Thursday, September 27, 2007

Prong-Power of the damager

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13th Planet/Megaforce

The 1990's certainly wasn't the best decade for metal, but there were bright spots. New York based Prong were one of if not the best metal band of that decade. Between 1990 and 1996 they churned out four consecutive albums that were all either very good or great. In the 1980's they put out a couple of albums that were kind of lukewarm speed metal, but by 1990 they found themselves and started putting forth their trademark brand of tight, crunching metal. The band unfortunately broke up in 1996, but guitarist/vocalist Tommy Victor resurrected the band a few years ago. The comeback album "Scorpio Rising" was decent, but left me a little disappointed because there were merely traces of the sound that Prong had perfected in the previous decade. The band have put forth another effort in the form of "Power of the damager". The bottom line is that they have come closer to their old sound and energy than they did with the previous album. The riffs are crunching, Victor's vocals are overall sharp and the rhythm section are fairly solid. The new release sounds most like 1990's "Beg to differ" and perhaps a little like 1991's "Prove you wrong". However, although the sound is like their old style to some extent, I would say it's only around 85% as good as their prime albums. One problem is that the best songs seem to be crammed into the first half of the album. This gives the impression that they are running out of steam as some of the tracks in the second half just are not as interesting. I have no doubt in the abilities of Tommy Victor both as a player and a writer. However I think Prong were on a roll in the 1990's and unfortunately they ended too early. I think now he is trying to recreate that sound from their glory days. The problem is that you can play the riffs, growl the growls and plug-in the formula, but you can't recreate the momentum and the fire that comes from building from one album to the next. I think that's why Prong's four albums from the last decade were so spectacular while this one is merely good. Now I don't mean to downplay the new album because it's likely in my top 15 albums of the year and I am glad they tried this sound. If Prong follow this album up with say another release a year and a half from now and keep going in the same direction then they may just begin another successful run.

Bob Vinyl is reviewing this album today as well so hop over and check out what he has to say.


Anonymous Fred Charles said...

I haven't really given this one a good listen to yet.

Prong were always a favorite band of mine. I could never figure out why they weren't more popular. When Rude Awakening didn't break through, I kind of gave up hope that Prong would ever be bigger.

Their stuff old stuff still holds up. I was listening to them like crazy a few weeks ago.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love all the Prong recordings. I even like Scorpio Rising.
No, it is not Cleansing. Neither is the new one.
Power is one of those records that you listen to many times before you appreciate it, Like NIN With Teeth.

8:29 PM  

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