Monday, June 02, 2014

Prong-Ruining Lives (Limited Digipak Edition)

Steamhammer / SPV

Amazingly enough New York's Prong last appeared in these hollowed pages two years ago. Exactly two years! That particularly appearance ( saw yours truly covering the band's last full-length release, 2012's "Carved Into Stone", which was an album that was well received by fans, critics or, in the case of both Metal Mark and myself, both! Now we find Prong (or at this point pretty much just Tommy Victor along with engineer Chris Collier, the likely drummer on "Ruining Lives") on album number which, in addition to being produced by band founder Tommy Victor, is supposedly the group's fastest recorded LP! As I loved their last release I went and ordered this one without even hearing any previews and, as the the picture above showcases, I opted for the limited edition, digipak version. This particular version includes one bonus cut, "Retreat", along with a nifty poster that was almost instantly snagged by my 14 year old son! Style-wise this one is a departure from their last LP which rather surprised me. "Ruining Lives" is somewhat similar to 2007's "Power of the Damager" although it kind of jumps around and contains numbers like the title cut, a "Force Feed" kind of moment and more then a few tracks which harken back to the band's "Beg To Differ"/"Prove You Wrong" days. Mostly though this sounds like New York thrash with some hardcore thrown in (a tiny bit that is) and, weird as it might sound, the basic arrangements of both heavy metal and heavy rock (song-structuring if you will). Many have hailed this as one of Prong's best albums and in truth I can see where these people are coming from. The only real issue I have with "Ruining Lives" is the lack of real diversity. While the cuts are heavy and feature Prong's familiar crushing approach to thrash and hardcore it just seems as if some of these tracks were not flushed out enough. Maybe it's because the album was rushed or the fact that there are few musicians involved here, but I just had this feeling that the songs could have used a little something "extra". Still, Prong fans of old should dig this as will the younger kids who are finding themselves drawn to the power of  metallic thrash.

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