Friday, January 08, 2016

Prong: X - No Absolutes

Steamhammer / SPV

Due to drop on February 5th, "X - No Absolutes" is the latest (superb) recording from New York legends Prong. Chronologically-speaking this brand new 13-track* album follows the single release of "Ultimate Authority" (a blunt force trauma take on hardcore metal/thrash which actually opens this album in nice fashion) and the "Songs From the Black Hole" cover album. While I personally glossed over that one (even if I did greatly appreciate Prong's choice to cover of the Butthole Surfer's song "Goofy's Concern"!) I did review 2014's "Ruining Lives". For many longtime fans and critics alike that particular album was a bit hit or miss. Thankfully Prong seems to have tightened down their sound and they've obviously spent a hell of a lot of time and energy on this headbanger. Once again produced by Prong main man Tommy Victor (guitar, vocals), "X - No Absolutes" features some of the best material from this New York power trio in some time. With the backing of Jason Christopher (bass) & Art Cruz (drums) and with Chris Collier serving as co-producer and engineer for this release Prong's front-man works his way through one blistering number after another with the overall sound & vibe splitting the cross-hairs of classic Prong and modern day hardcore heavy metal. With the possible exception of "Do Nothing" (Prong's bizarre and totally unnecessary attempt at a ballad!) there isn't a misfire to be found on  "X - No Absolutes". I could go through this one track by track, but seeing as we're talking about 12 (riff-heavy and sinister sharp!) good tracks here out of the thirteen what would be the point? All you need to know is that if you're a Prong fan then you are going to want to snag and bag this hardcore thrasher as soon as it drops! On their forthcoming album Tommy Victor sounds great (his vocals sound rested and yet as gritty as ever!) and his guitar playing is as good as it's ever been! The strings sound crisp and the lead work catches your attention right from the beginning. In spite of the fact that there isn't a long work history between Jason Christopher and Art Cruz this pair still manages to surround Tommy's voice and guitar with a solid rhythm section that helps accentuate Victor's strong points and drive home the fact that New York metal is (and always will be) the real deal! In concussion friends "X - No Absolutes" ended up leaving me a bit breathless as it's a powerfully strong LP where passion and fury join up for a good old fashioned throw-down! Thanks to Prong's latest collection of lean & mean material I was left with the comfortable feeling that 2016 is going to be a damn fine year when it comes to hard-jamming (crossover) metal! With a full schedule of shows** already lined up for after the release of "X-No Absolute" it sure does look as if Prong has no intention of slowing down. Thank God (or at least the god of hell-fire and heavy "fucking" metal!) for that small favor as there are many of us who still need our heroes.... . 


*The CD version of "X-No Absolute" features the bonus track "Universal Law"

**Prong already has 55 headline shows announced for right after this beastly album drops. I don't know about anyone else, but i sure as hell am going to try my damnedest to hit one of those gigs!

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Anonymous Lugnet FC said...

I have to check out that Prong album!

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1:36 AM  

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