May 2012 23

Prong - Carved into StoneProng
Category: Industrial / Metal
Album: Carved into Stone
Stars: 3
Blurb: A solid, stripped down album that can only be called the Prong sound in full throttle.


Tommy Victor has taken his band Prong along an interesting musical trajectory over the course of 25 years, all the while maintaining a hard-hitting metal-infused style, incorporating elements of punk, thrash, hardcore, and industrial. With Carved into Stone, Victor unveils a new lineup for the band with a concise and punishing set of songs that hearken back to the band’s early days. While previous efforts have never strayed from the inclusion of disparate elements to add flavor, Carved into Stone opts for a straightforward approach that eschews any frills.

From the pummeling beats and riffs of “Eternal Heat,” Victor’s pinch-harmonic squelches and machine-gun fills on the guitar assaulting the listener right from the onset, Prong is clearly the same lean, mean metal machine it has been for the past two-and-a-half decades. Tony Campos’ guttural bass supplies the groove on such tracks as “Revenge: Served Cold” and “State of Rebellion,” with Victor providing a slight bit of creepily effected atmosphere, the latter track easily fitting alongside the more melodic leanings of Rude Awakening or Cleansing. As well, drummer Alexei Rodriguez provides just the right amount of percussive barrage, from his vicious double-kick and tribal-esque attacks on “Put Myself to Sleep” to the slow, almost bluesy rhythms of the title track, all the while Victor’s solo fills and grinding riff evoking a sullen introspection not typical of (but most welcome in) Prong’s music. As well, “Path of Least Resistance” is noteworthy for its rhythmic progressions and melodic swing, while “List of Grievances” is perhaps the fastest and most thrashing track on the album, blasting at breakneck speed that never lets up, right down to an incendiary, gritty solo.

In many ways, Carved into Stone is the quintessential Prong album; every component that has been part of the band’s sound since the beginning is presented in fine form. The beats are executed with precision and power, the bass growling and groovy, and the guitars acidic and acerbic, with Victor’s signature snarl at once melodic and malignant. As a result, there is little to really allow Carved into Stone to stand out in the Prong discography beyond a stripped down, though still polished production. If nothing else, it is a solid and cohesive album from a band that has fought long and hard to achieve an identifiable sound that can be called nothing other than Prong.
Track list:

  1. Eternal Heat
  2. Keep On Living in Pain
  3. Ammunition
  4. Revenge: Served Cold
  5. State of Rebellion
  6. Put Myself to Sleep
  7. List of Grievances
  8. Carved into Stone
  9. Subtract
  10. Path of Least Resistance
  11. Reinvestigate

Prong Website
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Long Branch Records Facebook
SPV GmbH Website
SPV GmbH Facebook
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Amazon Vinyl
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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