socks off too. We’ve seen them relive the ‘Beg To Differ’ album in full, a few album tours and they even managed to grab our much coveted ‘Band of the Day’ award at Bloodstock 2014 (despite an early afternoon slot.)
Yep, we’re well into the Prong at the moment. We always have been, really.
Long gone are the days of Prong bothering the schedulers at MTV etc. but it’s not just Tommy Victor and co. that find themselves in this situation. Prong are working hard in the studio and on the road and ‘X- No Absolutes’ continues in the rich vein of recorded material we’re getting from the band.
Blasting off with a massive galloping Pantera riff; you know…the type of riff that Pantera borrowed from err > Prong; ‘Ultimate Authority’ is a commanding start to proceedings. A big simplistic shout-along chorus and that thudding riff make sure everyone is listening within the first few minutes. ‘Sense Of Ease’ will only put you in a comfortable position if you like your music hard and heavy as Victor spews out some rapid-fire lyrics to the hard-edged soundscape all finished off with a Kerry King styled squealing guitar solo.
Speaking of guitar solos; ‘In Spite of Hindrances’ has a thrashtastic burst of six-stringed screaming. Coupled with the groovier ‘The Ice Runs Through My Veins’ and the Megadeth progressions on ‘Worth Pursuing’ it all adds up to a an album jam-packed with monster songs. There is no filler on ‘X – No Absolutes’ it is one punch after another of classic sounding Prong.
So where does this sit among the rich Prong catalogue? Even more than the ace ‘Ruining Lives’; this album really possesses some stunning moments reminiscent of early Prong. That concrete bound thrash and slight gloomy industrial feel is there by the shedload. Maybe that run through the cover album ignited some passion for their roots…
Even the album artwork oozes the desolation of Prong in full flow.
So album number 10 for Prong and they’re probably in the form of their life. The line-up (touch wood) seems strong and stable, they’re killer live and the new material isn’t to be ignored. Whilst we’ll always cherish the ‘Beg To Differ’ and ‘Cleansing’ days of our youth, there is nothing inferior about Prong’s modern day output. They are no longer the new cool band to follow and there not swept up in some musical movement that comes with hordes of instant fans. But they’re still bloody awesome.
The teenager inside me that used to watch Prong on MTV after school can’t quite believe that Prong are now a in the old-school bracket but they certainly deserve a big CLASSIC tag! Doing it their way, whether you like it or not… long live Prong!
Vital New Studio Album ‘X – No Absolutes’ Released February 5th On Steamhammer / SPV + London Underworld Gig March 26th 2016