Review Summary: An evolution of the band, Prong returns with an excellent addition to any metal head’s collection. The sum of its parts proves to be an intriguing whole, as there is a little bit of everything for everyone on this release.
Prong, a name this reviewer had filed away with middle school memories in a folder of favorite song lyrics and attended concerts. Their early major label work was a nice blend of grunge sensibility mixed with a harder edge. Like taking Alice in Chain’s a step further in the other direction. Tommy Victor has always had an excellent tone to his vocals and the ability to pen some sweet hooks (and the lyrics to go along with them). Over the years and a few mediocre releases they are a band that I had forgotten about. Randomly browsing for new songs on the net I stumbled upon a release from their latest effort Carved Into Stone. Over the course of 11 tracks I was treated to a little bit of the old mixed with a little bit of the new. That classic Prong vibe is still there in spades, yet one can tell easily which bands were influencing them during the writing process.
Revenge Best Served Cold
is the stand out track on this release. It has everything that I remember loving about the band back in the 90’s. The vocals, layering, mechanics, everything sound great and would not have been out of place on Beg To Differ (their stellar 1990 release). Keep On Living In Pain
put an immediate thought in my head that I still can not shake while listening to this release. ‘Who put the Machine Head into my Prong?’ was my knee jerk reaction to listening to this. Victor’s vocals, guitar tone, the drum work, almost everything sound eerily like Machine Head. Fans of that band should dig a lot of this release. List of Grievances
continues this trend and once again their influence is quite apparent.
Another influence I hear quite a bit of during the course of this record is Avenged Sevenfold. The vocal and strong structure reminds me a lot of their releases as well. It should not deter one from checking this out though. For this release Victor brought aboard Static X alum bassist Tony Campos and 3 Inches of Blood drummer Alexi Rodriguez. All of these elements combined, along with Victor’s time with Ministry give the album somewhat of a shotgun feel to the style. As I stated in my summary, it works though. While not a masterpiece album the bits and pieces that are great are more than enough to get by the rough patches. There is enough “Prong” on this release to satisfy the old school fans.
The production of Carved Into Stone stands out. The drumming has that great natural feel to it and the guitar and bass tone work excellently together to form a sonic bombast that will power out of your speakers. Tommy Victor sounds as good as ever, even if it comes across as generic at some points his unique style does poke through quite often. If you’re a fan of older Prong (or newer Machine Head) this is definitely worth checking out.